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  • Writer's pictureShalini Vemuri

Dal Makhani

A classic Punjabi dish that's luscious and creamy made with Black lentils, Kidney beans and Butter. A perfect accompaniment for flavored rice and rotis.

Dal Makhani is a very popular dish from the state of Punjab in India. A rich and aromatic curry, that will be a star at your next gathering! Dal here refers to Black lentils and Kidney beans and Makhani refers to the Butter that adds oomph to the dish.

The recipe below is the restaurant style version of Dal Makhani. As much I don't like using canned products in my cooking, canned Tomato puree gives the best results and adds the hint of tartness. But, please use freshly ground ginger garlic paste. That makes a world of difference to the flavor profile. Butter and Cream are absolutely required in the preparation for best results. Simple rule of thumb, the longer you cook the dish the better it will state. Simmer for a while if its just for your family. But, if would like to make a large batch just slow cook in an Instant Pot or a crock pot for a good 3 hours.

The texture of the dish largely depends on how well the lentils are cooked. Best bet is soak over night and boil the lentils in an Instant pot for 30 min and Natural Pressure release.

If you are using a stove top pressure cooker at least let it go on for 10 whistles in high flame and another 10 in low flame. Its worth the wait. Trust me!

There is a variation to this dish. You can skip Kidney beans all together and only make it with Black Urad dhal. The recipe below uses very few ingredients can be relished with Pulav, biryani, naan or rotis.


Prep time 10 min Cook time 45 minutes Serves 4 people


Pressure Cook

1 cup Black Urad Dal

1/4 cup Kidney beans

5 cups Water

2 Black cardamoms


15 oz can Tomato Puree or Puree from 6 Tomatoes

4 tbsp Fresh Ginger garlic paste

1/4 cup Butter

1/4 cup Cream

1 tbsp Kasuri Methi

2 tbsp Ghee or oil

1tsp Turmeric powder

2 tbsp Chilli powder

1 tbsp garam masala (optional)

Salt to taste


1. Soak the lentils overnight. Triple wash them and pressure cook in IP for 30 min and NPR or stove top cooker for 20 whistles. Cook until they are super soft. Strain the lentils to use in the gray but save the cooked water. Toss the black cardamom.

2.Heat ghee/oil in a wide bottom pan with a lid. Gravy splutters so you need the depth to save your hands from the burns and the lid to prevent a mess!

3. Add the tomato puree and turmeric powder. Let it cook for a good 5 min.

4. Now add in the ginger garlic paste and sauté and cook until the gravy come together and the ghee separates.

5. Add the cooked dal and give it a mix. Mash the dal a bit. Add a little bit of the water from the cooked dal.

6.Stir in some salt, the garam masala, Chilli powder, butter and let it simmer for a good 25 min

7. Stir from time to time so that dal doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

8. Add water and adjust to the desired gravy consistency and let it cook for another 5 minutes if its too thick.

9. Toss in the Kasuri Methi. Stir the cream in. Let it simmer for another 10 min. Turn off the stove.

10. If it gets thick on cooling add in the reserved dal water and warm it up.

Dal Makhani is now ready to be served!


Serve hot with Rotis, basmati rice or Biryani. Shelf life of up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

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