Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani
Photo Credits: Sukriti Taneja

Thick creamy dal comprising of a Black Urad Dal (whole) and Rajma (kidney beans) combination, Dal Makhani is typically made in Punjabi homes all over the world. It is a perfect main course dish for any formal party or get together and can be served with jeera rice, chapati, naan or parantha. Read on to discover an easy way to make restaurant like Dal Makhani at home.


  • Black Urad Dal (Whole)                                       2/3 cup
  • Rajma (Kidney Beans)                                         1/3 cup
  • Water                                                                3 cups
  • Onion, finely chopped                                        1 medium
  • Tomato, finely chopped                                      1 medium
  • Green Chillies                                                    1 – 2 small
  • Garlic, finely chopped                                        2 – 3 cloves
  • Ginger, grated                                                    1/3 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds                                                      1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt                                                                    To taste
  • Turmeric Powder                                                1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder                                                1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder                                               1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala                                                    1/2 teaspoon
  • Milk                                                                    2 tablespoons
  • Cooking Oil / Ghee (Clarified Butter)                    1 – 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), chopped                    For garnish
  • Thick cream / Malai                                            For garnish


  1. Combine the dal and rajma and wash them 3 – 4 times with clean water. Then soak them in 2.5 cups water for 2 – 3 hours.
  2. After 2 – 3 hours, drain and rinse them twice with clean water. Then put them in a pressure cooker.
  3. Also put the chopped onion, garlic, tomato, green chilies, ginger, salt and turmeric powder in the pressure cooker.
  4. Now add 3 cups water and close the cooker’s lid. Place the cooker over high heat and let it come to a whistle.
  5. After about 4 whistles reduce the heat to low. Let the dal simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Tip: This way of cooking saves time needed to prepare the tempering as all ingredients are already cooked along with the dal and it yields a very well combined thick dal. A simple tempering of cumin seeds will be done now. However, avoid using this method for other dals.

  1. Once the steam has escaped from the cooker, open the lid carefully to see if the dal has boiled properly. If both the dal and rajma can be squashed within your fingers easily, it is done.

Tip: If you find that the dal is not properly boiled or alternatively, the dal is boiled but the rajma is not, add a few ice cubes and 1/2 cup of chilled water to the pressure cooker and immediately close the lid. Replace the cooker over high heat and give it 3 whistles. Then reduce flame and simmer the dal for another 15 minutes.

  1. Now for the tempering, heat oil or ghee in a small frying pan. Once the oil / ghee is hot add the cumin seeds.
  2. As soon as the cumin seeds crackle, lower the flame and add the red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  3. Stir everything and then pour the milk in the tempering while stirring.
  4. Immediately add the tempering to the dal and give it a good stir. The milk will lend the dal a creamy texture hence giving it the name Dal Makhani.
  5. Finally place the cooker over medium heat and just as the dal comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Then give the dal a final stir and pour it in the serving dish.

Note: Before replacing the cooker on the gas for a final stir, check if the dal’s consistency is too thick. If it is, add about 2/3 cups of water to it and stir. Then let it come to a nice boil and turn off the heat.

  1. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and thick cream or malai. Serve hot with chapatti, parantha or jeera rice.

Preparation Time: 1 hour (excluding soaking time)

Servings: 2 – 3

Leave a Reply