dal makhani recipe | how to make dal makhani | dhaba-style dal makhani | punjabi dal makhani |

Dal Makhani

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dal makhani | how to make dal makhani | dhaba-style dal makhani | punjabi dal makhani | with 30 amazing photos.

Dal Makhani or maa di dal, as it is popularly known in the Punjab, with its smooth velvety texture and lovely flavour is a delicacy that is very much a dish of the Punjab. Enjoy our Dal Makhani recipe with step by step photos and video.

Every Punjabi restaurant, roadside eating place and food stall vendor makes the claim that Punjabi Dal Makhani is a delicacy that they alone can make to perfection. This my own tested recipe dare I claim it as the best?

Dal Makhani is traditionally cooked on a low flame overnight and allowed to thicken. Using a pressure cooker helps cook the dal in a jiffy. Serve hot with naans.

Also do try other recipes that combines beautifully with fresh tomato pulp like Kashmiri Dum Aloo or Cauliflower Stir-fry .

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Dal Makhani recipe - How to make Dal Makhani

Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:    Total Time:     4Makes 4 servings
Show me for servings


For The Dal Makhani Recipe
3/4 cup whole urad (whole black lentil)
2 tbsp rajma (kidney beans)
salt to taste
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 green chillies , cut lengthwise
25 mm stick cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 cardamoms (elaichi)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato pulp
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
1 tbsp fresh cream for the garnish

For dal makhani

    For dal makhani
  1. To start making dal makhani recipe, first clean, wash and soak the whole urad and rajma overnight.
  2. Drain, add 2 cups of water and salt and pressure cook for 7 whistles or till the dals are overcooked.
  3. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
  4. Whisk till the dal is almost mashed. Keep aside.
  5. For the tempering, heat the butter in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds.
  6. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chillies, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, and onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown in colour.
  7. Add the ginger-garlic paste,chilli powder, turmeric powder and tomato puree and cook over a medium flame till the mixture leaves oil.
  8. Add the dal, salt and approx 2 to 3 tbsp water if required and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Add the cream and mix well. Simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  10. Serve the dal makhani hot garnished with coriander and fresh cream.

Dal Makhani Video by Tarla Dalal

Dal Makhani recipe with step by step photos

For the dal makhani preparation

  1. Clean, wash and soak the whole urad in a deep bowl.
  2. Clean, wash and soak the rajma in another bowl.
  3. Cover and keep the whole urad bowl aside for overnight. It is important to soak them overnight so that they take lesser time to cook.
  4. Cover and keep the rajma bowl aside for overnight. 
  5. After soaking the whole urad dal overnight, it looks like this.
  6. After soaking the rajma overnight, they look like this.
  7. Drain the water, rinse them in running water and transfer the whole urad dal and rajma into a pressure cooker.
  8. Add 2 cups of water and salt.
  9. Pressure cook for 7 whistles or till the dals are overcooked. Both the urad dal and rajma should not be chewy or have resistance on eating, so ensure they are very well cooked. Cool the pressure cooker completely i.e. depressurize and open the lid. You will see the urad dal and rajma have softened now. 
  10. Whisk till the dal is almost mashed. If you want, you can use a potato masher to mash the dal. Keep aside.

