Dal Makhni



Dal Makhmi, known as Kali Dal, or Mah ki Dal, is a Punjabi delicacy and very popular all over the world. This is very rich, creamy lentils cooked with assorted spices makes it one of the best warm and soul foods ever! Dal (lentil) Makhani (cream/butter) as the name insists is filled with calories and is a special treat. There are few variations and I have tried them all. I have finally settled down to this recipe. The secret to best Dal Makhani is the number of hours one cooks the lentils and a pinch of nutmeg makes this yummy and Delicious.

Traditionally, the Dals are simmered overnight in Tandoor which enhances the taste. Otherwise, I find that soaking the lentils a little longer than norm also does the same. I usually soak it say evening when I need to make this dish for next day’s lunch.


1 cup whole black lentils (whole Urad dal)

1/4 cup Bengal gram

1/2 cup Kidney beans

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1-2 tsp. green chillies, sliced thinly

1 tsp. ginger paste

1 tsp. cumin-coriander powder

1 tsp. cardamom powder

1-2 mace

1 tsp. dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)

3 tbsp. butter (or 1-2 tsp. of vegetable oil for low cal.)

2-3 cloves

2″ cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1 cup tomato puree

Pinch of nutmeg powder.

1 cup cream

Salt to taste


1-Soak the lentils and kidney beans overnight.

2-Rinse them well in cold water.

3-Cook them in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles, or after one whistles, cook on simmer about 15 minutes.

4-Open the lid and mash the Dal properly with the bottom of ladle.

5-Heat butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, add cloves, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cumin-coriander powder, bay leaf, ginger paste, chillies and mace. Sauté, add the tomato puree. Cover it with lid and cook for two minutes.

6-Add the lentil mixture and water to adjust the thickness. Cook this Dal about 20 to 30 minutes on slow heat. Stir occasionally to avoid the lentils from sticking to the bottom.

7-Add the fenugreek leaves along with cardamom powder, stir and add cream, Remove and serve this Hot Chapattis or Naan.

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