This vegan Dal Makhani is absolutely oil free and is made in instant pot. This one pot meal is buttery without any butter and creamy without any cream. Its simmered in aromatic spices and is a healthier Indian comfort food.
Traditionally, it’s a rich buttery dal with lots of taste. It’s a very popular North Indian dish.
I love dal makhani recipe since I was a child. However, recently, I have been enjoying its veganized version too. Now, since few days, I started wondering if I could make it guilt free with the same original taste so as to make it our everyday staple.
After few attempts I came up with this awesome idea. My family loved it so much that now I make this instant pot dal makhani every other day.
So, here I am to share this vegan dal makhani recipe with you:
Ingredients you will need:
Whole urad dal
Dry red chilies
I have used these easily available ingredients in this recipe which you may buy from any local grocery store. However, I have provided links to few of them here for you convenience.
If you plan to buy from these affiliate links then I get a small commission which in turn encourages me to bring in more delicious recipe for you all.
- Whole urad dal – It’s a black gram or black lentil. These pulses originated in India. Its commonly used in north Indian recipes and sometimes in south Indian recipes too. It is very high in protein and is a great source for Vitamin B complex and other vitamins and minerals. Its best to soak overnight so as to get the best results.
- Kidney Beans – I have used raw uncooked kidney beans in this recipe. However, you may use canned kidney beans as well. Both the versions would work well here. If you use uncooked kidney beans then its best to soak overnight with black lentils. They are from legume family and is very high in protein.
- Coconut milk – I used tetra pack so as to make this recipe light and yet satisfying. Moreover, we do not want it to be very coconutty and instead retain its original flavor. Therefore, I would highly recommend you to use tetra packed coconut milk from any company like SO. Therefore, do not use canned milk.
- Turmeric – we know that turmeric has medicinal properties and has a healing effect. However, it is commonly used in Indian recipes on a daily basis. Therefore, turmeric powder is a must for this recipe here as well.
- Garam masala – it enhances the fancy Indian recipes with its strong aroma and flavor. It has many variations in different parts of India but basically, it’s a powder form of a variety of spices ground together.
- Cashew nuts – I used it make this lentil curry creamy and decadent instead of using the regular heavy cream that is traditionally added to it. This blended cashew is lighter and vegan as well. Moreover, you can make it yourself and adjust the quantity as per your requirement. Cashew nuts are very nutritious too which in turn adds lot of health to this recipe.
How to make Dal Makhani
Firstly, I soaked black lentils/urad dal and kidney beans overnight in water.
Secondly, I blended all the grinding masala in a blender until it was smooth.
Next, I poured the blended masala in the hot inner pot of the instant pot at sauté mode.
Then, I added cinnamon stick, asafetida, dry red chilies to it. Then I stirred it and let it cook until it thickened and reduced.
Thereafter, I added all the spices to it and sauteed for 1-2 minutes.
Afterwards, I added the soaked lentils and beans along with its water and added more water and salt to it. Then, I stirred it nicely and closed the lid. Next, I sealed the valve and let it cook at manual high for 1 hour.
Once done, I let it release its pressure naturally on its own which takes about another 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile, I blended cashew nuts and coconut milk in the blender until it was smooth and creamy. Then, I kept it aside.
When, the instant pot was ready, I removed the lid and stirred in blended cashew very well.
Lastly, I garnished it with chopped fresh cilantro and served with rice, naan and side onion salad.
This was an instant hit with my family. Even my toddler went gaga over it and totally kept licking her fingers.
My family loved it so much that it has become regular in my house.
Therefore, I would insist you to definitely try this recipe ASAP so you could also enjoy it. I guarantee you wont miss on the restaurant style at all. This oil free dal makhani will top your menu chart.
- If you plan to use canned kidney beans, make sure to drain it and use half of the can. It does not require to be soaked but the cooking time would still be the same since the lentils need to be cooked. However, you may release the quick pressure of the instant pot manually.
- It is important to note that you use lightened tetra pack coconut milk for this recipe.
- Most importantly, keep stirring the blended masala in the instant pot at regular intervals of 3-4 minutes so that it does not stick at the bottom since we are not using any oil/butter.
It tastes best when cooked and kept for sometime time so that all the flavors blend into each other well. Therefore, if you plan to serve it for dinner then its best to cook in the morning and let it rest at room temperature all day. Warm it up again before serving. The leftovers can be refrigerated in an air tight container for about 2 weeks. Warm it up before serving.
