Friday, December 4, 2015

Dal Makhani

Dal makhani, when translated literally means buttered lentils, has a very rich and creamy texture. It is made from whole urad dal (black lentil), rajma (kidney beans), butter, and cream. Though dal makhani is not a type of dal that you eat on everyday basis, it is extremely flavorful and best with fresh hot naan or rice. It requires a bit of advance preparation followed by 90 minutes cooking so it's best made with ample time. Dal makhani is a favorite of my husband (Ashok) and elder son (Ravi).

Soaking time: 8 to 9 hours
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup whole black urad dal (black lentil), soaked  
  • 1/4 cup rajma (red kidney beans), soaked 
  • 2 medium onions, chopped 
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 
  • 4 inch ginger, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, shredded for garnish 
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 4 green chilies, cut into half 
  • 7 to 8 pieces of limdo (curry leaves)  
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 6 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder  
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves, chopped 
  • Salt to taste 


  1. Put the black urad dal, rajma and approximately 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker and soak for 8-9 hours.
  2. In the same pressure cooker with dal, rajma and water already within, add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, green chills, half of the ginger, half of the garlic and red chili powder. Cook the dal under pressure for 8 to 10 whistles. Let it cool prior to opening the pressure cooker.
  3. In a pan, heat oil and butter on a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds change color, add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add the remaining ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add garam masala and salt. Pour the mixture into the pressure cooker.
  5. Lower the heat and cook the dal without any whistles for 45 minutes. When the pressure is off, open the cooker.
  6. Add fresh cream and stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and shredded ginger.
  8. Serve hot with naan, roti, paratha or rice.

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