Instant Pot Lentil Curry

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Learn how to cook Instant Pot Lentil Curry (Pressure Cooker Lentil Curry) with simple, long shelf life pantry ingredients! This creamy, hearty & flavorful curried lentils recipe is super easy to make & done in 45 mins. Budget-friendly, filling, & satisfying vegetarian meal (with vegan options).

We’re excited to share our 4th Cooking Together with Amy + Jacky Instant Pot Recipe with you! After sharing 2 beef & 1 chicken recipes, we’d love to share a vegetarian dish (with vegan options) with you this week!

What are Lentils?

Lentils are legumes that are really great to have in your kitchen pantry:

  • Versatile ingredient – you can use in a variety of soups, stews, curries, salads, casseroles…
  • Long shelf life
  • Full of nutrients – high in protein & fiber
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Really quick & easy to cook – you don’t even need to soak them beforehand
  • Delicious!

There are lots of different types of lentils – like brown, green, or red lentils. Each type holds different flavor, texture, nutrition, and requires different cooking times.

What is Lentil Curry?

There are various types of Lentil Curry – such as Coconut Lentil Curry or Red Lentil Curry. Some curried lentils recipes use curry paste or tomatoes, while others use coconut milk.

This rich & hearty Instant Pot Lentil Curry is meant to be a super easy yet flavorful main vegetarian (vegan) meal or side dish.

You’ll enjoy the balanced savory-slight spicy-creamy-hearty flavors & textures filled with a delicious coconut aroma. 

What’s awesome about cooking lentils in the Instant Pot is that it’s a very “hands-off” process to evenly cook lentils. The lentils will come out tender with chew and not mushy – giving you a satisfying mouthfeel.

For this Instant Pot Lentil Curry Recipe, you can use Brown Whole Lentils or Green Whole Lentils. But if you use Red Lentils, they won’t hold up as well & tend to disintegrate & get mushy when cooked through.

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Curried Lentils Ingredients Substitutions

If you don’t have some of the ingredients, here are some substitution suggestions.

  • Onion: substitute with 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Garlic: substitute with 1¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Ghee: substitute with unsalted butter, or olive oil 
  • Unsalted Chicken Stock: substitute with the same amount of vegetable stock or cold water
  • Coconut Milk is a flavor enhancer and balancer, but it is optional if you don’t have it on hand. You will need another ¼ cup of stock if you’re not using coconut milk.

Time for cooking Lentil Curry in Instant Pot!

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Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Learn how to cook Instant Pot Lentil Curry (Pressure Cooker Lentil Curry) with simple, long shelf life pantry ingredients! This creamy, hearty & flavorful curried lentils recipe is super easy to make & done in 45 mins. Budget-friendly, filling, & satisfying vegetarian meal (with vegan options).
5 from 14 votes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 - 6
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Rate This Recipe Print

Ingredients

Main Ingredients:

Flavor Enhancing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) ghee (substitutions: unsalted butter or olive oil)
  • 8 cloves (23g) garlic , minced
  • 1 (220g) medium onion , diced or minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon (1.4g - 2.8g) cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste
  • ¼ - ½ cup (63ml - 125ml) coconut milk (optional)

Instructions

  • Saute Onion & Garlic: Heat up Instant Pot using "Sauté More" function. Wait until the indicator says "HOT".
    Add 2 tbsp (30g) ghee to the Instant Pot. Add in diced onions, then saute for 3 minutes. Add in minced garlic, ginger, ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste, 3 tbsp (24g) curry powder, and ½ - 1 tsp (1.4g - 2.8g) cayenne pepper, then saute for another minute.
    *Curry Powder Tip: Different Curry Powder vary in taste, aroma, quality. Make sure to taste & adjust accordingly. Best to use High Quality Curry Powder when possible.
    *Spicy Level Tip: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper according to how spicy you want your lentil curry. For reference, we used mild spicy curry powder with ½ tsp (1.2g) cayenne pepper, and it was mild-medium spiciness.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.
  • Pressure Cook Lentil Curry: Add in 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, ½ tsp table salt, then give it a quick mix. Add in 2 cups (400g) of whole lentils and 2.5 cups (625ml) unsalted chicken stock. Make sure the lentils are submerged in the liquid.
    *Note: If you're not using the coconut milk at the end, add in an extra ¼ cup (63ml) unsalted chicken stock here.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
    -Green Lentils: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release.
    -Brown Lentils: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release.
    After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning the Venting Knob to Venting position. Remove the lid carefully.
  • Season & Add Coconut Milk: Give it a few quick stirs, then mix in ¼ cup (63ml) coconut milk. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt (roughly 1 - 2 large pinches of salt). Add in more coconut milk as desired.
  • Garnish & Serve Curried Lentils: Garnish Curried Lentils with finely chopped cilantro or green onions. Enjoy this Easy Instant Pot Lentil Curry over rice or your favorite side dishes!

