Dal Makhani


Dal makhani or makhni is a popular Pakistani and Indian dish that originates from the province of Punjab. It is made from whole black lentils (or kaali dal as it is called locally), red lentil beans (laal lobia or rajma) with butter or cream to make that rich creamy decadent gravy. It can be served with either rice or roti.


  • ½ cup dry whole black lentils (kaali dal)
  • 1/8 cup dry red kidney beans (laal lobia or rajma)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (zeera)
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tomatoes, puréed
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi) powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons butter , plus more for garnishing
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Soak the black lentils (kaali dal) and kidney beans (rajma) in water separately, overnight or at least 8 – 10 hours.
  2. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Combine the black lentils and red kidney beans with water in large pot with salt.
  4. Bring it to a boil and then turn heat to simmer. Cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours till lentils are tender.
  5. Roughly chop three tomatoes, and place them in a blender. Blend to make tomato puree.
  6. Heat oil in a separate pot and add cumin seeds (zeera).
  7. Saute for about 30 seconds till the seeds splutter, and then add chopped onions.
  8. Once the onions turn translucent, add ginger garlic paste followed by the tomato puree.
  9. Cook for about 5-10 minutes and add turmeric, red chili powder, green chilies and coriander seeds.
  10. Cook for a couple of minutes till oil separates and tomatoes turn into a thick paste.
  11. Add the cooked lentils and red kidney beans along with 1 ½ – 2 cups of water.
  12. Cook on slow simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes till lentils are soft and mashed.
  13. Add salt, butter, garam masala and coriander leaves. Cook for a few minutes and serve hot.
  14. Garnish with butter and coriander leaves.

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