Dal Makhani

Its finally here. JFI – Dal event! The entries have been pouring in and must say that each and every recipe, I have seen so far, is a winner. June was the lentil month here at my blog and I enjoyed blogging all the recipes involving lentils.

Today, I am blogging a favorite North Indian lentil recipe, Dal Makhani as my entry for JFI- Dal. Dal Makhani is a rich, hearty dish which is full of proteins. Black lentils and red kidney beans are simmered in a creamy sauce of butter, onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic and spices and liberally garnished with cream. I did reduce the quantity of butter, ghee and cream in the recipe to make it less rich and keeping in mind – calories 🙂

Dal Makhani Recipe

Recipe source: From my recipe files

Prep & Cooking: 40 mts

Serves 5-6 persons

Cuisine: North Indian



1 cup black lentils (kaali sabut dal) –soak in water for 8 hours and pressure cook till soft

1/2 cup red kidney beans (rajma) – soak in water for 8 hours and pressure cook along with blank lentils till soft

2 tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 big onions, finely chopped

2 green chillies, slit lengthwise

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

2 big tomatoes, finely chopped

¼ cup butter

1 tsp garam masala powder

2-3 tbsp malai (cream of milk)

ginger juliennes for garnish

1 Pre-heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the chopped onions and green chillis and sauté the onions till pink.
2 Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 mts. Add the turmeric pwd, chilli pwd and salt and combine.
3 Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 mts. Now add the pressure cooked dals along with a cup of water and mix well till they are well coated with the masala mixture. Cook covered for 3-4 mts on medium heat.
4 Add butter, combine and cook for 5 mts.
5 Add malai and garam masala and mix well. Garnish with ginger juliennes.
6 Serve with hot rotis.

Dal Makhani

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  black urad dal


60 thoughts on “Dal Makhani

  1. Sailu you have given a festive look to this event. Your dal makhani looks great. I dont count calories when it comes to this dish.

    Thank you, Krithika. Yes, the flavor of dal makhani is absolutely wonderful when made with lots of cream and butter. I hate to count calories too but then I just cant allow myself not to count the calories when making a rich dish like dal makhani..:)

  2. Oooh… at last I can make this without the guilt. Looks so good, sailu! Can’t wait to see your roundup and all the other recipes.

    Your going to love the roundup for sure, Linda..:)

  3. I am so excited for you, Sailu and thanks again for hosting this event.

    Of all the entries that you have published for this event, my favorite is ofcourse karjikayalu sweet. Love it!

    I have also voted for dal makhani, mainly because this is one dish that I have never attempted at home and I wanted to know how you’d prepare. You didn’t disappoint, not only calorie friendly but also looks delicious!

    I can’t wait to read the roundup. Happy hosting! 🙂

    I must profusely thank you for giving me this opportunity to host JFI Dal event. I thoroughly enjoyed hosting this event and am working on the round up which should be up hopefully soon.
    I am glad you like the recipe, Indira..:):)

  4. WONDERFUL recipe Sailu, I had voted for it in ur Blog a recipe Column. Dal Makhani is such a simple yet uniquely flavored recipe. And a dash of cream just adds magic to it.

    I actually submitted a comment sometime back but it does not appear in the list. I have been blog trotting for the last hour looking at other entries and I have to commend u for the excellent choice of ingredient.

    Every recipe I saw was culturally and emotionaly close to the blogger and all of them had the festive, happy touch to them.DAL is definitely a very good representative of India, now I can say that with strong proof. I am sure your going to have a Magnificent round-up.

    Three cheers to you. Hip Hip Hurray !!

    Your so right in pointing out that each and every recipe blogged for this event is unique and very culturally and emotionally close to the blogger. I am so glad I chose DAL as an ingredient..:):). Am working on the round up and see you soon at the round up, Priya.

  5. I have always wanted to learn how to make this dish and now I know the right type of dal to use. I can get red kidney beans in a can but what is the black dal and where can I buy it?


    Its whole black urad dal with skin. Its available in most grocery stores. You can also use black masoor dal.

  6. Lovely dish Sailu. I am so sorry I couldnt participate this time because of guests at home and moving house. But its been great fun blog hopping and looking at all the entries.
    Great work!

    You dont have to be sorry about it, Ashwini. Better luck next time..:) See you at the round up!

  7. Hi Sailu

    The Dal Makhani looks gorgeously tempting! I am drooling…

    I can hardly wait to see the JFI round-up. Btw, did you receive my entry in your email? I didn’t hear from you, so just checking.

    Happy hosting 🙂

    Thank you, Sury. I have received your lovely entry. I am working on the round up and see you soon at the round up..:)

  8. Nice recipe Sailu,thank you for hosting the event, can’t wait to read the round up.

    The pleasure is all mine, Archana. I enjoyed this event and am working on the round up. See you at the round up!

  9. Many of us seem to have fallen in love with Dal Makhani…amazing to see that you too have posted Dal Makhani for the Jihva event…lot of telepathy in the blogosphere!!

    Oh yes! You can say that again, Shynee..:)

  10. Sailu,
    I always prefer something richer and creamier, your dal makhani is tempting me!
    Thanks for your effort and time in hosting this event!
    Just a side note, everytime I click to come to your blog, it takes quite a while to appear…is it only me?

