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Dal Makhani Recipe

Updated on April 22, 2013

The Best Authentic Indian Dal Makhani Recipes

Dal Makhani is one of my favorite recipes. I am literally in love with this dish. I still remember the day i returned from a trip to Europe dying to eat authentic indian spicy food and my mom had made a bowl of delicious Dal Makhani. I simply devoured the whole stuff having twice the amount I normally do.

For someone who loves Indian food, a Dal Makhani recipe is a must in your cookbook. With this in mind, I am going to refer some of the best Dal Makhani recipes available that you can make at home.

For the uninitiated, this is a smoothie creamy butter gravy of Black lentils and beans.

The Origin of the Dal Makhani

Learn more about this history of Dal Makhani

Dal makhani is a delicacy from Punjab in India.

Traditionally this dal was cooked on low flame, for hours, on charcoal. This gave it a creamier texture. It had malai (cream) or fresh butter added to it. When cooked at home these days, more moderate amounts of cream or butter are used. When prepared in restaurants, it is cooked slowly on low heat and often has a large amount of cream and butter added. Lentils and beans were soaked overnight for at least 8 hours and gently simmered on low heat along with ginger, garlic and a few other spices (garam masala). These are then combined with a tangy masala base which includes onions, tomatoes (chopped or puree) or dried mango powder or even pomegranate seeds.

Dollops of fresh cream and butter lend the rich finishing touch. It is garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves and fresh cream. It is a sumptuous meal and a staple diet in Punjab and most of Northern India. It is commonly eaten with roti or rice.

Dal makhani is a type of daal eaten in India (in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the Bhojpuri area of Bihar) and Pakistan. It is eaten with either naan or chapatis.

read the rest of the wikipedia article

Dal Makhani Recipe for Dummies

The Ingredients


- Black Urad Dal (Black Lentils)

- Rajma (Kidney Beans)


- Yoghurt

- Double Cream/Fresh White Butter


- Onions

- Tomatoes

- Green Chillies

- Garlic

- Ginger

- Red Chilli Powder

- Cumin Seeds

Cooking the Dal

The idea here is to just simplify the steps. You can check out the various recipes below to get the specific amount and time.

The Soak

You've got to soak the Kidney Beans (Rajma) and the Dal for at least 6-8 hours. Best done overnight.

The Cook

The cooking is generally done with a pressure cooker. Add a little salt and water,mix both the beans and the dal and pressure cook for about 20 minutes, till the dal is soft.

You can also add the yoghurt and some cream while cooking the dal.

Your DaL is ready

Preparing the Makhani Gravy

Well anyone familiar with Indian cooking will not find this too difficult.

- Start with heating the oil and add cumin and garlic - till this gets a bit brown

- Add the onions and fry till golden brown

- Add the other spices - chillies, garam masala, other spices, tomatoes, salt

- Lastly add the dal to this gravy

- You can add water as needed based on how thick you want the gravy

- Garnish with Cream and Coriander

- Add Butter to this delicious dish

Your Yummy Delicious Dal Makhani is ready to serve

Dal Makhani Recipe

A Featured Recipe


½ cup urad dal (Whole black lentils)

2 tbsp rajma (Kidney beans)

2 medium sized onions, finely chopped

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

Pulp of 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes

2 green chillies slit

¼ tsp haldi powder (Turmeric powder)

½ tsp jeera (Cumin seeds)

1 tsp chilli powder (Chilli powder)

2 tsp dhania powder (Coriander powder)

½ tsp garam masala

1-2 tbsp oil

1/2 cup cream

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander leaves chopped (Cilantro) and 1-2 tbsp butter for garnish


1. Clean, wash and soak the whole urad and rajma overnight separately. Drain and keep aside.

2. Combine the dals and add 2 cups of water with little salt (as per taste) and pressure cook till the dals are overcooked. Whisk well till the dal is almost mashed.

3. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the slit green chillies, chopped onions, ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry the onion till golden brown over a medium flame.

4. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and stir for 5 mins.

5. Add tomato pulp and stir till the oil separates.

6. Add the cooked dal and 3/4 - 1 cup of water and salt (as per taste) simmer it for 15 mins till it becomes little thick.

7. Add the garam masala and stir.

8. Add the cream and mix gently.

9. Garnish with the chopped coriander and butter.

10. Serve with steamed basmati rice or phulkas (rotis).

A must have for Indian Cuisine - Garam Masala - spices for your Dal Makhani

If you are a fan of Indian cuisine then you must have this. The perfect spice for your Dal Makhani

Yummy Dal Makhani

Yummy Dal Makhani
Yummy Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani and other recipes by Nita Mehta

Indian Cooking
Indian Cooking
An excellent recipe book on Indian Cuisine from Nita Mehta. One of my personal favorites

Video - How to Make Dal Makhani - Check out this delicious Dal Makhani Recipe

Dal Makhani Recipes by Sanjeev Kapoor and other Master Chefs - Learn how to make Dal Makhani from the experts!

