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+ servings
a bowl of instant pot red lentils curry garnished with parsley.
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Instant pot lentil curry! Creamy red lentil instant pot curry. This simple one pot Indian curry is bursting with flavour and it requires a handful of ingredients. This pressure cooker lentil curry is perfect for a meatless Monday dinner, very comforting and filling. Serve with fluffy rice and warm naan bread.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
natural pressure release5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: how to make lentil curry, instant pot lentil curry, pressure cooker lentil curry
Servings: 6
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Ajoke


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 cup red lentils: substitute with green or brown lentil
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk substitute with low-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup onions chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed substitute with 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil substitute with ghee, butter or any other flavourless oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or use according to preference
  • ½ tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Passata


  • Turn on the sauté function of your instant pot, add oil and het until hot. Add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped ginger and cumin seed and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Followed by curry powder, red pepper flakes, garam masala and tomato paste and stir to combine. (work fast here so that the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan)
  • Add passata (tomato sauce), water, lentil and mix to combine. Make sure you deglaze the pan to avoid getting a burn notice. Finally, add the coconut milk. Spread it on top of the lentil and do not stir.
  • Cover the IP securely with a lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Select manual or pressure cook and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is completed, leave to natural pressure release for another 5 minutes then carefully do a quick release.
  • Open the lid and stir the curry to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with some white rice or basmati rice. Alternatively, serve with brown rice for a healthier option.


  • Tips
  • I used red lentil for this curry and the outcome is usually creamy because of the size of the legume. If you would rather have some texture in your curry, use green or brown lentil and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Substitute full fat coconut milk for light coconut milk.
  • If using light coconut milk, reduce the water to ½ a cup.
  • The curry shouldn't be thin after pressure cooking but if it does happen, continue to cook on saute stirring continuously until desired consistency is achieved. The curry thickens as it cools.


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3mg