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Dal makhani

One of my readers asked for this popular recipe. Dal makhani must be one of those dishes which are always present in the Indian restaurant buffets here. I love it for the different beans and also texture of this dish. But had never prepared it at home before.

When I wanted to prepare it at home, I was in no mood to buy the whole urad which is one of the ingredients for the makhani. I decided to make this with whatever I had in the pantry. I came to this decision after having an overflowing pantry. I kept on buying new pulses/spices, even though most of them I used only once. So now my mission is to finish off as many of them possible before buying anything else.

Anyway, I decided to use whole masoor in place of whole urad (today when I was browsing internet, I found that masoor makhani also exists, but I didn’t know about this before). Next in the absent-ingredient list came cream, which is added to give the taste and thickness. I hardly use cream for any of my cooking, somehow I just don’t feel like using it for anything. So I used milk. The final result was absolutely yummy, this is going to be a regular at my home from now on. This and some chapathis made a great lunch box item for my hubby.

Check the versions from other bloggers at Sailu, Shynee, Sumitha , Anthony, Mandira , Aparna, Tina.

1/2 cup red kidney beans(rajma)
1/2 cup whole masoor
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn finely chopped ginger
1/2 tea spn finely chopped garlic
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1 cup milk

In the original recipe, whole urad is used instead of masoor. 1/2 cup fresh cream in used instead of milk. I substituted these two. So the taste is different than original dal makhani.

Soak kidney beans and masoor overnight (masoor need not be soaked for so long, but soaking makes them cook more faster). Cook them together in pressure cooker till they are soft.
Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds, ginger, garlic. Add chopped onion and fry till they are translucent. Now add tomatoes, salt and fry till oil separates. Pour the cooked beans, chili powder and garam masala, mash with a ladle and cook for about 4-5mins. Now add milk and cook till the gravy becomes thick. Serve hot with parathas/rotis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30-40mins

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{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Aruna Pai June 21, 2007, 8:50 pm

    Dal Makhani is my favorite. I have mastered this recipe after various trial and error. Shilpa ….You must try it with whole black urad dal, but the proportion of dal and rajma should be 4:1, to get the exact Punjabi taste. Add a green chilli while pressure cooking the dal. Top it with a few ginger juliennes and little of cream, makes it a creamy gravy to go along with roti or rice.

    Shilpa: I know the original recipe Aruna. I had seen the recipe you mentioned in Sanjeev Kapoor’s site also. But I wanted to make it with what I had in hand and also I never like to use cream unless absolutely necessary. This version turned out to be absolutely great. May be you can also try it sometime.

  • Aruna Pai June 21, 2007, 9:54 pm

    Shilpa…..I have already soaked masoor and rajma for tommorrow. I too have a huge stock of pulses and was looking what new to make with masoor. I am sure it will be great too. Thanks

  • Swapna June 21, 2007, 9:55 pm

    I was on the lookout for a Daal Makhani recipe. I liked ur version. Thanks for sharing!

  • roopa June 21, 2007, 10:33 pm

    looks delicious with a plate of puris or paratas! no urad and dhall makani u r right even i tend to make with what i have many times:)

  • Suganya June 21, 2007, 11:13 pm

    My husband is not a big fan of dal makhani because of the gooey urad dal. I think he might like yr version. Thanks for the recipe… Now, I gotta figure out how to use that whole bag of whole-urad dal.

  • Usha June 21, 2007, 11:58 pm

    This is sure a different dhal makhani!nice tweak from the original!

  • Linda June 22, 2007, 5:35 am

    Shilpa, the dal looks really delicious and plenty rich even without cream! I have never made this with milk — will try your way next time :)

  • Asha June 22, 2007, 7:11 am

    I have a real authentic one too,I called it Dal Maharani!!:)
    Looks great although it’s different from the the original recipe.
    Enjoy your parents,I will see you next week.I have whole lot of Badanekai dishes at FH,check it when you have time:))

  • Deepa Prabhu June 22, 2007, 7:45 am

    nice recipe packed with protiens…tastes good too.

  • bee June 22, 2007, 9:13 am

    my sweet shilpa, now i am craving this. will you send me some?

    Shilpa: Bee, please tell me the address where you want me to send it ;)

  • Cynthia June 22, 2007, 9:25 am

    This is so creamy and filling.

  • Ramya June 22, 2007, 9:45 am

    Hey!! this ones indeed a gr8 recipe. Even I avoid cream as much a s possible in my cooking! :)

  • prema June 22, 2007, 11:39 am

    Dal makhani looks good shilpa.. I usually make rajma masala without the urad/masoor dal.. Now I can try a new dish by adding dal to it. thanks .

  • Anu Patil June 22, 2007, 12:11 pm

    Dal makhani is really good….all these days i was waiting for the receipe.

  • Sarah June 22, 2007, 3:12 pm

    That sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try the recipe :)

  • Aruna Pai June 22, 2007, 3:57 pm

    I made it today exactly as per your recipe. It was gr8. I liked this new version with masoor too. Thanks for a new recipe to finish lots of existing stock of masoor.