How to make Dal Makhani Recipe

  1. Let’s start with the tempering. Heat butter in a deep pan. You can use salted or unsalted butter. To make it vegan, use oil instead of butter.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. It will release its flavour and enhance the taste of the dal. Cumin seeds also when roasted and powdered add a great flavour to chaats, raitas, buttermilk and salads.
  3. When the seeds crackle add the slit green chillies and sauté. Doing so, the green chillies will release its heat and add a delicious spicy taste to the dal.  
  4. Add cinnamon.If you want, you can even add a bay leaf and black cardamom. Cinnamon has a delicate though strong sweet flavour.
  5. Then add the cloves.
  6. And finally cardamoms. These condiments will further help to enhance the flavour of the dal and release a pleasant aroma.
  7. Add the finely chopped onions.
  8. Sauté till they are golden brown in colour. This would take around 3 minutes.
  9. The onions are now golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Ginger and garlic not only add flavour but also have health benefits, like garlic is great for the heart and circulatory system and ginger is noted as having antioxidant effects and aids digestion. Learn how to make restaurant style ginger-garlic paste that stays fresh in a deep-freezer for almost two months.
  10. Now add the red chilli powder.
  11. Then add the turmeric powder. It not only adds colour but also has innumerable health benefits.
  12. Add the fresh tomato pulp. You can also use ready-made tomato puree which has a more concentrated flavour, but nothing like the one made with fresh tomatoes. Learn how to make thick homemade tomato pulp using this video. 
  13. Sauté till the tomato mixture releases oil and the masalas are well blended. This would take around 8-10 minutes on a medium flame.
  14. Now to this mixture add the pressure cooked black dal and rajma. 
  15. We have added some salt while boiling the dal, now add a little more salt as per taste and mix well.
  16. If the dal makhani is too thick, add some water (around 2-3 tbsp) and mix well.
  17. Let the dal makhani simmer on a medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes. This is the most important step to get a really creamy and rich dal. While simmering if you feel the dal makhani is still thick then add more water. Traditionally, this dal is simmered for overnight over wood on low heat so, slow cooking it for a long period of time gives out the best flavour.
  18. Finally add the cream, the addition of this will justify the recipe name and give the Dal Makhani a creamy smooth texture and taste. You can decide more or less as per your preference. After adding the cream mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring the Dal Makani to prevent burning. Vegans can make use of cashew cream.
  19. Garnish with coriander. To make it a dhaba-style dal makhani, a final touch by giving a smoky flavour (dhungaar) with charcoal. If you wish you can try that by heating a charcoal piece until it is red hot. Keep a small bowl over the dal and place the charcoal over it. Drizzle a tsp of ghee and immediately cover the lid of the dal. Let the smoke soak in the dal. Remove the lid and discard the coal. Heat the dal once again before serving.
  20. Enjoy the Dal Makhani with Indian flat bread like rotis, butter naan and parathas or with plain rice, jeera rice or vegetable pulao. This Punjabi dal is apt for any Indian party menu.

Tips for dal makhani

  1. The urad and rajma has to be soaked overnight. So plan for it in advance. 
  2. Rajma and urad takes extra time to cook, so pressure cook for 7 whistles. 
  3. The cooked rajma and urad for this recipe has be slightly over cooked. 
  4. The tomato pulp used in this recipe is fresh. Learn how to make thick homemade tomato pulp using this video. 
  5. If you are using readymade tomato puree, then you may need not more than ¼ cup. 
  6. We recommend the use of fresh cream for a restaurant style flavour. Do not use the cream formed on top of milk after boiling. 
  7. If you are serving it later, you will need to adjust the consistency with little water while re-heating. This is because the dal tents to thicken with time. 

Nutrient values (Abbrv) per serving
Energy278 cal
Protein8.4 g
Carbohydrates23.9 g
Fiber6.9 g
Fat16.9 g
Cholesterol22.5 mg
Sodium97.9 mg
Click here to view calories for Dal Makhani

RECIPE SOURCE : Punjabi KhanaBuy this cookbook
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Dal Makhani
 on 04 Jul 23 03:40 PM

Thanks for sharing your expertise in food.
| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Thank you for the feedback. Keep sharing your reviews for the articles and recipes you like.
05 Jul 23 04:02 PM
Dal Makhani
 on 29 Jan 23 01:53 PM

| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Thanks for the feedback !!! Keep reviewing recipes and articles you loved.
01 Feb 23 08:51 AM
Dal Makhani
 on 15 Nov 22 02:44 PM

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Tarla Dalal    Purvi thanks for your feedback. Your comments will help others try the recipe.
18 Nov 22 04:03 PM
Dal Makhani
 on 12 May 22 11:01 PM

Nice recipe
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Tarla Dalal    Thank you for the feedback. Please keep reviewing recipes and articles you love.
13 May 22 09:34 AM
Dal Makhani
 on 14 Mar 21 10:00 AM

I have tried this recipe 2 times, the taste is amazing but my dal somehow does not cook soft even after 7 whistles. Should I add cooking soda for that?
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Tarla Dalal    Try soaking urad and rajma for at least 14 hours and cook for 8 to 9 whistles. Alternatively you can add soda-bi-carb.
15 Mar 21 02:47 PM
Dal Makhani
 on 28 Nov 20 05:45 PM

| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Thanks for the feedback !!! Keep reviewing recipes and articles you loved.
30 Nov 20 11:32 AM
Dal Makhani
 on 12 Jul 20 03:56 PM

Thank you for this amazing recipe.
Dal Makhani
 on 23 May 20 02:54 AM

Can you share with us a dal makhni recipe without black bean please.. I don’t have this in Iraq
| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Hi, You can try making it with green whole moong dal.
25 May 20 09:50 PM
Dal Makhani
 on 03 Dec 19 09:04 PM

It turned out delicious...restaurant like taste...tnx mam...do keep sharing such amazing receipes...
Dal Makhani
 on 01 Nov 19 11:05 PM

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Tarla Dalal    Munna, thanks for your feedback. Your comments will help others try the recipe.
02 Nov 19 09:52 AM
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