Lentils At its Best- Dal Makhani

Dal makhani is a treasured staple food, originally from Punjab in North India. This dish is a type of daal(boiled lentils or other dried legume/pulse) eaten in India (in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the Bhojpuri area of Bihar) and Pakistan. Its high in protein–an important attribute in primarily vegetarian cultures.


This is a type of dish that you will get in any and all corners of the Sub-continents! This is such a common but coveted dish that I just had to write about the recipe here. This is also one of the most ordered dishes in the hotels in Pune.


2 cups Urad dal

3/4 cup red kidney beans

1 cup chopped onion

3-4 cloves chopped garlic

1 inch ginger

1 tbsp tomato paste/ 1 cup chopped tomato

2 tbsp coriander powder

1tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

8-10 no. peppercorn

4-5 no. cloves

1-2 no. bay leaves

2 tsp curry powder

2 tbsp olive oil or ghee

1/2 cup heavy cream

2-3 tbsp shaken buttermilk


Soak the red kidney beans in water overnight orĀ  else atleast for 6-8 hours. Wash the lentils thoroughly and put it in a pressure cooker. Add water to it about an inch above the level of lentils or maybe around 6 cups. Add turmeric, salt, peppercorn and cloves into it. Turn heat on and boil it on medium heat until they are well cooked.

In a thick bottom pan heat oil. Throw in bay leaves and then chopped onion. Saute onions until its translucent then make a paste of ginger garlic and add it to the onions. Fry it until everything looks golden in color and then add chopped tomato, cayenne pepper and coriander powder into it. Fry until tomato is almost dissolved and then add curry powder and after a minute add heavy cream to it.

When lid of the pressure cooker is ready to be opened add buttermilk into it. Stir well so that lentils are completely mixed into each other and then add the onion masala that has been prepared.

Garnish it with coriander leaves and if you want to take it up a notch just add a dollop of butter into it.

Serve hot with tandoori roti or plain basmati rice.


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