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Instant Pot Dal Palak

Dal palak is a delicious low calorie nutrituous dal made with lentils and fresh spinach.Serve hot with rice or roti or as a soup.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 2
Calories 105 kcal


  • ½ cup split pegion pea toor dal, washed and drained
  • 2 cups spinach washed and finely chopped
  • 1 onion small, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli optional, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil or ghee
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmerice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon channa dal optional
  • 1 red chilli dried
  • 2 cups water


  • Press SAUTE mode on instant pot and heat oil. Splutter cumin , mustard seeds and add chana dal. Fry for 10 seconds and add crushed garlic,broken red chilli and chopped green chilli . Fry foru couple of minutes until the onions turn slightly pink.
  • Add 1 finely chopped tomato(I had puree lying in the fridge), salt and cook until the raw smell goes out of the tomato.
  • Add in spice powders and fry for a minute, add ½ cup of washed split pigeon pea or Toor dal and mix well.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water, mix well and close the lid. Press CANCEL and press PRESSURE COOK mode and set the timer for 6 minutes. make sure to turn the valve into sealing mode.
  • After the instant pot beeps the cooking is done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually (5 minute NPR). Open the lid and add washed and finely chopped spinach.the leaves get wilted with the heat.
  • If you feel the dal is too thick or thin for your preference,adjust the water according and cook for 5 minutes by pressing the SAUTE mode again.
  • I like fresh tempering so I repeat it once more using curry leaves, dried chilli, mustard and cumin and red chilli powder.Drizzle this tempering over the dal when serving . It is optional but adds such a beautiful pop of color!
  • Serve hot with rice or roti or as a soup.


Serving This Dal Palak pairs perfectly with basmati rice. You can also pair it with cooked barley, quinoa or cauliflower rice. also goes well with Indian flatbread like roti, chapati. Or serve it as a soup with a slice of toasted rye bread.
Variations If you are not a vegan, replace oil with ghee to elevate the taste of the spinach dal. Vary the Greens: You can also use fenugreek leaves (methi), sorrel leaves in this recipe in place of spinach. Dal:  Moon dal, red masoor dal, channa dal, yellow lentils also can be used in place of toor dal. To make this recipe with Chana Dal (split chickpeas), follow the same steps but cook the dal for 12 minutes on high pressure. Andhra Palakura Pappu: To make this recipe Andhra style, also use tamarind along with tomato.
Storing Spinach dal tastes even better after a day, Refrigerate it for 3 days ad reheat in the microwave before serving. you can also freeze this for up to 3 months.
Nutritional value is approximate and for one serving. This can be easily served for 3 people as a side.
Tried this recipe?Mention @fatrainbowgirl or tag #fatrainbowcooks!


Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 120mgPotassium: 505mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3554IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 2mg
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