The Creamy Dal Makhani Recipe | A Classic Indian Punjabi Recipe

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Gallery Indian Punjabi Dal Recipe


To Prepare a Testy Serving of Dal Makhani You will Need The Following Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole black lentils (sabut urad dal)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


To begin, soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight, and then rinse them thoroughly. In a pressure cooker, add the lentils and beans with enough water and cook until soft and tender.

1/ Rinse the black lentils (urad dal) and red kidney beans (rajma) thoroughly under running water. Soak them in enough water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2/ Drain the soaked lentils and beans. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked lentils, beans, and 4 cups of water. Cook on high heat until the first whistle, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 20-25 minutes.

3/ In a separate pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.

4/ Add ginger-garlic paste and green chilies. Sauté for another minute.

5/ Add the pureed tomatoes and cook until the ghee starts to separate from the sides.

6/ Add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for a minute.

7/ Transfer the cooked lentils and beans to the pan with the tomato-spice mixture. Mix well and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8/ Mash the lentils and beans slightly with the back of a spoon to thicken the consistency.

9/ Stir in fresh cream and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

10/ Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice.

Preparation Time

The total preparation time for Dal Makhani is approximately 40 minutes, after soaking.


This recipe yields approximately 4 servings of Dal Makhani.

Tricks and Tips to Enhance Your Flavor of Creamy Dal Makhani


Use Desi Ghee: For an authentic and rich flavor, use ghee instead of oil to sauté the onions, garlic, and spices. Ghee adds a distinct nutty taste and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

Slow Cook for Flavor Development: Dal Makhani is traditionally slow-cooked for a long time to develop a deep and rich flavor.

Add Aromatics and Spices: Sauté onions garlic ginger, and green chilies in ghee until they turn golden brown. This forms the base of the dish and adds depth to the flavors. Add a combination of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and red chili powder for a well-rounded taste.

Tomatoes for Tanginess: Include chopped tomatoes or tomato puree in the dal makhani for a tangy flavor. Tomatoes add a slight acidity that balances the creaminess of the dish.

Cream and Butter: To achieve a rich and creamy texture, add fresh cream or heavy cream to the dal makhani. Additionally, add a small amount of butter towards the end of cooking to enhance the taste and richness.

Kasuri Methi for Aroma: Crush and sprinkle some kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) into the dal makhani. Kasuri methi adds a unique aroma and elevates the flavor profile of the dish.

Adjust Spices and Seasonings: Taste the dal makhani before serving and adjust the spices and seasonings according to your preference. You can add more salt, chili powder, garam masala, or even a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the flavors.

Tempering for Added Flavor: Prepare a tempering (tadka) by heating ghee in a small pan and adding cumin seeds, red chili flakes, and garlic. Pour this tempering over the dal makhani just before serving. The tempering adds an extra layer of flavor and a beautiful aroma to the dish.

Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Finally, garnish the dal makhani with a handful of freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) for a burst of freshness and visual appeal.

Serve the creamy dal makhani recipe with steamed basmati rice naan bread or roti for a complete and satisfying meal. Enjoy the rich and flavorful experience!

Nutrition Facts Dal Makhani Recipe


Serving Size: 1 cup (about 240 grams)

Calories: Approximately 250-350 calories per serving


  • Protein: 10-15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-40 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 6-8 grams
  • Fat: 10-15 grams

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin A: Varies depending on the amount of tomatoes and cream used.
  • Vitamin C: Varies depending on the amount of tomatoes and spices.
  • Calcium: Varies depending on the recipe, but it may contribute around 10-15% of the daily recommended intake.
  • Iron: Varies depending on the ingredients used, but it may contribute around 10-15% of the daily recommended intake.

Please note that these are general estimates, and the actual nutritional content can vary based on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used in your Dal recipe. It’s a good idea to refer to the nutrition label on packaged ingredients and use a nutrition calculator for precise values if you have dietary concerns or specific dietary goals. Additionally, the calorie and nutrient content can vary based on factors like the amount of cream or butter used in the recipe.

FAQ About Dal Makhani


What is Dal Makhani?

Dal Makhani is a rich and creamy lentil dish from North India. It is made using black lentils and kidney beans cooked in a thick and flavorful tomato-based gravy, enriched with butter and cream.

What are the main ingredients for Dal Makhani?

The primary ingredients include black lentils (urad dal), kidney beans (rajma), tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cream, and a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves.

How is Dal Makhani cooked?

The lentils and kidney beans are soaked overnight and then cooked until soft. A rich tomato-based gravy is prepared with spices and then combined with the cooked lentils and beans. The dish is finished with the addition of butter and cream for a creamy texture.

Can Dal Makhani be made without cream?

Yes, you can make a lighter version of Dal Makhani by reducing or omitting the cream. Some people use yogurt or milk as a substitute for cream to maintain a creamy consistency.

What can be served with Dal Makhani?

Dal Makhani is commonly served with Indian bread like naan or roti. It also pairs well with steamed rice or jeera rice.

Is Dal Makhani vegetarian?

Yes, Dal Makhani is a vegetarian dish as it is made with lentils, beans, and plant-based ingredients. It is a popular choice for vegetarians in Indian cuisine.

Can Dal Makhani be made in advance?

Yes, Dal Makhani often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. It can be refrigerated and reheated when needed.

Is Dal Makhani spicy?

The spiciness of Dal Makhani can be adjusted according to personal preference. The level of heat is typically determined by the amount of red chili powder or green chilies added during cooking.

How popular is Dal Makhani in Indian cuisine?

Dal Makhani is a beloved and widely appreciated dish in Indian cuisine. It is a staple in North Indian households and is also a popular choice in Indian restaurants worldwide.

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