instant pot dal makhani with garlic naan bread

instant pot dal makhani with garlic naan bread

I have been trying to incorporate more plant based meals into our weekly repertoire. You know, because health. My husband and I love Indian food and the bonus is that the majority of the cuisine is vegetarian or vegan and yet still super flavorful, hearty and satisfying. We are a huge fan of lentils! They are cheap and the perfect vessel for tons of spices. Dal or Daal in Indian cuisine refers to lentil based dishes and there are about a million varieties. Dal makhani is made with black urad dal lentils and red kidney beans. You can find urad dal lentils at most mediterranean or middle eastern markets or grocery stores. You can substitute regular black lentils, but they won’t have the same texture as urad dal. The best part about this recipe is that it’s made in the instant pot. Meaning, no soaking beans overnight. No long stewing times. Everything goes into the pot and dinner is ready! I have been experimenting with the ‘multigrain’ function on my instant pot which allows for a brief soaking period before starting the cooking process resulting in super tender beans and lentils. The instant pot is truly a wonder and I have loved it since the day I got it. Not a sponsored post, just a huge fan.

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What better to pair with Indian lentils than some delicious garlic naan? Definitely one of the easiest breads to throw together. It only requires a brief rising period and then the pieces are cooked in a hot cast iron skillet which gives the naan bread it’s characteristic little charred spots. And then they’re brushed with a delicious garlic butter. What could be better? This recipe makes tons of leftover lentils (which can be frozen!) and enough naan to eat throughout the week. Happy cooking!

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Products I used in this recipe:

Yield: 4-6 servings

instant pot dal makhani with garlic naan

prep time: 10 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins


Dal Makhani
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 serrano, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon indian chili powder (can substitute ancho chili powder if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups urad dal (you can substitute black lentils, but urad dal is so much better)
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
Garlic Naan
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup full fat greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. For the dal: Turn your instant pot to the sauté function on low. Add the oil to the pot and the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until the seeds are fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and serrano pepper and cook until softened, stirring regularly to prevent the spices from burning. Add the garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, red beans, 6 cups of the water and the salt. Lock the lid in place and change to the 'multigrain' function and set the timer for 45 minutes on high. The multigrain function allows for a brief soaking of the beans and lentils which helps them become more tender. Allow for a natural pressure release, add the last cup and a half of water, and then set the pressure cooker to high for 12 minute. Using a fast release, remove the lid, stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lentils with heavy cream and top with chopped cilantro before serving.
  2. For the naan: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir the water, sugar and yeast together and let sit for about 10 minutes, until foamy. If your yeast doesn't foam, it's old or defective. Add the flour, baking powder, yogurt, and olive oil to the yeast and mix on medium speed. Once the dough starts to come together, add the salt. Mix for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  3. When ready to cook divide the dough into 8 equal balls and using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval shape. It should be about 6-8 inches long and about 1/4-inch thick, but no thinner. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Transfer half of the melted butter to a small bowl. Add the garlic to the butter still in the pan and simmer for 1 minute so that the garlic isn't raw. Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Brush both sides of the naan with melted butter. Place the naan on the hot skillet and cook until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Remove from the pan, brush with the garlic butter and sprinke with chopped cilantro. Repeat with the rest of the naan dough. You may have to lightly grease the cast iron skillet with neutral oil between naans. Serve immediately. 


This dal is vegan without the use of heavy cream. 

You can use all ground spices vs whole seeds, just add them when you add in the other ground spices instead of cooking the whole spices in the beginning. 

The lentils and spices can be found at most mediterranean or Indian grocery stores or on amazon.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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