This is a simple dal made with red lentils, tomatoes and butternut squash. Make it while butternut squash is in season! This dish is very lightly spiced so that you can fully appreciate the natural flavors of the tomato and squash.

Instant Pot Tomato Butternut Squash Dal [Vegan]



Cooking Time




  • 2 teaspoons oil of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 green chili, sliced
  • 2 dried red chilies, broken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup split red lentils/masoor dal
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste


  1. Press the sauté button. When the pot displays hot, add the oil and then the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let the mustard seeds pop for a few seconds and then add the asafetida, green chili and broken dried red chilies.
  2. Sauté for a few seconds, then add the ginger and curry leaves and cook for a minute or two until the ginger starts turning light golden brown. Stir in the tomatoes and squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the lentils and mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup of water, the turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and press the manual or pressure-cook button. Cook for 6 minutes on high pressure. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes and then do a quick-pressure release.
  4. Open the pot, press the sauté button and add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve the tomato butternut squash dal warm over boiled rice for a comforting meal.


The size of the pieces of butternut squash is important. Make sure each piece is at least 1 inch so the squash won't get mushy and dissolve in the dal. THis is also why you add only 1 cup of water at first to cook the dal, and then add the remaining amount later.