Pressure Cooker Rice and Dal is Indian comfort food made easy. Once you learn how to make rice and dal at the same time in your Instant Pot, putting together a nutritious dinner will be easy as—well as rice and dal!
Ever wondered how to make rice and dal in a pressure cooker at the same time? Well, I’m about to show you.
I made this rice and dal in my Instant Pot the other day and said to Roger, as I was eating my fourth bowl in two days “Gah! I love this so much I could eat it every day!” and then I realized, I DID eat it every day growing up.
Unlike American meals where every day it’s something different, Indian meals have certain elements in common every day.
We always have rice, dal, chappati, a vegetable, usually a salad/cold vegetable, a chutney of sorts, and plain yogurt.
That’s right. Every day. Lunch and dinner.
The type of dal, salad, vegetable, chutney might vary but dal and rice every day. All of which by the way, you can make if you get a copy of my best-selling book, , available on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble HERE!
In fact, I even have a post on how to make rice and chana dal in your pressure cooker. The only difference is, that makes plain boiled dal that you then season into a pressure cooker chana dal fry recipe.
In this recipe, the dal is already made when done, with no extra steps required. Even more efficient! It also tastes different from a day fry so it’s a nice way to mix it up a bit. For this recipe, I used Toor Dal.
HOW TO MAKE BEANS, LENTILS, AND LEGUMES IN YOUR PRESSURE COOKER:
You can also learn how to make beans in your pressure cooker, and how to substitute various lentils for each other by watching that video and reading through those slides. You really should do it. It will open you up to a whole huge world of plant protein that you might not know enough about.
HOW TO MAKE RICE AND DAL IN YOUR PRESSURE COOKER:
Okay I am going to show you each of the steps here so we know how to do this.
First, you heat the Instant Pot. When it’s hot, add oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, and serrano.
Then, you’re going to add the onions and tomatoes, and all the spices. You just want to let the spices bloom a little. You put them on top of the veggies so they don’t burn.
Add the dal, and the water. I’m using split yellow pigeon peas here, or Toor dal, but you can do this with any type of split lentils.
Now here comes the magic. You will put a trivet on top of that dal. You’ll need one that has higher legs than the one that came with the Instant Pot. Note you can do this any electric pressure cooker or even in a stovetop pressure cooker.
On top of that trivet, you’re going to put your rinsed rice, water to cook the rice, ghee, and salt. Notice I don’t cover the rice. You don’t need to. If you’re making some kind of cake or something that needs to be kept dry, that’s different. But for rice, I rarely cover it.
Okay! When we were done, see how perfect that rice is? And underneath it, our dal is also well cooked. So you can add a little water to it now if you’d like it thinner. But other than that, your rice and dal and ready.
Just look at that perfect rice! Every grain is separate, as it should be.
Just add a little cilantro, brag about how you made dinner so efficiently, and eat!
No really, it’s that simple. I used a 6 x 3 pan for this rice.
EQUIPMENT YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE THIS INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER RICE AND DAL
- Instant Pot Mini Duo, or Instant pot 6 quarts, or Instant Pot 8 Quarts
- Measuring Cups
- My favorite Cutting Board
- Good set of Kitchen Knives
- 6 X 3 pan
- Tall steamer rack
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- 1 tablespoon ghee coconut oil, or oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds or use additional 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 serrano or jalapeno chili chopped into big visible pieces (Optional)
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger cut into thin slices
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 cup toor dal yellow pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
- 2.5 cups water
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parlsey
- Additional ghee butter, coconut oil or Earth balance to add on top of rice and dal
In a 6 x 3 pan, add all ingredients of the rice, mix well, and set aside. (you can use a larger or smaller pan for the rice with impunity. It’s a pretty forgiving way to make perfect rice).
- Turn your Instant Pot on Sauté (high heat setting). When the pot reads HOT, add ghee, or coconut oil/oil.
- Once this oil starts to shimmer indicating that it is hot, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and the chili if using, and stand back. These seeds will sputter like popcorn within 10-15 seconds.
- Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 10 seconds.
- Add onions, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt, and stir until well mixed.
- Pour in toor dal and water and scrape well to ensure nothing has stuck to the bottom.
Place the tall steamer rack inside this liner (on top of the dal basically)
Place the pan of rice on the steamer. It is not necessary to cover the rice.
- Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, and allow it to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then release all remaining pressure.
- Using little silicone mitts, carefully remove the rice, as well as the steamer rack.
- Check the consistency of the dal. You want a thick mixture akin to porridge.
- Serve each bowl with rice and dal, and pass around some extra ghee or whatever you’re using as a substitute to pour over your piping hot and lovely rice and dal.
I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information is provided a courtesy, and can vary depending on the exact ingredients you use.
Don’t forget to check out my Instant Pot Fast & Easy Cookbook!
This book is full of all kinds of boldly flavored and internationally-themed recipes—Mexican, Thai, Moroccan, and more—with Instant Pot Fast & Easy, fully authorized by Instant Pot. Just like you have come to expect, my recipes will work perfectly every time, and of course taste great too. And because these are Instant Pot recipes, dishes like Japanese Chicken Curry, Chinese Steamed Ribs, and Mexican Pulled Pork are ready in a fraction of the time they would take using traditional cooking methods. As with all of my recipes, the focus is on whole foods instead of artificial convenience ingredients, so the recipes are delicious, easy, and healthful too.