Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is extremely creamy whole black beans (whole urad) and red kidney beans (rajma) curry simmered in butter, cream and very subtle spices on low heat.

Dal makhani is a staple Indian dish. It was first created by Punjabis and is now recognized as a quintessential Indian dish, Not only in India but this dish is served in many different restaurants internationally as well! It does not require lot of ingredients but it surely requires good amount of time and patience! This is one of those dishes that gets its richness and flavor by simmering on low heat for long time. Some restaurants simmer it for hours and I actually heard some simmer it for over night!! Dal makhani is so versatile dish, you can pair it with any type of flatbread or JEERA RICE. You could even eat it as is like a stew, but that would be too heavy according to me due to butter and heavy cream lol.

dal makhani
Dal Makhani!

I try not go crazy when it comes to using lot of fat. This dish is something I do not hold myself back on though. This is one of those dishes that you don’t make frequently, but when you do make it you make it right!! That does not mean I go all out. I do use butter and heavy cream for this recipe but also try to use less of it and/or combine it with oil instead of all butter! That being said, my family is very satisfied with the amount of creaminess this dish has! Hope you and your family feel the same!
Happy and Healthy Eating!

Dal Makhani

Extremely creamy whole black beans (whole urad) and red kidney beans (rajma) curry simmered in butter, cream and very subtle spices on low heat
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 8


Boiling Ingredients

  • cup Dry Whole Black Beans/Urad
  • ½ cup Dry Red Kidney Beans/Rajma Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 3 Whole Green Cardamom
  • 1 Whole Black Cardamom
  • 4 Whole Peppercorn
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 cup Water

Dal Makhani

  • 4 tbsp Butter 3 tbsp for cooking spices and 1 tbsp for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp Oil use butter all the way instead if you prefer only butter
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Whole Black Cardamom
  • 2 Whole Green Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Onions
  • tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Chopped Jalapeño
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • 2 tbsp Cumin Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • tsp Salt
  • cup Tomato Puree (Blend 3 small tomatoes + 2 tbsp tomato paste) If using canned tomato puree, use 1 cup
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp Julienne Ginger
  • 2 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 3 cup Water more if needed

Tempering the Dal

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder or butter instead if preferred butter completely!
  • 2 Dry Whole Red Chilis


Boil Beans/Dal

  • Wash whole black beans (whole urad) and red kidney beans (rajma). Soak them in warm water over night, or at-least for 6-10 hours.
    before boiling
  • Once soaked over night, put soaked beans, and rest of the "Boiling Ingredients" listed above in a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot. Add 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker.
  • If using regular Indian style pressure cooker, make 6 whistles on high/medium heat and another 6 whistles on low/medium heat. If using Instant pot, put IP on high pressure for 30 minutes. For both pressure cookers, let the pressure release naturally all the way.

Prepare Dal Makhani

  • You can do this two ways, either cook all the masala/spices as mentioned below and add it to boiled beans inside IP, mix well and simmer on saute mode for at-least 30-45 minutes. I like the other option where you cook the masala/spices in a deep heavy bottom pan and add boiled dal to that pan to simmer further instead of simmering in IP.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. You can use total of 4 tbsp of butter if you prefer all butter and no oil. Add 3 whole green cardamom, 1 whole black cardamom, 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp of cumin seeds.
  • Once cumin seeds are golden brown and releases aroma, add very finely chopped onions and 1 tsp of salt, minced garlic, grated ginger and chopped jalapeño. Cook it on medium heat until onions are completely translucent, raw smell of garlic disappeared and the grease starts to separate.
  • Add another 1 tsp of salt, kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin coriander powder and garam masala. Mix it very well. Cook all these spices on low heat for couple of minutes.
  • Add tomato puree (3 small tomatoes blended with 2 tbsp of tomato paste OR 1 cups of canned tomato puree) and mix it very well. Cook this spice mix on low/medium heat until the butter/oil from the spices starts to separate, making sure it does not burn.
  • Once the butter/oil starts to separate, add boiled beans/dal to the pot along with all the liquid and whole spices that was added to boiling beans initially. Add 3 cups of water, more if needed. Mush some beans with a potato masher, mix well.
    cooked dal
  • Mix it very well and cook it on low/medium heat for 30-45 minutes while stirring frequently and adding little water to it at a time if it gets too thick (paste like consistency). The longer you cook this dal, the creamier and more flavorful it gets! So please take your time to cook it long enough!
  • Once it gets to creamy consistency add 1 tbsp of butter and julienne ginger to it. You can add sliced green chilis at this point too if you like! Taste it, add more salt or spices if needed. This dal is supposed to be mild on spices! Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Take 2 tsp of dry kasuri methi between your palms and rub it until it starts becoming powdery, add it to the dal, mix it well and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
    kasuri methi
  • Add ¼ cup of heavy cream to the dal, mix well and turn the heat off.
    heavy cream
  • Melt 2 tbsp of butter along with 2 dry whole red chilis in a small pan, once almost hot add 1 tsp of kashmiri red chili powder to it, Mix it and as soon it starts to bubble, add it to the dal. Do not let red chili powder burn or turn brown!
  • Mix the dal well and cover the it for 10 minutes before serving.
    dal makhani
  • Garnish it with freshly chopped cilantro, serve it hot with some naan, cumin rice and onion-tomato salad with side of lime wedge!
    dal makhani
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