Dal Fry
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4.72 from 14 votes

Pressure Cooker Dal Fry

Dal Fry is a great combination of the creamy dal, the crisp and caramelized onions, the taste of the ghee and cumin seeds, and tomatoes. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Courses
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chana dal, dal fry, indian dal fry recipe, indian dal recipe, instant pot vegetarian recipe, pressure cooker chana dal, pressure cooker dal fry
Servings: 8
Calories: 126kcal
Author: Urvashi Pitre


Cook Together

For the Fry part


Cook the Dal

  • Place the chana dal and water into your Instant Pot or pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, and allow it to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Release all remaining pressure quickly.
  • Open the lid and mash the dal with the back of a spoon to get a creamy texture. 
  • While the dal is cooking, you can get the "Fry" part of this recipe together.

For the "Fry" part

  • Heat a saucepan and melt the ghee or coconut oil. When it shimmers, put in cumin seeds, red chiles and garlic and cook for 1 minute until the ghee picks up the flavors. That red chili looks vicious but it really doesn't add that much heat--unless you chew it. Then you're on your own.
  • Add the onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are crisp and lightly browned, about 8-10  minutes. Flatten the onions in the saucepan and don't stir too often, since you want the edges to burn a little. (You say burn, I say caramelize). Watch video to see how long to cook the onions. 
  • Add in the tomato and let it get heated through as you gently mash it with the back of your spoon. Sprinkle the turmeric, salt, and powdered cumin, mixing well.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to sauté. Pour in the spiced onions and tomatoes and mix well. Add a little water to get a thick, soupy but pourable consistency. Leave on sauté for 5-10 minutes until the flavors meld.
  • Add chopped cilantro and serve with rice. 


  • You can use any kind of split dal for this recipe.
  • You can also make PIP rice with this dish at the same time.
  • If you don't have the dried red chili peppers, you can omit. You may want to increase cayenne by 1/4 teaspoon--or not. 


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 37.9mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.8mg