Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

My ethereal black beauty of Indian cuisine, the one and only, “restaurant style” Dal Makhani! Originally a North Indian household favourite, today is a respected and sought after delicacy across geographies and cultures, relished by people of all ages and colour!


Its rich, flavoursome texture packed with abundance wholesomeness, especially when paired with any bread, is a meal in itself! A deliciously great way to stay minimalistic during quarantine.


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Course Main Course
Servings 4 – 5 persons
Prep time 15 – 20 minutes (plus overnight soaking)
Cook time 45 – 60 minutes

Ingredients for the Dal Makhani

(1 cup = 200 ml; 1 tbsp = 15 ml)

¾th cup Whole black lentil (sabut urad dal)
4 tbsp Rajma
1/3rd cup Butter
½ cup Fresh cream (Amul)
200 gms Tomato puree (Store-bought tomato pure)
8 – 10 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 inch piece Ginger, grated
1 tsp Red chili powder
1 Bay leaf
1 – 2 Whole red chilies, dried
1 – 2 Black cardamom (optional)
Salt to taste

Instructions for the Dal Makhani

1. Wash and rinse the dal and rajma several times. Soak overnight, or at least, for 8 – 10 hours.
2. In the morning, or after 8 hours, rinse the dal and rajma. Pressure cook both of them together with 1 tsp of salt (the water should be a little above the dal). Cook for about 8 – 10 whistles. The lentils should become soft.
3. Once cooled, mash the lentils with a spoon or use a hand blender.
4. Take another pot, heat about 2 – 3 tbsp of butter. Do not let it burn. Sauté the garlic and ginger paste. Sauté the bay leaves, cardamom and whole red chillies.

5. Once done, add in the tomato puree. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes until the water dries out. Add in the red chilli powder and cook for about 2 minutes.

6. Add in the cooked dal, mix well with the tomato mixture. Cook on a slow flame for about 30 – 40 minutes. (If your dal is too thick, add a little water along with dal, and simmer to achieve the desired consistency. In case dal is thin, cook it to thicken it).

It is important to keep stirring the dal from time to time, to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

7. Season the dal with salt. Add in the cream (be careful cream is at room temperature) and butter. Keep stirring. Taste and season.

8. Garnish with 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp cream, and serve immediately. Best enjoyed with naan or rice


1. The longer the dal cooks for, the better the flavour. This is a product of love and patience.
2. Some add grated onions to the dal, but the authentic Dal Bukhara doesn’t.  However, feel free to add 1 grated onion and sauté it with garlic and ginger.
3. I use a Store-bought tomato pure as it imparts the perfect colour to the dal makhani. (The one you get in restaurants. Fresh tomatoes do not help you get the required colour.
4. The dal can be smoked too. Place a small piece of foil on the dal. Keep a hot charcoal piece. Pour ½ tsp ghee on it. Immediately cover the dal for 2 – 3 minutes. Then remove.
5. Please don’t avoid the butter and cream. That’s what makes this dal tasty.
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