Bright Yellow, Red Lentil Pressure Cooker Recipe

Eva shares her recipe from the her Cocala blog, which she types from Buenos Aries, Argentina! She has entries both in English and Spanish and started to post some pressure cooker recipes for her brother who would like recipes that don’t involve lots of chopping and are highly nutritious. Visit her blog to find out more about her and read about her adventures!

Here is Eva’s recipe, inspired by Deborah Madison.

Eva’s Bright Yellow, Red Lentil Pressure Cooker Soup
2 cups red lentils, sorted and rinsed (the tiny salmon-colored ones)
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter (1 Tbsp. goes with the lentils, the other with the onions)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 cup. cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 large lemonThrow the lentils in the pressure cooker along with 4 1/2 cups of water, the turmeric, the salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Secure the top and bring it up to pressure. Cook for 8 min, then release the pressure.Meanwhile in a saute pan over low heat cook the onions with the oil, 1 Tbsp. of butter, the cumin and the mustard seeds for about 10 min. or until the onions are soft.

You can puree the lentils with a blender (especially a hand one) or leave them whole. Put the pressure cooker back over low heat. Add in the cilantro a cook for a minute or two and then throw in the onions. Add in lemon juice.

Serve with rice, and it’s even better if you make it a day ahead.

Photo Credit: Cocala Blog

Want to share your pressure recipe or technique, too?
Use the handy-dandy recipe submission form and let everyone know what is cooking in your pressure cooker!


  1. Should you pre-soak the lentils first?

    1. Yes you should(not the author, just a daily lentil consumer).

  2. I actually made this and the flavor was very good BUT be very wary of the lentil to liquid measurements. I’m no cooking master but I followed the recipe exactly and the result was FAR too thick…more like overcooked oatmeal. A metal stirring spatula could easily stand upright. I had to add close to four cups more liquid to get it edible as a “soup” and to look even close to the above photos. I also found it a bit bland and added garlic which made a difference…that might just be personal taste but I simply can’t believe most diners would find that thick gruel to be soup. Most lentil soup recipes I found call for ONE cup of lentils to four or five cups of liquid. Perhaps the type of lentil is a variable but I most certainly will never use two cups of lentils again in any recipe I try. I STRONGLY recommended you try the recipe with one cup of lentils first, then vary as your taste dictates.

  3. Can pre-soaking the lentils add four to five more cups of liquid to the recipe? Perhaps if pre-soaked, the lentils won’t absorb virtually all the liquid the recipe calls for. I simply don’t know. If someone has knowledge about this, I would certainly like to read it. If that caused the thickening, the recipe instructions should be amended to include mandatory lentil pre-soaking for those of us not experienced with cooking lentils. Someone else asked about pre-soaking so apparently it isn’t common knowledge that lentils MUST be pre-soaked, if that is the case.

    1. @ Frank
      Thanks for the heads up on the water ratio.

      I make dahl / dal in the pressure cooker ratio of 1:4 lentils to water by weight. I never soak lentils either for ordinary pressure cooking or pressure cooking. There is never a problem. I think 1:5 ratio is better, but I like slightly thinner dahl consistency and adjust that with a little water after cooking.

      Beans do need soaking as part of that process is leaching out toxins as well as cutting down the cooking times and preventing splitting. However there is a very good ‘quick soak’ article on this site which works really well.

      If you really want to pre soak just measure the amount of water they have absorbed and deduct it from the water in the recipe. I would measure by weight before soaking and weight after. If in grams each extra gram of weight is 1ml of absorbed water.

      Happy cooking :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *