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Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani is a popular dish from state of Punjab. Rich and hearty, dal makhani is a combination of whole urad (an Indian lentil)and red kidney beans. It goes well with naan (oven-baked flat bread) or tandoori roti (oven-baked whole wheat flat bread).

Serves 2 to3.

Dal MakhaniIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole urad dal (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/8 cup red kidney beans (Rajma)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 minced green pepper or adjust to taste (Hari Mirch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (Haldi)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (Amchoor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (Jeera)
  • Pinch of asafetida (Hing)
  • 3 to 4 whole red chilies (Sabut Lal Mirch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder optional (Lal Mirch)

For garnish:

  • 1/2 tablespoon shredded ginger

Method:

  1. Wash urad dal and kidney beans well. Soak the dal in six cups of water at least for eight hours. After soaking, dal will be about two and a half times the volume of the original.
  2. Place the dal in a pressure cooker with four cups of water. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger, and green chili.
  3. Set to cook over medium high heat. When it begins to steam, turn the heat down to medium. Cook 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat. Wait until steam has stopped
    before opening the pressure cooker. The dal and kidney beans should be soft and tender.
  5. Lightly mash the kidney beans and dal. Cook for another five minutes on low-to-medium heat.
  6. Add cream, garam masala, and amchoor powder. Cook for ten minutes on low heat.
  7. Heat the ghee in a small
    saucepan. Test the heat by
    adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away, the oil is ready. Add cumin seeds. When they crack, add the asafetida, red chilies, and red chili powder. Stir for a few seconds.
  8. Add cumin seeds, and as the cumin seeds crack add asafetida, red chilies and red chili powder and stir for a few seconds.
  9. Add one teaspoon of water to keep the spices from burning. Pour the spiced ghee over the dal.
  10. Garnish with shredded ginger.

167 thoughts on “Dal Makhani

  1. Namaste Manjulaji

    Really enjoy your recipes, tips and videos. I want to try out the recipe for Dal Makhani. I see two ingredients listed: garam masala and amchur. Where do they get added? In the pressure cooker or later during the ‘final tadka’ stage. Could you please clarify? Thank you, SB

  2. Your website is fantastic! My sweetie and I love dal makhani and have had it many times. The blend of creamy dal and spices is absolutely heavenly. Thank you for all the terrific recipes!

  3. Hi Manjula Aunty, Thanks a lot for the nice recipes I got to know few days ago. I made the bhel puri, the toovar daal, the cilandro chutney, the tamarind chutney and aloo baigna. They all came out very nice. Please could you tell me how much ml is a cup because I have different sizes of cups. Thank you again for sharing your recipes with us. God bless you

    1. Hi Yasmin,

      I was figuring this out the other day and it turned out to be 250ml’s per cup

      Hope this helps :-)

      Rabi’a

  4. Manjula, hi — this sounds delicious! I love Dal Makhni and would enjoy making it. Is there an alternative method to cooking it without a pressure cooker that you could recommend. I don’t own a pressure cooker. For example, cooking it overnight in a slow-cooker perhaps?

    Thanks

  5. Oh mercy sister! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! So Delicious! When I ate it combined with the Tandori Roti, I wept for joy! Oh! God bless you.

  6. Manjula,

    I’ve been watching your videos and cooking your recipes for several years now and just want you to know how much I love what you do. As a lifelong vegetarian, I really appreciate your videos and your obvious love of cooking. Keep it up!

  7. Manjula,

    Before I found you I used to buy a Dal Bukhara it is rich and dark. I have searched your site and not found this dish. Do you know of it?

    The one I bought was in a MRE package (Meals Ready to Eat) you just opened it and microwaved.

    I know with your help we could make it.

      1. hi manjula sunty,
        i hv cooked some of your recepies and they tasted realy gud.In case of dal makhani ,i wanted to know if I can Use whole moong instead of urad dal?

  8. Dear Aunty,

    I love all your recipes and have tried a few which came out to be very perfect and delicious. For dal makhani, i want to know which cream is used . Also I bought Nestle cream , but i think that is used for cakes, can i use the same in dal makhani.

    plz. reply. Thankyou.

  9. I was quite disappointed with this one. Makhani is one of those precarious preparations whereby one can invest a lot of effort and get back nothing.

    The cream element and the end of the recipe negates many of the strong spices and really closes the envelope on your efforts. But when you get it right, you know it.

    Manjula is the Queen of Indian Vegan. And I mean that. And so do my housemates. 1/3 of my main meals are Manjula curries. (thank you Manjula!!!)

    My last dish before I left India from Punjab was this Dal and it was nothing short of a masterpiece.

    Try this-

    Pre- soaked: (12+hr) 1/4cup Rajma 1/2cup urad dal

    w/2.5cups water + 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp bicarb soda

    Pressure Cooked: 30min (have patience)

    For Takda

    - 2 tbs ghee
    - 2 green chilies slit (w/seeds, c’mon guys!)
    - 3 teaspoons garlic/ginger paste
    - 1/3tsp grated ginger
    - 3/4tsp cumin seed
    - 1/4tsp asafoetida

    Let simmer 5min, add-

    - 2 (two) FINELY chopped onions, till brown

    Add-

    - 1 1/4 cup tomato paste
    - 2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
    - 1/3 tsp tumeric
    - 1 tsp chili powder (or according to taste)

    Cook and combine the Takda slowly, 30+min w/cover then add:

    - 1/2tsp amchoor powder
    - 1/3tsp garam masala
    - 1/4 cup cooking cream
    - 2 tbsp pure butter

    Cool and let marinade for 24+hrs in the fridge (mash a little bit) then re-heat with butter, peanuts, cashews, pecans, your choice )

    Makhani is one of those ones you never forget if you do it right.

    END FACTORY FARMING!

    VEGETARIAN-

    1. Gook looking recipe. I’m with you on end factory farming. There’s no need to eat animals. Maybe 1,000,000 years ago it was different, but not any more! The Indian vegetarian diet is nutritionally complete.

  10. I doubled the recipe and used 8 cups of water. It was awful. I also used lactose-free milk and vegan butter instead of cream and ghee because my boyfriend is lactose intolerant. The spices were good but it was just too watery. I’m very sad because I wasted so much food. If I were to double the recipe should I use less water next time?

    1. Mindy, In my opinion I would suggest making a single recipe first to see
      a) how you like the flavor, and
      b) work out any glitches on a smaller amount.
      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out. Doubling recipes can be tricky sometimes.

      1. I agree Jaya… Some recipes are not made to be doubled – especially in baking for some reason. And I also don’t understand why people blame the recipe but then say “I changed this,this and this”. Lactose free milk is thin – this recipe calls for cream and since cream in this case is used as a thickener, no wonder it turned watery. She might have saved this by adding some more plain cooked dal to it.. That might have helped.
        Also I think sometime dals can be tricky and you might have to use more or less water and that this recipe is a guide.

        1. Hi Liane, I think this is not a good recipe for a novice. Dal makhani is a more intermediate recipe. After one has cooked dals for a while you know what to look for and can sense if the recipe is moving in the right direction.

          Agree too that switching out the cream and butter will change/texture and overall characteristics of the taste a lot.

    2. Mindy, sorry to hear that it didn’t turnout as you expected. Actually this is a very easy dish to make.
      I use 1 cup of urad and 1/4 cup of kidney beans. soak them for 18 hours. drain the water. Add1/2 cup of water and pressure cook (if you have one)the lentils. if not boil the lentils in some water but don’t add too much water. After soaking for 18 hours, they become quite soft and it doesn’t take that long to cook. Good luck :-)

      Vani

  11. manjulaji,pls reply my question.what is this whole urad dal making dal makhni? i am a keralite.where should i get that ?mango powder and chat massala are same ? pls reply soon.

    1. urad dal = ulutham parippu in tamil; I’m afraid I don’t know the malayali translation of it….Uzhunnu parippu? something like that. Hope that helps. The thing is, you need… urad sabut, which is WHOLE urad – not the dry kind – so you need the urad dal to be black in colour, not the white kind that might be used in a tarka for aloo podimass, etc. mango powder is not the same thing as chaat masala.

    2. naseema,
      urad dal is uzhunnu parippu. the one used here is whole uzhunnu with skin.it is black in colour. it is not easily available in kerala. i got it once from reliance fresh. but it was not very good quality.now i request my cousins to get north indian items like these from bangalore or madras .

      1. I too had trouble finding Urad.

        “Urad” dal is a white-eyed black pea, otherwise known as black lentil. It took me over 2 years to find a reliable source (To make myself the perfect Dal Makhani, which I love). I buy 1kg (2lb) for $8.50AUD, from my local Indian grocer. (He also makes an awesome Mango Lassi!!)

        The best policy is to find a true Indian who knows what “Urad” is.

        The beauty of buying from locals instead of the multi-conglomerate trash corporate purveyors is that you get what you pay for. No GM, totally wholesome fresh veggies and pulses for super-cheap. The way it should be.

        “Food for profit? What the F * C K?”

        Get into it!

    3. Naseema,

      when you go to the home page on this web site. on your left you will see the menu Videos & Recipes. Below videos and recipes you will see the word ‘grains’. Under grains you will see photos of all the grains that Manjulaji uses. Here you will see the photo of urad. The black one is what is used in this recipe of Dal Makhani.
      Hope this helps…

      Vani

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