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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


  • 1/2 cup (100g) moong dal 
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium (90g) yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed into a coarse paste
  • 1 (75g) roma tomato, finely chopped 
  • 1 serrano chili (6g) or Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida 
  • 8 oz (227g) baby spinach 

Ingredients for Tadka/Thalipu

  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • (Optional) 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 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 chili along with half of the sea salt and saute until the tomatoes soften and release their juices which should take about (1-2) minutes.
  5. Add the washed dal, water, turmeric, and asafetida 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 half of the salt and taste. Add additional salt at this time based on your preference.
  7. Make Tadka or Thalipu: In a separate tadka spoon or small saucepan over medium-high heat, add ghee and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to sputter in the oil add cumin seeds, asafetida, and dried 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 tadka 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 tadka/thalipu 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)