Indian Dal Makhani

Skip to Recipe

Indian cuisine has always been lauded for its curries. But beyond the omnipresent ''curry'' that has come to define Indian food in the eyes of the world lies a diverse culinary landscape.very state has an array of dishes that bear a testament to the grandeur of the country's heritage and rich food culture.

Creamy and buttery Dal Makhani ( pronounced makh-nee) is a staple recipe from the Punjab region of India and has a fascinating history spanning over decades. The origins of Dal Makhani can be traced back to the early 1900s when it was first created in the kitchens of the restaurant Moti Mahal in Delhi. Over the years, it has become one of the quintessential dishes of Indian cuisine.
Whole black lentils are cooked along with kidney beans, and simmered with spices and aromatics for few hours to create a luscious, creamy bowl of deliciousness!
The word Dal means lentils , while the word makhani means buttery, hence Dal Makhani translates to lentils that is cooked with a lot of butter.

Traditionally, Dal Makhani is a labour of love that is slow cooked for hours or overnight. But don't let that put you off, because it is the slow simmering that lends the smooth and velvety texture to the lentils, and allows all the flavors to mingle.
What is the best way to serve Dal Makhani?

You can pair this dal with white basmati rice, or the Indian flatbread Butter Naan or a combination of both, if you really love carbs like I do.

If you’re looking for an authentic, gourmet, Indian recipe that will blow your mind, this is a must-try. Make a big pot so that you can indulge for the rest of the week and share with your friends- trust me, this dal makhani will get you some rave reviews!

Recipe Tips
  • Soak the whole black lentils and red kidney beans overnight as it makes them easier to digest as well as reduces the cooking time.
  • Don't skimp on the butter and cream as they impart the rich creamy flavors to this recipe.
  • Be patient, and simmer the lentils on low heat for the deep flavors and the rich creamy texture.
  • If you live outside India, you can find these lentils online or in the Indian Grocery stores.

If you make this Indian Dal Makhani, please let me know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

  • 3/4 cup Black gram lentils
  • 1/4 Red Kidney Beans
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/4 heavy Cream
  1. Rinse the whole black lentils and red kidney beans a couple of times and then soak them in a bowl of water together for at least for 8 hrs or better overnight.
  2. Drain the water off the lentils and transfer them to a pressure cooker along with 3 1/2 cups water and salt.
  3. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles on high heat and then turn the heat to low and cook for another 30 mins. Switch off the heat and allow the steam to escape completely before opening the lid.
  4. Now, in a large pot add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Then add in the pureed tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Next add in the all the dry spices- red chilli powder and the garam masala powder. Mix well and cook until the oil starts oozing out for around 5-6 minutes.
  7. Then add the boiled lentils, 1 cup water, stir everything and then allow it to simmer on low heat uncovered for around 40 to 60 minutes, stirring often so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. You can add in more water if required if the lentil has a very thick consistency.
  9. Then add in the cream and the dried fenugreek leaves and continue cooking on low heat for 10 more minutes.
  10. Once the lentil is creamy, serve hot with a drizzle of cream and some more butter with white basmati rice or/and Butter naan and salad.


Most Popular Recipes

Chicken Pot Pie Hand Pies

Crispy Parmesan Potato Stacks

Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

Hearty Vegetable and Lentil Stew

Hawaiian Chicken Burger with Grilled Pineapple