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overhead closeup of a spoon scooping up some lentils in dark brown sauce
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Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is known as the Queen of All Dals, and it's certainly earned that moniker. A combination of urad dal, red kidney beans, and many, many spices makes this a truly outstanding Indian lentil dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Soaking Time6 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 272kcal
Author: Victoria


  • ½ cup whole black gram / urad dal
  • 2 tablespoons dry red kidney beans
  • 2 dry red chilies stems removed, and seeds removed for less heat, if desired
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small to medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, or tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)


  • Soak both the dals (whole black gram and kidney beans) in plenty of cold water for 6 to 7 hours or overnight. Rinse well and drain.
  • Soak the dry red chilies in hot water for 15 minutes and then drain well. Add the reconstituted chilies, ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water to a food processor and puree until it forms a smooth paste.
  • To a medium-large pot, add the soaked dals, the remaining 3 cups water, half of the ginger-garlic-chili paste, and the turmeric and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes until the dal is tender. Mash it a little with the back of a spoon or ladle, and set aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to turn golden. Add the remaining ginger-garlic-chili paste and sauté for another minute. Then add the ground coriander, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, tomato sauce, and unsalted butter, and cook until the butter melts and the sauce becomes incredibly fragrant, a few minutes more. Add this mixture to the pot with the dal and its liquid. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture slightly thickens and the flavors infuse. Stir in the heavy cream, if desired, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot with any Indian bread or rice.


Adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g