This Instant Pot lamb stew is an Indian curry of tender meat and lentils in rich gravy. Make a hearty meal of dal gosht in only 40 minutes with this recipe!
Thanks to sous vide and electric pressure cooking, we no longer have to wait hours for a pot roast or stew to slowly cook to tender deliciousness. Of course, if you have the time and desire to slowly cook those types of meals, it’s a wonderful thing.
On the other hand, if your family is constantly on the run, or you walk in the door too tired to spend hours cooking, it’s nice to have the option to make Instant Pot chana masala, curry pork ribs, or dal gosht, a lamb and lentil stew.
Instant Pot Lamb Stew (Dal Gosht)
Although geographically an Asian country, Indian cuisine has a strong Middle Eastern influence as well. One of India’s popular spice blends, garam masala seasoning, includes Middle Eastern spices such as coriander, cardamom, and star anise.
The Asian influence is apparent when you try some of their heat-packed Indian curries and stews made with spicy chiles. In fact, there are so many Chinese living in India that it launched the popularity of a hybrid cuisine.
Alternate names/spellings: Daal gosht
Preparation: Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker)
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Description: Spicy curry/stew with warm spices, meat, and one or more types of dal (split pulses).
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Dal: The Indian word dal is typically associated with lentils, but it’s actually any pulse that has been split in half. Pulses are a class of dried seeds such as lentils, peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), etc.
This lamb and lentil stew calls for chana dal, which is the Indian word for split chickpeas. If you would like to use a substitute, masoor dal (split red lentils) is a good option.
- Meat- The word gosht simply means meat. Typically, the stew is made with mutton, beef, or chicken.
When this dish is prepared on a stove top, it takes longer to cook, so mutton (sheep that are at least 3 years old) is used rather than lamb (sheep less than one year old). The meat of mutton has more fat, which helps prevent it from drying out during the longer cooking time.
Under pressure, it only takes 30 minutes to cook, which is why this recipe is for Instant Pot lamb stew!
- Red chile powder- In India, this ingredient is called mirchi powder, and it’s made from Raja Mirchi chile peppers. It has a vibrant red color. Don’t confuse this ingredient with American chili powder, which is a blend of spices used in Tex Mex cuisine.
If you need a substitute, look for kashmiri powder, which is another Indian chile pepper with a bright red color.
How to make Instant Pot Lamb Stew
In addition to the shorter cooking time, a great benefit of making dal gosht in the Instant Pot is that everything cooks in that one pot. The stovetop version requires cooking the lentils separately from the meat, and you’ll dirty a third pan when you bloom the spices.
- Saute the onions
Set your pressure cooker to saute, and wait until the pot is completely hot before you add the oil.
- Bloom the spices.
To make the tadka, just add all of the spices to the Instant Pot and saute them in the oil with the onions.
- Add remaining ingredients.
Place the cut up lamb shoulder, chana dal, and water to the pot, then close the lid and cook on the Stew setting for 25 minutes.
NOTE: If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a “stew” setting, just manually set the cook time for 25 minutes at high pressure.
What to Serve with Dal Gosht
The stew is thick and hearty, so you don’t need much in the way of side dishes. I like to serve it over rice or roti with warm naan, khubz or Armenian flatbread. It’s also delicious with a splash of hot sauce!
Instant Pot Lamb Stew (Dal Gosht)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 red onions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped (or 14 oz can chopped)
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp red chile powder (mirchi powder)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala seasoning
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 ½ lbs lamb shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 ½ cups split chickpea lentils (chana dal, See Note 1)
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 8 mint leaves chopped
- Set the Instant Pot to the Saute setting and heat the oil. When oil is hot, add onions and saute until browned and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger, tomatoes and spices. Stir to combine and cook another 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, the lamb and lentils and stir again. Close and seal the pressure cooker lid, Change to the Meat/Stew setting and adjust time to 25 minutes, or manually set it to cook for 25 minutes at high pressure.
- When cook time is up, perform a quick release of pressure and open the pot. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Stir the stew to combine, then taste and season with salt if needed (See Note 2).
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, and lemon slices (optional). Serve hot with steamed rice and warm naan.
- Red lentils may be substituted for the split chickpea lentils.
- If stew is too thick, thin with milk or water to desired consistency.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.