Dal Makhani

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Serving Portions: 4
  • 200 g Kissan Tomato Puree
  • 140 g Whole Urad Daal
  • 40 g Rajma (Kidney Beans)
  • 40 g Chana Dal
  • 750 ml Water for pressure cooking
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1-2 Green Chillies, chopped
  • 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 2-3 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardomom
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 Small to Medium Tej patta (Indian Bay Leaf)
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2-3 pinches Nutmeg Powder or Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 cup or as required Water
  • 20 g Low Fat Cream
  • 1/4 tsp Crushed Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 2.5 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • As required Salt
  • - for Dhungar Method
  • 1 small piece Charcoal
  • 1/2 - 2/3 tsp Oil


    Preparation for Dal Makhani

    • Soak the dals overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. Later drain them well.
    • Rinse the lentils a couple of times in water.
    • Drain again and then add them in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups water and stir well.
    • Pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till all the dals have cooked thoroughly and softened. If they are not cooked, then add about 1/2 cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. The urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. You can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. The same rule applies for rajma too. Keep the cooked beans aside.
    • In a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped.
    • Blend to a smooth puree. Keep aside. You can also use ready 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes. No need to blanch the tomatoes while pureeing.

    Making Dal Makhani

    • In a pan, now heat the butter.
    • Add the whole spices - 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf.
    • Saute till the spices become aromatic.
    • Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions.
    • Stir and saute the onions on a low flame often till they become light golden.
    • Then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. Stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
    • Add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
    • Then add the tomato puree and stir again.
    • Add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
    • Stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.
    • Then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. Also add 1 cup water or as required.

    Slow Cooking Dal Makhani

    • Stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.
    • Keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don't get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
    • Once it has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
    • Stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. When simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. The longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes. I kept it for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. Do keep on stirring at intervals.
    • When the gravy has thickened enough, then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup cream. Dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. It has a medium consistency.
    • Stir the cream very well. Then switch off the flame.
    • Now add 1/4 tsp kasuri methi, crushed. Stir again. Cover and keep the dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. Or else you can serve dal makhni straight away.

    Dhungar Method for Dal Makhani

    • Heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot. With the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it evenly burns.
    • Keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.
    • Pour 1/2 teaspoon oil on the charcoal.
    • Immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.
    • Cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal makhni.
    • Serve punjabi dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, chapatis or steamed rice.

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