  • Usha Gangadhar June 22, 2007, 11:43 pm

    Dear Shilpa

    Hmm gr8 receipe yar, not much ingredients, I hav 2try this one. Picture is so nice yummy yummy, feel like eating.

    Shilpa so nice nice dishes u r preaparing & sharing with us, Thank you Very much. V hav seen ur Aayi & Pappa pics.v want 2 c u.I like the “comments” before ur Receipe’s ingredients & method. Hi Hi Hi

    with lov
    Usha Gangadhar

  • roopa June 23, 2007, 4:26 pm

    i tried this recipe today….we all liked it very much.

  • sri June 23, 2007, 10:58 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Can you post ur picture. We would love to see you. We enjoy all ur recipes, and thanks for posting it – absolutely delicious!


    Shilpa: Sri, as of now I like to be anonymous on the web. Let us see in future :)

  • Janani June 25, 2007, 12:51 am

    Hey Shilpa,

    Thanks for the recipe. Yeah its a damn yummy one, I prepare a similar one with only masoor dal, and my hub loves it. Will try it soon with Rajma.
    Also I have a problem, even after soaking rajma overnite, it doesnt cook properly, any tips for it.

    Shilpa: Janani, rajma always takes a very long time compared to any other pulses/lentils. So if you cook any other pulse for say 3 whistles, you have to cook rajma for around 5-6 whistles(in cooker). I was never satisfied with rajma once before and then I realized the pack I had was a kind of old stock. Try buying fresh. If nothing works, there is a kind of red kidney beans (which is similar to rajma but slightly smaller) available in Mexican grocery isle(if you live in US). These taste same like rajma and cook very fast compared to our traditional ones.

  • Pooja June 25, 2007, 12:46 pm

    Hey Shilpa,

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I’ll definitely try this and let you know how it turns out.


  • Anu July 6, 2007, 11:33 am

    Hi Shilps,
    Thanks for the recipe….i tried it & it came out grt. also i wanted to know where can i find fresh cream or does is it same as whipped cream ?

    – Anu

  • Suneetha August 20, 2007, 5:43 pm

    Hi shilpa,
    I tried the recipe and came out very well.
    thank you. I normally soak most of the pulses overnight and freeze it, so when ever i feel to do. I would just cooked it.
    So as today i did it and was very tasty.
    Thank you for the recipe

  • s September 12, 2007, 1:54 pm

    Thanks for this new recipe of dal makhani. I should try this,

    Thanks again,

  • pritya October 31, 2007, 2:25 am

    Dear Shilpa,

    Dal Makhani is a favourite the world over, that’s for sure. I always use maoor dal instead of urad. Lighter and healthier and tastes very good. The recipe you have provided is clear and simple. It would be a good idea to substitute the cream with the milk because that would be less on fat and will help the calorie conscious…:)

  • Sanj February 11, 2008, 10:02 am

    Hi aayi,

    Just stumbled on your site when looking for a simple dhal makhani recipe….this one looks excellent …will give this a try and some of the others you have on here!



  • Suma February 12, 2008, 4:27 pm

    Hi Shilpa.. I have whole urad at home. How do I makke this dish with whole urad dal.. What should be the proportion of rajma and whole urad?


    Shilpa: Suma, try it with same proportion as masoor.

  • Sanj February 21, 2008, 7:25 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    Just tried your recipe above….amazing!

    I used a little cream as I had some in fridge, and made without rajma…turned out excellent! Wife was very impressed!

    Keep up the good work!



  • shwetha May 31, 2008, 3:57 am

    thanx shilpa…i’ve always been on the lookout of this recipe..will try it soon..im sure it’ll turn out well :)..

  • Sangeeta Wali July 15, 2008, 6:06 pm

    Dal Makhani is one of my favourite dishes. We usually take it in restaurants. I tried it only once before, that was long time ago. Almost forgot how to cook it. Today I was looking for Sanjeev Kapoor’s ( my favourite Cheff) recepie for Dal Makhani and found this one. I have dal ready. I only need to make tadaka and add some milk. Thanks,


  • vatsla July 31, 2008, 5:01 am

    you try this it gives you amazing taste of Dal Makhani
    1/2 cup red kidney beans(rajma)
    1/2 cup whole sabut urad
    3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
    2-1/2 cup tomato puree
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/2 tea spn chili powder
    1/2 tea spn garam masala
    1 tea spn ginger garlic paste.
    1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
    1 cup milk (optional)
    1 pinch orange color (optional)

    Soak kidney beans and sabut urad overnight. Cook them together with orange color in pressure cooker till they are soft (about 7-8 whistles).
    Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste. Add chopped onion and fry till they are translucent. Now add tomatoes, salt and fry till oil separates, add tomato puree,chili powder, and garam masala and fry 2 more minutes. Pour the cooked dal, , mash with a ladle and cook for about 10-15mins on low flame (this recipe improve taste as much as you cook in low flame). Now add milk and cook till the gravy becomes thick. Serve hot with parathas/rotis.

    Serves : 3-4
    Preparation time : 40-50 mins

  • kevmalone September 11, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Thanks for this. Made this this morning and with a few rotis it fed my hungry son and wife for lunch.
    Excellent recipe.

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