Instant Pot Moong Dal with Bottle Gourd/Zucchini

Sometimes you crave the simplest of foods. The food which makes your inner soul happy, the food which your mom made for you.

There are always 30 minutes in the morning that are mine. I sit there in my favorite chair sipping my coffee and looking at nothing in particular. I think about all sorts of thing at that time, make my plan for the day ahead- my mind is calm, my heart doesn’t race. That is the tranquility of morning hours which prepares us for a for killer day ahead.

The day was jam packed with all sorts of work and I was a little low on energy since the last few days. It is quite human to feel low sometimes and this Covid situation is not helping at all. Usually, this time of the year we take a long break, but this year, we have not stepped out of the home. Our vacation plan was for Bahn and Canada this year, and all the preparations were done, but again, Covid happened.

Our kids make fun of us regarding how we love to visit the farmers market so much and how it is our idea of a date. Let me tell you, my husband and I, we love summers, and with summers comes the farmers market. We love to roam around, and the sights and aromas of the produce makes our mornings better. When we return home laden with ripe and fragrant fruits, fresh colorful vegetables and lovely seasonal flowers (which are my weakness), we feel so relaxed.

This summer is without any of these experiences and with masks and gloves, going to the store and buying groceries is not much fun. This Friday, the visit to the grocery store was also more of a routine, but I was surprised to see the variety and freshness of the produce. Gladly, we stuffed our bags and came home. Cleaning, sorting, and arranging the vegetables was done the previous night, so the morning was far more chilled out.

This morning, my husband and I wanted to eat a food which was simple and comforting. I decided to make Lauki Moong Dal with plain rice and some air fried potatoes. Kids love anything with lentils, and it was a win-win situation for all of us.

What is Moong Dal with Lauki?

This is a really simple and delicious lentil recipe which is made with yellow lentils and Indian bottle gourd/Squash. This is simple, flavorful, and really comforting. It goes well with white rice, but you can have this with any type of Indian flat bread.

Can We Make this With Zucchini?

Yes! The texture of zucchini and bottle gourd is almost same. I replace it quite a few times. Since zucchini is easily available, making it doesn’t involve many errands. It gives the same flavor, and retains its texture and shape while cooking, which is quite important.

Instant Pot Moong Dal Lauki/Zucchini

An easy and wonderful preparation of yellow lentils/moong dal/with bottle gourds or zucchini. This goes well with any type of Indian flatbread or white rice.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian Cuisine.
Servings 4


  • 1 Cup Moong Dal /Yellow Lentils
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Bottle Gourd /Zucchini(Big cubes.)
  • 1 Medium Chopped Onion
  • 1 Medium Chopped Tomato
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt according to the taste.
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil (for vegan alternative)
  • 1 Bay leaf

For tempering

  • 1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil
  • 1 Tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro (For Garnish)


  • Peel the bottle gourd. Cut into big Cubes .If you are using Zucchini peeling is not required.
  • Wash Moong dal /Lentil with clean water and keep aside.
  • Chop onion ,tomato ,green chillies ,ginger and garlic.
  • Plug instant pot and turn the saute button on.
  • Add one tbsp of ghee/oil to it.
  • When its hot enough Add bay leaf ,garlic .and onion to it .Saute for 1-2 minute till it looks light brown. Add green chillies ,tomato and ginger to it .Saute for 1 more minute.
  • Add drained and washed moong lentil to it .Saute it for 2-3 minute or till lentil looks little roasted but not very brown.Add bottle gourd /Zucchini to it.
  • Add turmeric and salt to it .Add 3 cups of water to it .Stir it .
  • Put on the lid back .Seal the valve and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.(Do not increase the cooking time otherwise it will be mushy.
  • After the steam releases naturally remove the lid. Texture of this dal is thick but if its quite thick for you add 1/2 cup of hot water to it .Mix it very carefully.
  • Your dal is ready .Taste it. If you need to add some salt do it now.

How to do the tempering.

  • Take a small tempering pan. Add one tbsp of ghee/oil to it.
  • When its hot enough add mustard seeds to it .Let it crackle then add red chilli powder to it.
  • Pour this over the prepared dal .
  • Serve your lentil with white rice or just like that.
  • Enjoy.

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