Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils

Dal Makhani or Dal makhni is a dish origination from the state of Punjab. The main ingredients used in the dish are whole black lentils (urad) and red kidney beans (Rajma), butter and cream. Traditionally this dal is slowly cooked upto 24 hours to give that nice , rich texture and delicious and earthy flavour.

Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils - Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.


Time required to make Dal Makhani

Modern day pressure cookers have reduced the cooking time. The Dal and Rajma needs to be soaked overnight and then cooked. The Dal Makhani taste best the next day. The flavours gets infused, so it is best to make it a day ahead or in the morning to have for dinner.

I have adapted this recipe from here. It is one of the traditional recipes being used by her mom and it uses few basic, easy steps and ingredients. To be honest, I never saw the recipe of Dal Makhani, as based on all the reading’s I always thought it is one of the most laborious processes. I thought the dal needs to be cooked for 4-5 hours or so. But when I saw this recipe I loved it and decided to make it.

Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils - Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.


Fats in Dal Makhani

What I liked about this recipe is that it does not use lots and lots of butter. Cream is only used for garnish. Cream is here replaced by yogurt to add that creaminess and richness. Off course Urad dal does add its own creamy texture to the dish. The dal is quite rich and creamy and is best enjoyed with some Jeera Rice or Naan. One can add more butter or cream if required but I kept it to minimum.

Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils - Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.



The Secret Ingredients & The challenge

So for this month’s challenge,  of Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group by Mayuri Patel we are headed to the state of Punjab. I was actually left with no partner and then Sujata Ji who blogs at PepperonPizza helped me out by giving me the 2 secret ingredients. Sujata Ji has a wonderful collection of recipes from all over the world. I love the way she clicks the pictures. All her food pics are very distinct and clear, as if the recipe is talking on its own. Do check her blog for  some mouthwatering and healthy treats. So for this month’s challenge she gave me the 2 secret Ingredients as Turmeric and Lentils and I made this quintessential Dal Makhani.


A little about Punjab

Punjab is a state in northern India. The region originally called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The Sanskrit name for the region was Panchanada which means “Land of the Five Rivers”. Punjab is one of the most fertile regions in India. The region is ideal for wheat-growing. It is also called as “Granary of India” or “India’s Bread Basket”. Other important crops are rice, cotton, sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit. (Source Wiki)

Punjab Collage


Cuisine of Punjab

Punjabi cuisine is one of the most popular and distinct Indian cuisines. It offers a vast variety of exotic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are prepared with different traditional culinary styles, particularly the tandoori style. The tandoori Roti, Naan are one of the most famous breads of this region. Then there is Lachha Paratha, Kulcha, Makki ki Roti with Sarso da saag. Dairy products from on an important part of Punjabi diet. Milk, Butter and paneer are very common in all of its dishes. The famous Punjabi Lassi, or the different Paneer curries and vegetables like Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka or the Paneer Paratha. Freshwater fish is an important part in its cuisine. Fish tikka is an Amritsari Speciality. I can go on and on with the list, but need to stop.

So here goes the recipe of Dal Makhani:

Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils - Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.


Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Black Lentils (Urad Dal whole)
  • ¼ Cup Red Kidney beans (Rajma)
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 3 tsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder (or as per taste)
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chillies chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder (or ½ inch cinnamon)
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Beaten Yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1-2 tsp Cream for Garnish.

Preparation

  • Soak the urad dal and Red kidney beans overnight in separate vessels.
  • Next morning, wash and add them in pressure cooker along with salt, turmeric and enough water (3 cups as we would be doing slow cooking)
  • Once you get a whistle lower the stove/gas and let it cook on slow.
  • Let it cook until you get 4-5 whistles.
  • The dal must be soft and mushy. So depending on your cooker settings more or less whistles might be required.
  • Once the pressure has settled , open the pressure cooker.
  • Add in the yogurt and mix until the dal is soft. Keep aside.
  • Prepare a paste of onions and garlic and keep it aside.
  • Prepare a puree of tomato, green chillies and ginger.
  • Now In a large pot add butter. Once it starts melting, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves.
  • Let this shallow fry for a min.
  • Now add the onion and garlic paste.
  • Saute this on medium until translucent and the butter starts separating.
  • Now add the tomato puree, along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric.
  • Let the mixture cook until the butter starts leaving the sides.
  • Now add the softened dal with the yogurt mix.
  • Crush the kasoori methi lightly between your palms and add
  • Mix well and let this cook on slow to medium for 15-20 minutes, stirring in between until the dal becomes thick.
  • Add garam masala and switch off.
  • Garnish with cream and serve hot with Jeera Rice or Naan.


