Dal makhani step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
If I think of Punjabi food, this is one of the first things that comes to mind. Silky velvety dal makhani... Makhan means butter – this dish is essentially lentils cooked in butter and spices. Made with whole black gram, red kidney beans, and butter - accompanied by soft and crispy naan. This is the most popular dal in Indian restaurants outside India.
This dish has a low glycemic index and all the good fat from butter. The main ingredient used here is black gram which has several health benefits, including improving digestion, bone health, and boosting energy. Urad dal is also rich in folates and phosphorus.
Also known as Maa ki dal, this dish is slow-cooked which allows the lentils to soak up all the flavours from the aromatic spices. It is important to soak the black gram and rinse it off before boiling. Using a pressure cooker to boil the dal is a great way to get the right texture and save a lot of time.
Urad dal: This dal is made with whole urad dal or black gram.
Rajma: A small amount of rajma or kidney beans goes into making this dal.
Butter: Don't shy away from using butter in this dish.
Onion and tomatoes: They form the base of the masala for the dal.
Ginger and garlic: Use fresh ginger and garlic for best-tasting dal.
Spices: The powdered spices I use are coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, hing, and garam masala.
Tips for making the best dal makhani
Simmer the dal over low flame for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is the best way to make the best-tasting dal makhani. Once the masala is ready, add the cooked dal, adjust consistency and let it simmer.
Soak the urad dal and rajma for a minimum of 8 hours. Soaking them for a long time will help achieve the creaminess.
Pressure cook the dal well. It is important to make sure the dal is completely cooked before adding it to the masala.
Don't shy away from using butter. This is a rich dish and lots of butter goes into making it. If you cut down on butter, you will not get that creamy and delicious dal makhani you enjoy in restaurants.
Lightly mash the dal before simmering. This will help achieve thickness and creaminess.
Make the second tempering with ghee (see recipe) and add it towards the end. Don't skip it - consider this the game-changer.
This dish is:
- made restaurant-style
- buttery, rich, and creamy
- great for parties or when you have guests at home
- freezer-friendly. It can be frozen for up to three months
Make sure you make a large batch as magically leftover dal makhani tastes even better the next day!
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Dal Makhani recipe video
Dal makhani step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Soak the lentils in water overnight and boil them in a pressure cooker till done
2. Fry onions till golden brown, then saute ginger, garlic
3. Add tomatoes, spices, and cook till oil separates
4. Add the cooked dal and simmer
5. Prepare tempering (seasoning) and mix with the dal
Dal makhani served with naan