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Instant Pot Sultani Dal

A Mughalai influenced royal and rich smoky flavored dal prepared with split pigeon peas, yogurt, milk and cream, butter and of course ghee.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, rice accompaniment, roti accompaniments
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot Recipes, Instant Pot Sultani Dal, sultani dal recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 188kcal
Author: Srividhya G


  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic
  • 2 Green chili
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Cream
  • 2 tbsps Yogurt
  • Saffron a generous pinch
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Toor dal
  • 2 cups Water 3 tbsps
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • Cilantro handful

For Smoky Flavor

  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Charcoal piece
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • ½ tsp Garam masala


Prep – Work

  • Cut the onion and cilantro and set aside.
  • Slit the green chili into and chop the garlic into small pieces.
  • Soak the saffron in 3 tbsps of water and set aside.


    Cooking the dal

      Instant Pot Method

      • Wash the toor dal and add it the IP. Add two cups of water and turmeric powder and set it manual mode and cook for 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
      • When the pressure is all released, mash the dal transfer the dal to the separate bowl. Wash the IP pot and wipe it clean.

      Pressure cooker Method

      • Wash the toor dal and pressure cook by adding two cups of water and turmeric powder.
      • When the pressure is all released, mash the dal and set aside.
      • Tempering the Dal: (Both Instant pot and Stovetop method)
      • If using IP, Set the IP in sauté mode and add the ghee and butter. Else heat the heavy bottom vessel and add the ghee and butter.
      • When the butter melts, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, green cardamom, and cloves.
      • Sauté for a minute and then add the chopped onion, garlic, and green chili. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
      • Next, add the cooked dal and salt. Mix them thoroughly.
      • Then add yogurt and milk and mix again. Cover and cook for two to three minutes. I used my glass lid for the covering and cooking.
      • Then add the saffron water along with saffron and let it simmer for a minute.
      • Finally, add the cream and bring it to one boil and keep it warm mode if using IP or over a low flame on the stove top.

      Smoky Flavor

      • I just lit my charcoal directly on the stove top like below. It should be hot enough to produce the smoky flavor.
      • Place the bay leaf in a small bowl and keep the hot charcoal on top and add ghee and garam masala.
      • Put this bowl inside the dal mix and cover it and switch off the flame and keep for ten minutes. If using IP, turn it off completely and unplug it. Place the bowl inside and cover it with a lid.
      • That’s it. The Royal Sultani Dal is ready. Serve hot with rice/naan/roti.


      • Please be careful while lighting the charcoal and adding the smoky flavor.
      • Turn off the heat and unplug the IP when doing the same.
      • The original recipe calls for betel leaf. So instead of bay leaf, you can use betel leaf too.
      • Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference.
      • While adding yogurt, keep stirring the mix so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.
      • Make sure you mash the dal nicely, and that adds the creamy flavor as well. Adapted from Vah Chef


      Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 1293mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg