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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dal Makhani

Everytime I visit a restaurant, there is a fifty percent chance that I would order Dal makhani. Without exception, it always comes down to a tie between Dal Tadka and Dal Makhani, except for those rare days when we opt for a Dal Bukhara.

A mix of black lentils and kidney beans cooked to a melt-in-the-mouth consistency and loaded with cream and butter, it is a dish that will send one running to the gym for the next few days. I personally feel quite motivated to work out after a having had a particularly sinful dinner. Coming back to the cooking process, it takes quite a bit of time to cook the lentils to that degree of desired softness. As an open pan method would necessitate hours, I without fail stick to my pressure cooker which makes it possible to wrap up the process in just under an hour.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients -

  • 2/3 cup black lentils (urad dal)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp GG paste
  • 1 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1/3 cup thick yogurt 
  • 2 tbsp cream ( use more for a creamier texture )
  • 1 inch cube of butter
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing

Preparation - Wash and soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight.

Chop the onion into small pieces. Grind the tomato into a puree.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds an allow to splutter.

Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.

Follow with the GG paste and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the powdered spices and fry for 30 seconds before adding the fresh tomato puree. Cook till the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes.

Wash and drain the soaked lentils. Add them to the pressure cooker along with salt, 21/2 cups water and the Kasuri methi. Cook for 7-8 whistles. Remove from flame and allow steam to escape naturally.

Return it to the burner, this time with the lid open. Allow it to simmer for 10-12 mins( take a dal masher and lightly mash the lentils while it is still on the burner). Add the beaten curd. and simmer for 5 mins before stirring in the fresh cream. Let it simmer for a minute or two before.

Finally add the butter and the cilantro just before removing from the flame.

Serve hot with roti/Naan or white rice.

Note - One can also cook the dals separately and then add to the onion tomato gravy. This method is advisable when the lentils are old or the tomatoes are too acidic/sour, both of which will increase the cooking time.


  1. yumm that looks really delicious ... will definitely give it a try :) thanks for sharing

  2. Thanks a great recipe, and I will try it soon. Thanks for sharing Sweta :-)

  3. It's my favorite. I cook it for atleast 2 hours in low flame adding butter to it. Will try making it with your recipe.

  4. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is one of my favorite dishes, but I don’t know how to make it. Now I will surely try your recipe method next time when I make dal makhani

  5. Nutritious dal makhani looks absolutely delicious and yummy..
    order online food delhi


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