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How to cook lentils in instant pot, easy lentil cooking with pressure cook time and a chart

How to Cook Lentils in Instant Pot

Cooking lentils in instant pot is easy and reduces the cooking time a lot. If you love lentils, then here is my detailed guide on how to cook lentils in the instant pot.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: how to cook lentil, how to cook lentil in instant pot, Indian lentil, Instant pot lentil, lentil curry
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Sophie


  • Instant pot


  • 1 Cup Red Lentils
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups water

To make daal

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • cilanro to garnish
  • 1 tbsp oil (optional)
  • 1 cup water or stock


How to cook Lentils?

  • To cook lentils, you must wash and rinse them first. Lentils usually have some dirt or grime on them. First, soak your lentils in tap water and rub them with your fingers.
  • You will see the water turns murky when you do that.
  • Then throw that water and rinse your lentils with fresh water and repeat the step
    unless the water runs clear. This process effectively removes any dust or debris on the lentils.

How to Cook Lentils in Stove Top?

  • For every 1 cup of dry lentils, you will need 3 cups of filtered water or stock.
  • It is advised to take a Dutch oven or a large stock pot to cook the
    lentils. Bring the liquid to a boil, add salt and turmeric(optional), and add
    washed lentils.
  • Because lentils swell in size, you must take a pot large enough to hold
    them. After the liquid with lentil comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a
    simmering temperature and cover tightly to cook the lentils till they are
  • Typically, split lentils take 5-7 minutes and whole lentils take 15-20
    minutes to cook till soft in stovetop method.
  • Adding salt while cooking also helps to retain their shape and prevents lentils to become mushy. However, you can always add salt after cooking too.

How to Cook Lentils in Instant Pot?

  • Take 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of dry lentil when cooking in instant pot. You can add turmeric, salt, and veggies such as tomatoes while cooking the lentils in instant pot.
  • Depending on the quantity of the lentils, the cooking time in the instant pot may range from 5-20 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is over, allow the instant pot to come to a low temperature with natural pressure release. This helps to cook the lentils till super tender.
  • The natural pressure release usually takes 10-15 minutes depending on the cooking time and the amounts of lentils. Then, move the valve from the sealed position to the vent position and open the pot.
  • At this point, stir the lentils if you want to make a daal. This ensures that lentils are mixed well and forms a homogenous mixture.  

How to Make Daal from Lentils?

  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan and allow it to heat.
  • Add cumin seeds, chopped or sliced onions, green chilis and ginger or garlic. If you are not using oil, roast the cumin seeds first before adding veggies and herbs. Then cook by adding little water.
  • Sauté a little and add salt. Now add cooked lentils, and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add chopped chopped cilantro and lime juice.
  • Turn off the heat and serve the daal with steamed rice or roti.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.13g | Protein: 9.02g | Fat: 0.3g | Fiber: 7.9g