Yes, absolutely! Its oil free and has no butter alternatives as well. I made it without any heavy cream so we save on lot of calories by cutting down added saturated fats. Therefore, its high in protein, fiber and low in fats along with being low in calories too.
It is creamy and smooth in texture with lentils and kidney beans. It’s a savory dish with a medley of spices and various other ingredients. It is salty, spicy and comforting in every bite especially if paired with naan.
Can I include it in our everyday meal?
Yes, its healthy, protein rich and is very nutritious especially the way I made it here.
Yes, I have explained the detailed method on how to cook in Indian pressure cooker on stove top along with pots and pans option too in the recipe card below in the notes section.
You may also like:
Other Indian recipes that you may like:
Cauliflower Tikka Masala
Turmeric Tofu Cashew Curry
Tandoori Mushroom Broccoli Wrap
Zucchini Pinto Beans Kofta in Spicy Cashew Curry
Vegan Jackfruit Turmeric Masala Curry
Vegan Seitan Cilantro Masala
Black Beans Curry
Did you make it?
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If you desire to explore more of my delicious recipes then you may check out my cookbooks.
For soaking (overnight)
- Combine whole urad dal/black lentils and kidney beans in a big saucepan and rinse it thoroughly. Then add 3 cups water to it and let it rest overnight. (do not drain this water).
- In a blender combine all the grinding ingredients ( onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, 1 cup coconut milk) and blend it smooth.
- Turn on your instant pot at sauté mode and let the inner pot warm up. Then, pour the blended masala to it. Stir nicely, and let it cook. Immediately, add cinnamon stick, asafetida and dry red chilies to it. Stir again and let it cook until it thickens and reduces (about 10-15 minutes). Keep stirring at intervals of 3-4 minutes to make sure it does not stick at the bottom. If it starts splashing then lightly cover it with the lid. Do not seal the lid at this point.
- Now, add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala to it and sauté very nicely.
- Now, stir in the soaked lentils and beans along with its water. Add another 2 ½ cups water and salt.
- Turn off the instant pot and close the lid and seal the valve. Turn it on at manual high for 60 minutes. Once done, let it release the pressure on its own naturally which will take another 10 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, drain the cashew nuts with the help of a sieve and combine cashew nuts and 1/2 cup coconut milk in the blender. Blend it smooth and keep it aside.
- Once the lentils are cooked open the lid and stir once. Then, add in the blended cashew and mix very well.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice, naan and onion salad.
- Roasted cumin powder – Warm up a nonstick pan and add 1 tbsp cumin seeds. Keep sautéing until it starts to change its color and you get a strong cumin aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind in mortar pestle or in a food processor. Big batches can also be made.
- Make sure you do not drain the water in which you soaked lentils and beans. The water is very nutritious and high in protein, I like to add it to this recipe while cooking.
- Canned kidney beans can also be used in this recipe. Drain it and use half can. No need to soak since its already cooked. Rest will be the same. However, lentils would still need to be soaked.
- Indian pressure cooker option (stove top option) –
- combine the soaked lentils and beans along with its water and plus 2 ½ cups water in Indian pressure cooker and cook until 5-6 whistles. Turn it off and let the pressure release on its own.
- In the meanwhile, heat a nonstick pot or a nonstick pan with high edges and combine the blended masala in it. Add asafetida, cinnamon stick and dry red chili to it and let it cook covered at high. Stir at intervals to make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
- As soon as it thickens add all the spices to it and sauté again for 1-2 minutes. Turn it off.
- Now, spoon out the cooked masala into the pressure cooker with cooked lentils, add salt and stir very nicely. Seal the lid tight and let it pressure cook again upto 5-6 whistles. Turn it off and let it naturally release its pressure.
- Open the lid and stir in blended cashew. Garnish and serve.
- For pots and pans option –
- Add the soaked lentil and beans along with its water in the pot of your choice and let it cook at high for atleast 1 hour or until the lentils and beans are soft enough.
- Then in another nonstick pan follow the steps 2-4.
- Then, add this cooked masala into the boiled lentils and beans along with more water and salt. Let it cook at medium-high and lightly cover it. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that it does not overflow. May take about 20-25 minutes.
- Lastly, turn off the flame and stir in cashew cream and garnish.
- This recipe can be refrigerated in an air tight container for about 2 weeks. Just warm it up in a microwave and serve.
- If kept for long and it thickens, you may add ½ cup coconut milk (tetra pack) for creamier consistency or ½ cup water for a lighter dal. Adjust salt and warm it up on the stove top.