Dal makhani or dal makhni is a popular dish from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. The primary ingredients are whole black lentil, red kidney beans, butter and cream. The dish gets its richness from the use of cream, however, it can also be prepared with yogurt, milk or no dairy.
Dal makhani is a staple in the Indian subcontinent. The traditional preparation of dal makhani involves a series of time-consuming procedures, which can take up to 24 hours to complete. With the availability of modern cooking equipment, namely electric pressure cookers, the preparation time of the dish has reduced significantly to 2–3 hours.
Preperation time: 4 hrs
Cooking time: 3 hrs
-½ cup whole black lentil / sabut urad dal
-¼ cup rajma / red kidney beans
-2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
-1 small black cardamom/ badi elaichi
-1 small bay leaf/ tej patta
-¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder/ haldi
-Salt as needed
-2 tbsp oil or butter
-¼ to ½ tsp cumin / jeera
-⅛ tsp hing / asafoetida
-1 medium fine chopped onion
-2 medium fine chopped tomato
-¾ tsp ginger finely chopped
-¾ tsp finely chopped garlic cloves
-1 green chilies slit optional
-½ tsp red chilli powder
-½ tsp garam masala
-1 ½ tsp coriander powder
-1 ½ to 2 cups water to add later
-2 tbsps cream
1. Wash sabut urad dal, rajma and chana dal thoroughly several times. Soak it for overnight or at least for 4 hours. Add 2.5 cups water, 1 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom and half of the chilli powder to a pressure cooker and cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a medium flame. Add more water as needed if cooking in a pot. Cook for about 25 to 30 mins in a pressure cooker on a medium flame.
2. When the pressure goes off, dal is soft cooked. The color of the cooked lentils may be different at this stage depending on the ingredients.
3. Heat a heavy bottom pot or pan with butter or oil. Make sure you use a heavy bottom utensil to prevent the dal sticking at the bottom during the slow cooking process. Add cumin and saute for a min or two.
4. Add hing and ginger garlic. You can also use grated ginger garlic instead of fine chopped. Saute until they turn aromatic.
5. Add finely chopped onions.
6. Saute until the onions turn golden.
7. Add tomatoes, green chili, salt, turmeric and chili powder.
8. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft.
9. Add garam masala and coriander powder. Give a good stir.
10. Add the cooked lentils along with the stock.
11. Stir well and cook on a low flame stirring often.
12. You will need to add half cup water each time the dal thickens. Stir and continue to cook on the lowest possible heat.
13. After 2 hours the consistency will get thick and creamy. Add cream and simmer for 5 to 7 mins.
14. Dal Makhani can be served with butter topped and garnished with coriander and ginger Juliennes.