Sanjeev Kapoor, Tarla Dalal and Madhur Jaffrey share their expert Dal Makhani Recipes.

This Dal Makhani makes me really really hungry

This Dal Makhani makes me really really hungry
This Dal Makhani makes me really really hungry

Share your Experience on the Delicious Dal Makhani

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am going to try this as soon as I can find some black lentils. It sounds delicious.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Reading your recipes has made me hungry! This is another recipe I am going to try. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 

      8 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      @Steph Tietjen: Just came back to say that I made this today and it is DELICIOUS! Thank you

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 

      8 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I do make a dal but not with kidney beans added, great idea. Also, the cream seems like a super addition. Thank you for this.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      New food ideas! Thank you!

    • norma-holt profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful lens and my mouth is watering. Great stuff and now featured on Holiday Cooking.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! I'll have to try at least one of these!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'd eat this, I'm a soup guy, 'thumbs up' from this guy.

    • profile image

      food monkey 

      9 years ago

      these recipes look great! nice lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Fantastic Lens! Can't wait to try this recipe, thank you for sharing.

    • bikerchickie profile image


      9 years ago

      I love Indian food but unfortunately, I'm only familiar with the Westernized version. I used to travel to Birmingham (UK) quite often for business and I tried to have Indian food as often as possible. When I look at the titles of all your lenses I realize I don't have the first clue about most of their dishes though! I'll definitely have to look into all of your recipes, starting with this one.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice! great lens!

    • MagpieNest profile image


      9 years ago

      Mmm. Dal Makhani is one of my absolute favorites. A restaurant near me makes a brilliant one. I'm going to have to try it at home now.

    • MrWidemouth profile image


      9 years ago

      I love Indian food and can't wait to try this. I have recently been experimenting with Chunky Chat!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      I like this lens - I can almost smell the lovely spices. Here's a Cupid Kiss from a Squid Angel for Valentine's Day

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Your recipes are the best!

    • jojokaya lm profile image

      jojokaya lm 

      9 years ago

      I love dal...will try your recipes.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This looks soooo yummy, I'll definitely try it.


    • Dustbunnyodoom profile image


      10 years ago

      Dal makhani has to be my absolute favorite Indian dish, great lens!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your lens, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great lens..different..look good

    • profile image

      Mrmakingusmile LM 

      10 years ago

      Looks yummy to the max! Thanks for making me smile.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      10 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i too love this punjabi dish. an informative lens

    • profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      10 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE Indian food!! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      10 years ago from Vermont

      I am reading this at 9:40am and my stomach is growling for dal!

    • NanLT profile image


      10 years ago from London, UK

      I just had dinner a few hours ago and this has me getting hungry for more. Hubby and I both love eating Indian foods here. I'm definitely going to add this recipe to my list of things to try.

      Blessed by an Angel.

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Always wanted to try it. Will use the recipe. Thanks

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Yummy! Squid Angel Blessed! I wish I had the patience to make this delicious sounding dish! At least I know now what to order at an Indian restaurant.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I just love this delicious Indian dish.

      No doubt, Dal Makhni is mouth watering dish.

      I will definitely try it on my next holiday trip to Delhi at my auntâs home.

      Just checking some holiday packages of Delhi at

      Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      The best indie food is in the caribbean! Yummmy..Will tell my other to try this sometime. These days I don't cook much anymore

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      11 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Dal Makhani, another delicious Indian dish - again, you've done a great job in this presentation and providing useful resources...I have to come back and check your other recipes...5*s and I'm a fan!

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 

      11 years ago from FL

      Yummy - a new dish I must try!

    • ss834 lm profile image

      ss834 lm 

      11 years ago

      MMMmmmm.... this looks fabulous and easy to make too!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      11 years ago from Canada

      I have not eaten much Indian Food and never heard of Dal Makhani. Thank you for the introduction!


    • Aquavel profile image


      11 years ago

      Beautiful lens, delicious subject. I love Indian food and this looks yummy.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i am feeling hungry. i love indian food - and UR pictures are making me go crazy ! great job...just gave u a 5star

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      11 years ago

      I've never tried this before, but it sounds good! Welcome to The Vegetarian Bean Recipes Group!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      MMmmm - I love dahl. Makes me very hungry. Nice Job.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      11 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I adore dal! Now I want some!

      Please join the Asian Foods group!


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