Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani - rich and creamy dish made of whole black lentils and mild spices. It originated in Punjab and became one of the most popular Indian lentil dishes, both in India and worldwide. It is best teamed with steam white rice, naan or roti.

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Serves 4

  • ½ cup whole black dal (soaked overnight)
  • 3 tbsp kidney beans (soaked overnight)
  • 3 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 10 garlic, crushed in mortar-pestle
  • 1 inch ginger - crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ⅓ cup low fat cream - (25% to 30% fat)

How to make Dal Makhani:

  1. Rinse dal and kidney beans with the water. Soak it overnight in 3 cups of water. Drain.
  2. Put legumes to the pressure cooker. Add 4-5 cups water, salt, chopped ginger, chili powder and turmeric powder and pressure cook thill the pressure is released about 8-10 times (whistles).
  3. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan. 1.Add cumin seeds. When they become brown, add the onion and saute til golden brown.
  4. Add the garlic. Continue to saute it for few more minutes on low-medium heat stiring ocassioanly.
  5. Put tomato into a hot water. Peel the skin and chop it.
  6. Add the tomato, butter into onion mixture and cook it stirring well and mashing the tomato with the spices to make a paste. Saute till the oil seperates.
  7. Add the dal and beans with a little of its cooking water. Stir well, add salt and garam masala powder and cook on low heat for 40 minutes. You can add some water if the consistency of the dal is to thick.
  8. Stir in the cream and simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and some cream.


It is important to add a good amount of cream and butter in dal makhani. The more slow cooked dal is, the better it tastes.

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