Instant Pot Dal and Rice Cooked at the Same Time


My Dad’s from India, and I grew up eating his home-cooked food. (It’s why I’m a grump at Indian restaurants — nothing ever tastes as good as Dad’s food.)

A staple of Indian home cooking is dal and rice. Dal is a thick soup/stew made from different types of legumes. My favorite is toor dal (split pigeon peas). It looks like yellow split peas but has a milder, slightly bitter taste. Spooned over hot basmati rice and topped with cilantro and a little plain yogurt…this is my comfort food on a chilly evening.

Dal is an ideal dish to cook in the pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot), because the cooking time is so short. The problem is that I use my Instant Pot to cook rice, so it’s never available.


I just stumbled onto a genius technique by Urvashi Pitre in which she cooks dal and rice together in the Instant Pot AT THE SAME TIME. The trick is to set a small pot of rice on a trivet inside the Instant Pot directly over the uncooked dal. Once the dal is done cooking, the rice is perfectly cooked as well! My mind is blown.

It makes more sense when you see the pictures, so head over to Urvashi’s blog Two Sleeves for step-by-step instructions with photos and what appears to be a delicious recipe. She used a small metal trivet, but I used what I had on hand — a silicone vegetable steamer — and it worked perfectly. (The rack that comes with the Instant Pot doesn’t sit high enough.)

I use this OXO Good Grips Silicone Steamer

A little more about Urvashi — she’s known in the Instant Pot fandom as “Butter Chicken Lady” for the now-famous recipe she created for this popular Indian dish. She went on to write the Indian Instant Pot Cookbook, which I love.

Photo credit: “IMG_2167” by sarverr62 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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  • I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing. I never would have thought to use my silicone steamer.

  • I clicked on the link— that looks amazing! 🙂 I’m starting to think I may need an Instant Pot— we had a slow cooker that we gave away because we just didn’t use it (everything that came out of it tasted the same even with the awesome Cook’s Illustrated cookbook), but people seem to love the instant pot.

  • I hear you, Anya. I wanted to love my slow cooker, but I just never did. I do love the Instant Pot even though I’ve barely skimmed the surface of all it can do.

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