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methi dal in a bowl

Methi dal - Menthi kura pappu

A an easy and healthy dal with toor dal, fenugreek leaves, and Indian spices. Make this simple dal for your lunch or dinner!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sravanthi


  • ½ cup toor dal pigeon pea lentils
  • ¾ cup fenugreek leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes 2 medium sized
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Cook the toor dal and keep it aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil once it is hot. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chili, and finely chopped or grated ginger to the hot oil. 
  • Once these turn lightly brown, after a minute or so, add chopped tomatoes to the pan.
  • Let the tomatoes cook till they turn mushy. It took around 4 to 5 minutes for me on medium flame. You can see the oil released from the cooked tomatoes.
  • Now add chopped fenugreek leaves, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and turmeric powder.
  • Mix it well and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add cooked toor dal to this methi leaves tempering and let the dal cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Switch of the flame and dish out the fenugreek leaves lentils and it's ready to serve!

Making methi dal in an Instant Pot

  • Start Instant pot in saute mode. Once it is hot, add oil to the Inner Pot.
  • Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chili, and chopped garlic.
  • Once the garlic turns little brown, dish out the tempering into a small bowl so that you can add it at last.
  • To the remaining tempering, add chopped tomatoes and mix it once.
  • Now add washed toor dal or yellow pigeon peas to the inner pot.
  • Add water to this now.
  • Close the Instant Pot with lid, seal the vent. Select Manual or Pressure cook mode and cook the toor dal for 6 minutes on HIGH pressure.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a manual pressure release after 10 minutes.
  • Start the instant pot on saute mode again.
  • To this cooked lentils, add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander seeds powder.
  • Mix it well and add chopped fenugreek leaves.
  • Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes and switch off the instant pot.
  • Take the inner pot out and add tempering (if you saved it in an earlier step), mix it well.
  • Indian style Fenugreek leaves lentils (Methi dal or Menthi Kura Pappu) is ready to serve!


Instead of pigeon pea lentils (toor dal), you can use any lentils like red lentils, yellow lentils.