Lentil Curry with Zucchini Instant Pot Recipe

Lentil curry, known as ‘dal’ in south asian cuisine, is a regular meal for many families. It is so rich and flavorful. There are several different lentils you can make curries with but I have used a yellow variety known as ‘moong.’ Lentils can be found in the international section of many grocery stores or at Asian grocery stores.  

The Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils are perfect for a meatless dinner and are very healthy. Lentils are rich in fiber, folate and potassium and also a great source of iron vitamin B6 and protein. 

Ingredients for lentil curry. Lentils in a bowl, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peppers, coriander

Always Soak Your Lentils First

Lentil curry can be made on the stovetop but this quick recipe is made in a instant pot. Soak the lentils in water for at least 30 minutes and rinse well before cooking. It’s fine if you leave it for longer than 30 minutes. Soaking the lentils prior to eating them helps make them easier to digest. Lentil curry is best paired with brown or white basmati rice or naan. If you are keto you can pair it with cauliflower rice or you can even just eat lentil curry in a bowl on its own. It’s just as delicious and satisfying. 


lentil curry ingredients in an instant pot


  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup moong lentils washed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp lime juice for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


1. Start the pressure cooker in sauté mode and let it heat. Add oil and cumin seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds.

2. When the cumin seeds change color, add green chili, onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and all spices. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions become golden brown while stirring frequently.

3. Add the lentils, water and stir well. 

4. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes. 

5. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually (5 minutes). 

6. Open the pot. Add the lime juice and stir the lentil curry. 

7. Garnish with cilantro. 

Note: if you do not want to use zucchini it can be easily omitted but you will need to increase your water to 3 cups of water or 2.5 cups cups for a thicker lentil curry.

Serve lentil curry with roti, naan or rice and enjoy!