Rinse the masoor dal 4-5 times and keep aside. Soaking not required.
Start Instant Pot on saute (normal) mode. Once hot, add oil/ghee followed by cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing). Once the seeds splutter add the onions, stir, cover and cook until onions are translucent (approximately a 1-2 mins).
Add the ginger garlic and mix until raw garlic smell goes away.
Stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook for 5 mins or until the tomatoes are soft.
Once tomatoes are soft, add in the spices (turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala and salt) and mix until combined.
Drain the lentils and add to the pot with 3 cups of water. Mix well, ensure there is nothing sticking to the bottom. Press Cancel.
You can also cook pot in pot rice at the same time while this dal is cooking. For PIP rice:, wash your rice 3-4 times (in the vessel inserts that fits inside Instant Pot)until the water runs clear. Next add fresh water, salt, ghee and cumin seeds (optional). Place a trivet inside the instant pot and place this rice vessel insert on top of it.
Close the Instant pot lid with vent to sealing and cook on manual high for 15mins followed by QR. Natural release works as well.
Open the lid, (remove the rice/trivet) start the saute mode, add the chopped spinach. Get it to a simmer or until spinach has wilted down. Add water (if required) to adjust the curry consistency.
Finish off with cilantro and lemon juice. Serve it hot over bowl of rice with some salad for that comfort meal.