Monday, September 14, 2009

Dal Makhani - Creamy black lentils

Dal Makhani is a very popular north Indian side dish. It goes well with both roti and rice. "Makhani" literally translates to "Buttery" or "Creamy" and so, I thought the recipe would call for a lot of butter or cream to make it rich. Later I realized, the creaminess comes from the Urad dal itself and not from cream or butter. I used 1/2 cup of 1% milk, 2 tbsp fat free yogurt and just 1 tsp of butter for this yummy dish. Here is how I prepared it.

Urad Dal (with skin) - 3/4 cup
Masoor Dal (with skin) - 1/4 cup
Rajma (Red Kidney beans) - 1/3 cup
Onion - 1 large, finely chopped
Tomato - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Ginger paste - 3/4 tsp
Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
sugar - 1/4 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
butter - 1 tsp
salt to taste
oil - 2 tsp
Garlic cloves peeled and slit in the middle (for tempering) - 4-6

Soak all the 3 dals in water overnight.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add onion and saute until transparent. You can add a little salt at this time to bring out the sweetness of the onion. Add ginger and garlic paste and fry for a minute. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add tomato and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the drained dals, salt, sugar, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder and cover with water and pressure cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until dals are tender (4-5 whistles). Let stand for 15-20 minutes before opening.

Open the pressure cooker, add milk, stir well and bring to boil again. Add yogurt, turn the heat off and stir well. In another pan, melt 1 tsp of butter and temper garlic cloves and add this to the dal mixure. Tasty dal makhani is ready :)


  1. I really like your suggestion of making Dal Makhani with yoghurt rather than sour cream (which I use). Alternatively, if you can avoid both to get Maa ki Dal or Amritsari Dal which I like to eat in Dhabas. Another nice addition is to add kasoori methi in the end.

  2. Thanks for your suggestion. Will try the kasoori methi next time.

  3. Good work here:)I like ur blog name vry much first of all, reflecting my thiughts:), and the pics r very good. Dal makahani looks yummy! Very interesting dishes! Will try them one by one! Continue to blog Renu! Good luck:)