Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dal Makhani/ Mixed lentils in creamy tomato sauce

Dal Makhani or "Maa ki dal" is a traditional punjabi dish. It's usually made with sabut urad dal, i.e with the black skin of urad dal and rajma dal. It's very creamy, rich  comfort food  packed with fibre. There are many variations in how it's made. Basically longer the lentils are cooked, the better the taste would be. This is a perfect dish to cook in a slow cooker.

What You Need

  • Black urad dal 1cup
  • Red kidney beans 1/2 cup ( idid not habe the dry one, so used the cannned ones)
  • green chilli 3 chopped
  • Onion 1 chopped
  • Ginger 1 inch grated
  • Tomatoes 4 medium
  • Coriander powder 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Garam masala 2 tsp
  • red chilli powder 2 tsp
  • kasoori methi 1 tsp
  • Butter 1 tbsp
  • Cumin 1 tsp
  • Half & half 1/4 cup
  • salt to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish


  • Wash and soak the black urad dal overnight (for about 8 hrs.)
  • The next day, pressure cook the urad dal with two cups of water, grated ginger, 1 tsp coriander powder,1 tsp red chilli powder and a little salt for 5 whistles.
  • Boil two cups of water. Add the 4 medium tomatoes to the water and cover. Let it stand for 5 mins. or till the skin peels off.
  • Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and puree it.
  • In a deep pan, add 1 tbsp oil, ues i said butter not oil :)). When it's hot add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add the onions and saute till translucent. Add the green chillies and saute for a few mins.
  • Now add the tomato puree and the remaining 1 tsp of redchilli powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 2 tsp of garam masala powder, 1 tsp cumin powder & Kasoori methi.
  • add salt to taste and cook for about 10  mins covered till the raw smell of tomato goes away.
  • Add the red kidney beans to the cooked urad dal and mash it a couple of times.
  • Add the cooked & mashed lentils to the tomato gravy.
  • Adjust salt and spices and let it come to a boil
  • If it's too thick add little water.
  • Now cover and let it simmer for 20 - 25 mins.
  • Turn off the heat and add the 1/4 cup of half and half.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with phulkas or rice.

The half and half or cream makes this very rich. you can omit this if you want a low fat version or just use 2% milk or yogurt.

I took this dal to my colleagues at work, many of whom never have tasted Indain food. They simply loved it and couldn't help for seconds and even third servings!!


  1. that almost looks like served in a five star restaurant..very nice job !

  2. wow dal makhani looks awesome this dish ...can u pass me the dal bowl plez :)...


  3. Thanks for your nice words Aipi & satya!

  4. dal makhani looks so rich and delicious..

  5. Dear Priya,

    Dal makhani looks very delicious.Very tempting presentation.Nice pic.

  6. What a delicious curry..looks so tempting..

  7. looks yum n delicious...simply mouthwatering..

  8. Wow, loving it dear, it has come out so delicious and rich looking :)

  9. i just love dal makhani...thanks for the recipe...

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  10. Wow... i love it... i have heard but not yet tried... by seeing your pic.. surely gonna give a try... book marked...


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