Indian Recipe - Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Punjabi recipe.You could see dal makhani being served in marriages, engagements and almost any parties in India. It is not only popular in North India, but also South India.

Its called as Dal Makhani as it is made with Dal/Lentils – Whole Black Lentils and Red Kidney Bean and White butter and full fat cream. This dish is rich in calories. Due to the use of all these ingredients Dal Makhani becomes creamy. If you are working on your diet, you could avoid the cream completely. I have not used cream in this recipe though.

For some unknown reason, Dal Makhani tastes even better on the second day. There are some punjabi recipes like sarson ka saag  and dal makhani which taste better on the second day. But don’t eat too much dal makhani as it is heavy on the stomach. Usually in Punjab, they serve dal makhani topped with lots of butter and white cream. It goes well with roti, phulka, rice or naan.

Dal Makhani is made from Red Kidney Beans and Whole Black Lentils as I have mentioned before. Kidney Beans are called as rajma in India. Whole Black Lentils are also known as black gram and sabut urad dal or kali dal. Below is a pic of both, after they have been soaked and drained.

Ingredients of Dal Makhani

  • 1 cup black gram or sabut urad dal
  • ¼ cup kidney beans or rajma (optional)
  • ¾ to 1 cup tomato puree (approx 2 medium tomatoes pureed)
  • 8-10 garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2.5 tbsp oil or 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 to 3 tbsp cream
  • salt as required

Instructions of Dal Makhani

  1. rinse and soak the lentils in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
  2. drain and then add them in a pressure cooker.
  3. add 4 cups water and pressure cook on high or medium flame for 12-15 whistles.
  4. when the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid.
  5. drain the water and rinse the lentils.
  6. put back the lentils in the pressure cooker.
  7. add 4 cups fresh water, tomato puree, butter or oil, garlic, red chili powder, cream and salt.
  8. stir and mix well.
  9. pressure cook again for 12-15 whistles on a medium to high flame.
  10. when the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and check the lentils and the consistency of the dal.
  11. the lentils should be completely cooked and mushy.
  12. now simmer the dal without any lid on a low to medium flame, till the consistency becomes medium and smooth.
  13. mash some lentils with the back of a spoon to thicken the dal.
  14. the lentils should become so soft, that they should melt in your mouth.
  15. check the seasoning and add more salt or red chili powder if required.
  16. simmer for 15-18 minutes or more till you get a creamy smooth consistency like the way you see in the dhabas and restaurants.
  17. serve the dal makhani hot plain or topped with some butter or cream along with rotis, naan, paratha or plain or jeera rice.

Notes of Dal Makhani

1. the consistency of dal makhani can be easily adjusted by adding more or less water.
2. if in the third stage of cooking the consistency becomes thick, add some water.
3. if the consistency is thin, then simmer dal makhani for a longer period of time till you get the desired consistency.