High Fiber Lentils With Spinach and Tomatoes Takes 20 minutes in the #Instapot

High Fiber Lentils With Spinach and Tomatoes Takes 20 minutes in the #Instapot

A simple dal with spinach and tomatoes and a little ghee poured over rice is comfort food to me.  I have eaten this so many times in my lifetime and it never fails to soothe me! It brings back childhood memories of sambar made a 100 different ways with different vegetables, each bringing their own unique flavor to the dish.  So it’s no surprise that when I got my new instapot, the first dish I wanted to make was dal.

I did not do any shopping on Black Friday! Not that I have anything against the deals and bargains one gets on Black Friday but I just don’t like crowded malls. I also didn’t really need anything and going to the malls can trick your brain into buying a bargain just because it’s a bargain even if you don’t need it! My whole family: kids, nephew, husband, brother in law all went shopping but I took my sister to the movies. We watched ‘Wonder’ which is umm…beautiful! A heartwarming story of a little boy with facial differences who overcomes against the odds and I don’t want to give the plot away but yeah it’s an inspiring movie and you may need tissues! More importantly, my sister and I had some much needed sister time which was really nice! We live in different cities so we don’t get to meet very often. Sisters are a very special part of your life and everyone needs a sister whether blood related or not! I have cousins and friends like sisters who are these amazing strong, beautiful women who I love very much and am very thankful for in my life.

Anyway, I did some cyber Monday shopping and my big jackpot was the instapot! Well I got the nu wave nutripot which is basically the same thing. Call me foodie crazy but a kitchen gadgets gift is about the most exciting gift I could receive. I got it almost half off which to me is a great deal.
So a few weeks back, I inaugurated my instapot and made a simple dal with spinach. I put the dal in the pot and set it to the’ beans mode’ which was 20 minutes. After that I put spinach, tomatoes and some seasonings and we had one of the tastiest dals I have ever made. It was quick, easy and well this felt weird but I didn’t hear the loud whistle you usually get when the pressure cooker blows! The noise that used to send my little kids as far away from the kitchen as possible when they heard that noise. I am used to pressure cookers. I have 4 different sizes and 1 burst tattoo on the ceiling as proof of when I had a small accident. The instapot was just so simple and safe. No need to hover around the kitchen area while you cook. Just set it and forget it!  How easy is that? I must say this is the most silent sambar I have ever made!!

Well I am very pleased with my first cooking experiment in my new instapot and decided to document it. I will be blogging a lot of instapot recipes so if you’re looking for easy instapot recipes please check back. I made my caramelized onion with garlic pork chops, shrimp biryani, other lentils, some baked chicken (oh yes it bakes) and will be blogging these recipes as well when I have time. As for this dal, you can eat it plain like a soup, or with rice like I did. You could also eat it with naan, pita bread or tortillas. It can make a nice meal for meatless Monday or those days you want to eat a healthy vegetarian meal.

Nutrition Wise: High in cholesterol lowering fiber lentils also helps control blood sugars because they prevent blood sugars from rising quickly after a meal. In other words they are a low glycemic index food which is good for everyone. They are high in phytochemicals, B vitamins and protein. Touted as a superfood, they are often referred to as “poor man’s protein”! Cheap in price but rich in quality! Spinach is full of vitamin A, C, K, potassium, iron, fiber and calcium. A lot of good stuff in this dish. When the proteins in spinach and dal are combined they make a more complete protein. Add rice to this dish and you have a fully complete protein.

Note: I wrote this post a few weeks back but only just decided to publish it!

Lentils with Spinach & Tomatoes


  • 1 cup lentil ( thur dal or masoor dal)
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric
  • 4 Cups spinach (chopped)
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 Tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Tsp chili flakes
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)


Put dal/ lentils, garlic and two cups water into the instapot. Cook for 20 minutes in the " Beans" setting
Saute oil, add mustard seeds, chili flakes, onions and saute about 2 - 3 minutes. Add to the dal in the instapot. Add salt
Add cut spinach and chopped tomatoes to the instapot. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes in the instapot
Serve hot over rice or eat like a soup
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