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Instant pot keerai paruppu over basmati rice

Keerai Paruppu in Instant Pot | Spinach Moong Dal

  • Author: Shri Repp
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This keerai paruppu or spinach moong dal is a vibrant green, creamy dal that contains a daily dose of leafy spinach greens and comes together so easily in the instant pot! 


Units Scale
  • 2 tsp - Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 - Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped (90g or 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 4 - Cloves of Garlic, crushed into a coarse paste
  • 1 - Roma Tomato, finely chopped (75g)
  • 1 - Serrano Chili (6g) or 1-2 Thai Chilis, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup - Moong Dal (100g)
  • 1 cup - Water
  • 1/4 tsp - Turmeric
  • 8 oz - Baby Spinach (227g)
  • 2 tsp - Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tsp - Melted Ghee or Butter
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp - Cumin Seeds
  • Pinch of Hing
  • 1-2 - Dried Red Chili Peppers


  1. Wash the moong dal: Add moong dal to a medium bowl and bring over to your sink. Fill the bowl halfway with water and swish and lightly scrub the dal with your fingers to release the excess starch in the dal. Drain the cloudy water and repeat this process until the water is fairly clear, and drain once more.
  2. Turn your instant pot to saute mode on medium heat. Add the oil and onions to the pot and saute until the onions are translucent (~2 minutes).
  3. Add the crushed garlic and saute for an additional minute. This helps cook out the raw flavor and smell of the garlic. 
  4. Add the tomatoes and green chilies along with 1 tsp of salt and saute until the tomatoes soften and release their juices which should take about (1-2) minutes.
  5. Add the washed dal, water, and turmeric to the pot. Layer in the spinach on top of the dal and water. Close the lid, hit cancel to exit saute mode, and enter manual or pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. You can release the pressure manually by carefully moving the venting valve once done or you can wait for a natural de-pressurizing of the instant pot which should take an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully open the instant pot, making sure to open the lid away from you so that you are not burned by the steam. The dal should be cooked through and should be mushy to the touch. Use either a whisk or a wooden spoon to mix up the dal and spinach until it becomes a creamy homogenized dish. Add remaining 1 tsp of salt and taste. Add additional salt at this time based on your preference.
  7. Make Thalipu or Tadka: In a separate tadka spoon or small pot over medium-high heat, add ghee and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to sputter in the oil add cumin seeds, hing, and red chili peppers and temper them in the ghee until the cumin seeds start to dance in the oil (should take only a couple of seconds). Pour the ghee and spice thalipu over the dal.
  8. Serve the dal over some basmati rice or eat it with roti and enjoy!


  • Make sure to keep a watchful eye when making the thalipu/tadka so as to not burn your spices. This step takes <30 seconds and burning your spices will lead to a bitter taste in your final product.
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Keerai Paruppu in Instant Pot (Spinach Moong Dal)