Dal Makhani is a rich and creamy lentil-based dish that originates from the Punjab region of India. It is a popular choice in Indian restaurants worldwide due to its exquisite taste and comforting texture. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of preparing a delightful Dal Makhani that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


  • Black Lentils (Sabut Urad Dal): 1 cup
  • Red Kidney Beans (Rajma): 1/4 cup
  • Onion: 1 large, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium, pureed
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons
  • Cream: 2 tablespoons
  • Green Chilies: 2, slit
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste
  • Water: as needed
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves: for garnish


  1. Preparation of Lentils:
  2. Rinse the black lentils (sabut urad dal) and red kidney beans (rajma) under cold water.
  3. Soak them together in water overnight or for at least 8 hours.

  4. Cooking the Lentils:

  5. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked lentils and kidney beans along with water and salt.
  6. Pressure cook for about 7-8 whistles or until they are soft and well-cooked.

  7. Tempering:

  8. In a separate pan, heat butter. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  9. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  10. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears.

  11. Adding Spices:

  12. Add the tomato puree and cook until the oil starts to separate.
  13. Mix in coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, and green chilies. Cook for a few more minutes.

  14. Combining Everything:

  15. Add the cooked lentils and kidney beans to the pan. Mix well.
  16. Adjust the consistency by adding water if required. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes on low heat.

  17. Finishing Touches:

  18. Add cream and give it a good stir.
  19. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

  20. Serving:

  21. Serve hot with steamed rice, naan, or chapati. Enjoy the creamy and flavorful Dal Makhani with your favorite Indian bread.


  • For a smoky flavor, you can finish the Dal Makhani with a tempering of ghee and dried red chilies.
  • If you are short on time, you can use canned black lentils and red kidney beans, but the taste may vary slightly.

Health Benefits:

  • Black lentils are a good source of protein and dietary fiber.
  • Kidney beans are packed with nutrients like iron, potassium, and magnesium.
  • The use of spices in the dish not only enhances the flavor but also offers various health benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I make Dal Makhani without a pressure cooker?
  2. Yes, you can cook the lentils and kidney beans in a regular pot, but it will take a longer time to soften them.

  3. Is it necessary to soak the lentils and kidney beans overnight?

  4. Soaking helps in reducing the cooking time and makes the lentils easier to digest. It is recommended but not mandatory.

  5. Can I make Dal Makhani vegan?

  6. Yes, you can substitute butter with vegan butter or coconut oil and cream with coconut cream to make it vegan-friendly.

  7. How long can I store Dal Makhani?

  8. Dal Makhani can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it before serving.

  9. What can I serve with Dal Makhani apart from rice and bread?

  10. You can enjoy Dal Makhani with quinoa, millet, or even as a side dish with grilled vegetables.

  11. Can I freeze Dal Makhani for later use?

  12. Yes, you can freeze Dal Makhani in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

  13. Why is Dal Makhani considered a North Indian specialty?

  14. Dal Makhani is a staple in North Indian cuisine, particularly in the Punjab region, due to the abundant use of butter and cream, which are typical ingredients in Punjabi dishes.

  15. What is the difference between Dal Makhani and Dal Tadka?

  16. Dal Makhani is a creamy lentil dish made with whole black lentils and kidney beans, whereas Dal Tadka is a spicy lentil dish made with yellow lentils (moong dal) tempered with spices.

Dal Makhani is not just a dish; it is a culinary experience that captures the essence of Indian flavors in every bite. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can recreate this restaurant-style delicacy in the comfort of your own kitchen. Treat yourself to a bowl of creamy Dal Makhani and savor the richness of Indian cuisine.


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