    I am enjoying this event thoroughly, Gattina and see you at the round up soon..:)
    I am having server issues since am moving to a different host. Hopefully it should resolve soon, Gattina and thank you for your patience.

  11. Like always you never dissapoint with your recipes and ofcourse the pictures. Good One!

    Thank you, Radhika.

  12. Sailu, hooray indeed! Now I can enjoy all the lovely flavor of dal makhani without all the guilt (less butter, cream……wonderful). It looks just great; can’t wait to try.

    I’m sure you’re very busy cooking up your roundup that everyone is so looking forward to — can’t wait to see that, too! 🙂

    Yes, Linda, am working on the round up and its pretty time taking. Havent been keeping too well these past few days and hence the delay. Stay tuned for the round up!!

  13. Sailu, you must be so busy with Jihva roundup and still finding time to cook up all these delicious things. A dal makhani without the guilt — I love it. Will try this very soon, thanks!

    Yes, am pretty busy with the round-up and am enjoying it too..:)

  14. Hi Sailu
    I’ve been admiring ur blog but this is the first time i am expressing it, the traditional recipes, the presentation everything is simply superb.

    Oh, your too kind, ArSu. Thank you..:)

  15. I made this as a special treat a couple of days ago, and it turned out fantastic! I could not believe the rich and authentic taste. Thanks for sharing a great recipe, Sailu, this is one I will make again and again.

    Nupur, I am so happy to hear you say that it turned out fanastic and why wouldnt it be ?! -:)

  16. The second picture is very appetizing one. Nice recipe Sailu. will try it soon.

    You will like it for sure, Nila..:)

  17. Sailaja garu,

    Please tell me the recipe for Dal makhani.
    U wrote “kaali sabut dal” in dal makhani recipee.
    I cud not get it here. pl.help.
    Can u please give me “mixed veg. korma recipee?

    Thank you,


  18. Wow. I made this a week and a half ago, and have only just now recovered my senses. Amazing. Brilliant. Shockingly good.

    Thank you.

  19. Sailu I’m a new cook and I regularly check your website. I’ve tried the khicdi and the tomato sabji and they were awesome. The instructions were great. Will try dal makhani. I love idlis but cant get the batter thing right. Any suggestions. Cheer.

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  21. I really like your take on Dal Makhani. This is my favourite dhal by far, it’s the creamy goodness that gets me I think.

    Someone above asked about kids recipes, dal makhani is great for kids, you can reduce the chilli if your child’s palette is not grown enough. But my youngest is the chilli freak in our house, she is 2 and loves dhal. Eats it for breakfast when she can get away with it.

  22. hello sailaja,
    I want to try this recipe but i have a few questions.
    1.What is this kaali sabut dal??Naaku idea ledu.Any substitue for this??
    2.Rajma canned di ok na for this recipe.
    Hope u will answer my qs asap.


  23. Hi Sailu
    I am writing from Australia! As a vegetarian, I have always loved Dal Makhani and have been wanting to make it at home. Your recipe looks easy, authentic and very delicious so I thought I would try it. However, I don’t own a pressure cooker. Could you please suggest how to cook the beans and lentils in a pot (ie. how much water, how long, etc)?

  24. This looks so thick and creamy. I love the different cuisines from the different regions of India they are all so delicious. I could just have a bowl of this dhal now YUM!

  25. Hi Sailu,
    I check your website everyday and your recipes are very interesting and delicious(I have tried out many)…Being a north indian, I love trying out your dishes; it gives some variety to regular cooking..

  26. Hai Sailu,
    I got your site accidentally and trying your receipes one by one.very tasty and simple to do.ur miriyalu annam was very good.see you.just give us some more kurmas for chappatis.

  27. Hi Sailu,

    Just wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe. Made this for dinner today after a long tiring day. It turned out great. Thanks a ton:)

  28. Hi sailu,
    Long back i had Vegitarian curry (Gravy) in a friends birth day party.I don’t know its name.It some thing like Kabuli chana curry but they are not kabuli chana.They are in round shape,very soft,very tasty.
    If possible can you please share the curry name.One of my friend said its Lotus Seeds (Makhna),but Lotus Seeds shape is different.

    Can you pls share the name..
    Thanks in advance….

    Sabera Rafee

  29. Looks great.. I do make this dal once every month and after 8th attempt perfected it. If available, try adding some hand crushed kasuri methi too. makes the senses go crazy.

  30. Hi Sailu,

    Is Black Lentils same as whole urad dal? One of my punjabi friends showed urad dal and said she makes Dal Makhani with that dal..

    Please help as I really liked her Dal Makhani..


  31. Hi sailu garu
    i tried ur recipe now.its so yummy.
    Toooooooooooo delicious.my hubby luvd it soooooooo much thanks
    thanks a lot sailu garu

  32. My husband is not very much fond of daals,but reverse is the case with me. Tried your this recipe i couldn’t believe my eyes.. My husband was asking for another katori of daal.. Thanks a lot Sailaja..

  33. Hello Sailu,
    Thanks for the wonderfule recipe. I have tried this and it turned out yummy. I had a clarification on Rajma seeds. Whenever I soak the seeds over night or more than 8 hours, pressure cook them for more than 8-9 whisltes, but still find that the seeds are half cooked. Please advice.

  34. hi sailu ur recipies r awesome…i am trying one by one..
    i want the recipe for preparing gun powder which is served in all andhra style retaurants

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