Few More Regional recipes


5 from 5 votes
Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils - Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.
Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Soaking Time
8 hrs
Total Time
9 hrs 15 mins
 
Dal Makhani a protein rich dal made using black lentils and kidney beans. It is one of the quintessential dals from the state of Punjab, India.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dal, Gluten Free, Lentils, Red Kidney Beans
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Black Lentils (Urad Dal whole)
  • ¼ Cup Red Kidney beans (Rajma)
  • 3 tsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder (or as per taste)
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chillies chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder (or ½ inch cinnamon)
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Beaten Yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1-2 tsp Cream for Garnish.
Instructions
  1. Soak the urad dal and Red kidney beans overnight in separate vessels.
  2. Next morning, wash and add them in pressure cooker along with salt, turmeric and enough water (3 cups as we would be doing slow cooking)
  3. Once you get a whistle lower the stove/gas and let it cook on slow.
  4. Let it cook until you get 4-5 whistles.
  5. The dal must be soft and mushy. So depending on your cooker settings more or less whistles might be required.
  6. Once the pressure has settled , open the pressure cooker.
  7. Add in the yogurt and mix until the dal is soft. Keep aside.
  8. Prepare a paste of onions and garlic and keep it aside.
  9. Prepare a puree of tomato, green chillies and ginger.
  10. Now In a large pot add butter. Once it starts melting, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves.
  11. Let this shallow fry for a min.
  12. Now add the onion and garlic paste.
  13. Saute this on medium until translucent and the butter starts separating.
  14. Now add the tomato puree, along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric.
  15. Let the mixture cook until the butter starts leaving the sides.
  16. Now add the softened dal with the yogurt mix.

  17. Crush the kasoori methi lightly between your palms and add
  18. Mix well and let this cook on slow to medium for 15-20 minutes, stirring in between until the dal becomes thick.
  19. Add garam masala and switch off.
  20. Garnish with cream and serve hot with Jeera Rice or Naan.


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16 thoughts on “Dal Makhani | Indian Style Creamy Black Lentils”


  • It’s one of my favorite dals but one that I cook very rarely because of the slow cooking required to bring out the creaminess traditionally. This looks so inviting and actually the addition of yogurt is new for me.. I have never added yogurt but it sounds like a good choice to me.. will make the dal more creamy and will also reduce the amount of cream.


  • Lovely creamy dal makhani, I’ve not tried it with yogurt added to it. I will next time. Usually when I make it at for hubby and myself I don’t add cream or butter. Only add it when I have guests over. And yes pressure cookers and Instant Pots have made making dal makhani so easy.

  • Although we don’t make it often, I wouldn’t mind eating your rather quick version. Looks very creamy and tempting. great to go with kadak butter naan, Renu… slurp !!

  • Dal makhani looks so rich creamy and delicious Renu. Loved the use of curd in dal makhani. I also don’t like to use much cream on regular food but when I make it for my son or guest use 1 – 2 tablespoon only. Your looks so perfect and delish.


  • Looks yummy and delicious. I kind of avoid dal makhani for the butter involved. But this recipe is delicious and definitely worth trying out. Awesome.

  • I’ve been looking at the images on this post and admiring the texture of the Dal Makhani! It looks so rich and flavourful. Like others have said in the comments, adding yogurt is a new thought for me, in this recipe, and an interesting one. I must try it your way when I make Dal makhani at home.

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