Spread the Love by sharing this recipe, so others can enjoy it too!  Thank you 🙂

Video

Recipe Notes:

Lentil Curry Ingredients Substitutions
If you don't have some of the ingredients, here are some substitution suggestions.
  • Onion: 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Garlic: 1¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Ghee: unsalted butter, or olive oil 
  • Unsalted Chicken Stock: vegetable stock or cold water
  • Coconut Milk is a flavor enhancer and balancer, but it is optional if you don't have it on hand. You will need another ¼ cup of stock if you're not using coconut milk.
*Rate Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 357kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 47g (16%)Protein: 20g (40%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Cholesterol: 13mg (4%)Sodium: 499mg (22%)Potassium: 965mg (28%)Fiber: 20g (83%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 289IU (6%)Vitamin C: 9mg (11%)Calcium: 76mg (8%)Iron: 7mg (39%)
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Indian
Keyword: brown lentil curry, coconut lentil curry, easy lentil curry, green lentil curry, instant pot curried lentils, instant pot lentil curry, lentil curry, lentil curry in Instant Pot, lentil curry recipe

Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Lentil Curry

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Here are the few simple pantry ingredients for cooking Lentil Curry in Instant Pot:

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Prepare Lentils

rinse brown lentils #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe

First, rinse lentils in cold water, then remove any debris & drain well.

*Pro Tip: You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking! 🙂

1

Saute Onion & Garlic


First, heat up Instant Pot Pressure Cooker using “Sauté More” function. Wait until the Instant Pot says “HOT”.

*Pro Tip: Make sure the Instant Pot is as hot as it can be in order to induce a Maillard reaction.

Add 2 tbsp (30g) ghee to the Instant Pot.

*Ghee Substitutions: If you don’t have ghee, substitute with unsalted butter or olive oil. 

Now, add diced onions in Instant Pot, then saute for 3 minutes.

saute onions in Instant Pot #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe

Add minced garlic, ginger, ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste, 3 tbsp (24g) curry powder, and ½ – 1 tsp (1.4g – 2.8g) cayenne pepper in Instant Pot, then saute for another minute. 

*Pro Tip – Spiciness: the final dish will be between mild to medium spicy with ½ tsp (1.4g) cayenne pepper and mildly spicy curry powder.

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2

Deglaze Instant Pot


Pour in 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.

deglaze Instant Pot #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipes

3

Pressure Cook Lentil Curry


Add 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, ½ tsp table salt in Instant Pot, then give it a quick mix.

Add in 2 cups (400g) of whole lentils and  2.5 cups (625ml) unsalted chicken stock.

*Note: If you’re not using the coconut milk at the end, add in an extra ¼ cup (63ml) unsalted chicken stock here.

*Pro Tip: Make sure the lentils are submerged in the liquid. 

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With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

  • For Green Lentils: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release
  • For Brown Lentils: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release

Instant Pot High Pressure 8 minutes #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker

After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning the Venting Knob to Venting position.

Remove the lid carefully.

4

Season & Add Coconut Milk


*Note: This curried lentils may not look like much, but once you give it a few quick mixes and add in the coconut milk, everything will start to come together nicely. And boy it tastes so rich & delicious! 😀

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Give it a few quick stirs and mix in ¼ cup (63ml) coconut milk.

*Pro Tip: Coconut Milk enhances & balances the flavors of this lentil curry, it’s optional but we strongly recommend it. 🙂

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Then, taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt (roughly 1 – 2 large pinch of salt).

Add in more coconut milk if desired.

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5

Garnish & Serve Curried Lentils


Garnish Curried Lentils with finely chopped cilantro or green onions.

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This coconut lentil curry falls into the “don’t judge the dish by it’s looks” category. It may not look pretty, but it’s definitely satisfying & delicious.

Enjoy this easy yet tasty Instant Pot Lentil Curry over rice, naan, or your favorite side dishes! 🙂


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