Rich and Creamy – Dal Makhni

It has been a while, since we blogged a recipe and a few days back, we attempted in making the infamous Punjabi Dal Makhni or black lentils cooked in spices which is rich and creamy. If you have eaten Dal Makhni, you remember it being smooth and creamy and usually restaurants load this dish with a lot of butter or cream making it not so healthy option to eat regularly. So let us introduce Dal Makhni without any heavy use of butter or cream with no compromises on the taste!

The secret is to understand the science behind cooking the dal. We use a kind of lentil called the Urad dalΒ (black) and this forms the major part of the recipe. Apart from urad dal, one could include red kidney beans which brings the deep colour and also adds consistency to the recipe. Urad dal cooks and tastes better with slow cooking. You just need a tad bit of patience to get this recipe perfect. The creaminess and the texture does not come with loading it with butter or cream, rather in cooking the starch present in the lentils.

So without further a do, let us get to the recipe πŸ™‚

What will you need?

  1. 120g blackΒ Urad Dal
  2. 50g Red Kidney Beans
  3. Thumb size Ginger chopped into thin slivers
  4. 2 Green Chilli chopped into thin slivers
  5. 1 cup Tomato Puree
  6. 2 medium sized onions finely chopped
  7. 3 tpsb vegetable oil
  8. 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  9. 1.5 liters of water
  10. 1 tsp cumin powder
  11. 1 tsp mild chilli powder (you can use spicy one if you like a bit of heat going)
  12. 1 tsp garam masala
  13. corriander, 1 tsp of butter and 1 tsp of cream for garnish
  14. Salt to taste

How do we make it?

  1. Soak the black lentil and kidney beans overnight with plenty of water
  2. In a good pressure cooker, add the lentils and kidney beans with water and salt and pressure cook it for 6-8 whistles. Once the pressure is down, open the lid and slow cook it for another 30 – 40 minutes. This is the exact point where the lentils leave the starch into the water and the consistency thickens.
  3. Alternatively, you could use some of the lentils and grind it in a mixer grinder and add it back to the cooking mixture.
  4. Slightly mash the cooked lentils with a potato masher. This will take some amount of arm work from you πŸ˜‰
  5. In a seperate heavy bottom non stick sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil and saute garlic, ginger and chillies. Let them slightly brown on a medium heat. Add onions and saute them till they slightly brown as well.
  6. Add the spices – cumin powder, garam masala and chilli powder and cook until the spices are well incorporated. At this point, add the tomato puree and cook all of this on a medium flame. After about 15 mins you will see oil separate and now add your cooked dal and mix well.
  7. Now slow cook this mix for about 20 minutes. The lentils will mix well with the onion and tomato masala.
  8. Make sure you stir a few times so that the lentils don’t stick to the pan.
  9. The dal should already be thick and creamy, if its too thick and sticking to the pan add a little bit of water and adjust the consistency.
  10. When you serve, add a teaspoon of butter or a swirl of cream and a few pieces of ginger.
  11. Best eaten with butter naan or jeera rice.


We look forward to seeing many of you readers cook this amazing indian recipe. Do let us know how it turns out ❀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.