This Instant Pot lentil curry is a healthy plant-based recipe that's packed full of Indian flavors. It's also budget-friendly and easy to make in just 30 minutes for a super speedy weeknight meal.
Making curry in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to enjoy a nutritious and tasty meal, even on a busy day.
This Instant Pot lentil curry is naturally creamy and full of warming spices. It's great over a bowl of freshly cooked rice or scooped up with some warm naan bread.
Since it's made in the pressure cooker, this lentil curry only takes about 30 minutes to make, and that's with using dried lentils.
Why you'll love this Instant Pot lentil curry
- Made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients
- Packed full of fiber and protein
- Deliciously spicy and warming
Ingredients and substitutions
Onion — Both red and yellow onions work well in this lentil curry.
Red bell pepper — Any color of bell pepper works just fine, or you can use a mix.
Garlic + ginger — I like to use freshly chopped garlic and ginger in curries for the best flavor, but a garlic ginger paste would also be great if that's what you have on hand.
Lentils — Green and brown lentils are both perfect in this curry, and they don't need pre-soaking. Don't use red split lentils because they will turn into mush in the Instant Pot.
Chickpeas — Add a can of chickpeas for extra fiber and texture.
Coconut sugar — A bit of coconut sugar balances the flavors of the curry beautifully. You can substitute it with light brown sugar.
Coconut milk — Full-fat coconut milk makes this curry extra creamy.
How to make lentil curry in the Instant Pot
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, then stir in the spices. Turn off the "Sauté" function.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to "Sealing." Set it on High Pressure for 15 minutes.
When the time is up, perform a quick release and remove the lid carefully once the pin drops.
Stir in the lemon juice and fresh cilantro, adjust the seasoning and serve over your favorite rice.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat the curry in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add a splash of vegetable stock if it looks too thick.
- This lentil curry can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw it in the microwave overnight before reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- Add some baby spinach at the end and place the lid back on for a couple of minutes to allow it to wilt.
- This Instant Pot lentil curry is great served over a bowl of freshly cooked rice. I love it with basmati rice or with cilantro lime rice.
- Make sure the lentils you use are not too old because that would affect cooking times.
If you liked this Instant Pot lentil curry, you might also like some of my other easy vegan curry recipes:
- Easy Chickpea and Potato Curry (Chana Aloo Curry)
- Vegan Butter Bean Curry
- Vegan Madras Curry with Crispy Tofu
- Coconut Tofu Curry
- Pineapple Tofu Curry