This recipe for Dal Makhani is a restaurant-style variation with delicate smoky aromas and creamy lentils. If you enjoy authentic Punjabi cuisine, you’ll love this Dal Makhani even more.

Dal Makhani is one of the most popular lentil recipes from the North Indian Punjabi cuisine made with Whole Black Lentils (known as Urad dal or Kaali Dal in Hindi) and Kidney Beans (known as Rajma in Hindi).

I cooked the lentils in a pressure cooker for this dish, but the method for cooking them in a pan or pot is given in the comments area of the recipe card.

One of the all-time greats! Dal Makhani is an all-time favorite recipe that can be readily prepared at home. With urad dal cooked in masalas, tomato puree, and cream, this is an all-time favorite recipe. It is commonly served for supper in Indian homes and can also be prepared for dinner parties. Many restaurant menus feature this dal makhani. This buttery, delicious dal can be eaten with naan or paratha, or with boiled rice.

Ingredients of Dal Makhani:

  • 2 Cups sabut urad dal
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp shahi jeera
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cups cream
  • for garnishing green chillies (slit lengthwise)

How to Make Dal Makhani:

  • To the dal, add water, 1 Tbsp salt and ginger. Cook until dal becomes tender.
  • In a heavy based pan, heat butter and oil. Add shahi jeera and kasoori methi. When they begin to splutter, add tomato puree, remaining salt, chilli powder and sugar.
  • Stir-fry over high flame, till the oil separates.
  • Add cooked dal and bring to boil. The consistency should be such that the dal should move around freely when stirred, otherwise add a little water.
  • Leave to simmer, uncovered, till well blended. Stir-in cream and once it gets heated through, serve immediately, garnished with green chilli


  • Soaking: For any kind of dried whole beans or dried peas it always helps to soak them overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. Soaking beans reduces the phytic acid which causes indigestion and flatulence thereby makes them more digestible. Soaking also helps the beans to cook faster.
  • Rinsing: Before cooking, rinse the soaked beans in water a couple of times. Then drain all the water and cook the beans with fresh water. Doing this also reduces the phytic acid.
  • Cooking: When you soaking beans and lentils the cooking time considerably reduces by 25%. You can then cook the soaked beans in a pan or in a pressure cooker or instant pot.
  • Freshness of lentils: Beans & legumes should be fresh and not aged. Beans which are too old or beyond their expiry date (shelf-life) will take a lot of time to cook and perhaps not cook well enough to give a melt in the mouth texture. Undercooked beans upset the stomach too.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are an important ingredient in this recipe. You could use canned tomatoes too or packaged tomato puree (1 cup). For fresh tomatoes, choose the sweet and ripe variety. Do not add highly sour or tart tomatoes.
  • Dhungar method: The smoking method can be skipped too if you do not have charcoal. If you have smoked paprika, then use it in place of red chilli powder in the recipe to get a faint smoky flavor.

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