Healthy Dal Makhani

… Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit:

Dal Makhani

Experience the epitome of Punjabi culinary excellence with the legendary Dal Makhani. This iconic dish is a culinary masterpiece that seamlessly blends the earthy comfort of lentils with the velvety richness of cream and butter, creating a symphony of flavors that’s simply irresistible. Dal Makhani is a labor of love that begins with simmering black lentils and kidney beans, known as urad and rajma, in a harmonious melange of spices. Slow-cooked to perfection, the lentils transform into a hearty base that’s both creamy and wholesome. The dish’s magic lies in the infusion of flavors over hours of gentle simmering.

The name Dal Makhani itself speaks volumes, translating to buttery lentils. The addition of butter, cream, and aromatic spices imparts a luxurious depth to the dish, elevating it to an exquisite indulgence. The result is a velvety texture and a harmonious blend of smoky and savory notes. Whether enjoyed with fragrant basmati rice, naan, or roti, Dal Makhani is an experience that transcends taste. It embodies the essence of Punjabi hospitality, where food is a medium of celebration and connection. From its humble beginnings to its global popularity, this dish continues to win hearts with its rich flavors and cultural significance. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that pays homage to tradition, comfort, and the art of savoring the timeless delight that is Dal Makhani.

  • Origin: Punjab, India
  • Category: Dal Makhani is a Punjabi Vegetarian Curry/Main Dish which is considered Main Course
  • Ingredient: Black Lentils, Kidney Beans, Butter, Cream, Spices are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Onions, Tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 2-3 hours and the flavour is Creamy and Flavorful
  • Nutritional Information: Dal Makhani contains 330 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 13 g of fat, 12 g of protein and 42 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 3 g sugar and 13 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Punjabi Food - Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani is a beloved Punjabi dish that has gained international acclaim for its rich, creamy, and aromatic flavors. This classic lentil preparation is a staple in Punjabi cuisine and is often featured on menus in Indian restaurants worldwide.

The dish is primarily made from whole black lentils (urad dal) and kidney beans (rajma), which are soaked overnight and then slow-cooked until they're incredibly tender. The slow cooking process enhances the lentils' natural flavors and results in a creamy consistency.

To create the signature richness of Dal Makhani, the cooked lentils and beans are simmered in a luscious tomato-based gravy. The gravy is prepared by sautéing onions, ginger, and garlic in ghee (clarified butter) until they turn golden and aromatic. Tomatoes, along with a blend of spices including cumin, coriander, and garam masala, are added to create a flavorful base. A touch of cream and butter is added to give the dish its characteristic velvety texture and luxurious taste.

Dal Makhani is often garnished with fresh cilantro and a swirl of cream before serving. It pairs wonderfully with naan, roti, or steamed rice, making it a wholesome and satisfying meal. The combination of tender lentils, creamy gravy, and aromatic spices creates a symphony of flavors that exemplifies the heartiness and warmth of Punjabi cuisine.


  • Black Gram [ उड़द दाल ], 1/2 Cup
    → Soaked.
  • Kidney Beans [ राजमा ], 2 Tablespoons
    → Soaked.
  • Water [ पानी ], As desired
    → To Be Used For Cooking Lentils.
  • Clarified Butter [ घी ], 2 Tablespoons
  • Cumin Seeds [ जीरा ], 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Onion [ प्याज़ ], 1 Medium
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste [ अदरक लहसुन का पेस्ट ], 1 Teaspoon
  • Tomato [ टमाटर ], 2 Medium
    → Chopped.
  • Turmeric Powder [ हल्दी चूर्ण ], 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder [ लाल मिर्च चूर्ण ], 1/2 Teaspoon
    → Adjust To Taste.
  • Hot Spice [ गरम मसाला ], 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves [ सूखी कसूरी मेथी ], 1 Teaspoon
    → Crushed.
  • Cream [ मलाई ], 1/4 Cup
    → To Be Used For Garnishing.
  • Butter [ मक्खन ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired
    → Adjust To Taste.
  • Water [ पानी ], As desired
    → To Be Used For Cooking.
  • Coriander Leaves [ धनिया पत्ता ], A few Grams
    → Freshly Chopped. To Be Used For Garnishing.


Method for preparing Dal Makhani

  • Thoroughly wash the soaked black lentils (urad dal) and kidney beans (rajma).
  • Add the washed lentils and rajma to a pressure cooker with adequate water. Cook until soft and cooked through in the pressure cooker.
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Allow the cumin seeds to sputter.
  • Sauté the finely chopped onions until they become translucent.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few minutes, or until the raw scent goes away.
  • Cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy, about 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook the masala until the oil begins to separate.
  • Add the cooked lentils and rajma to the masala mixture, along with the cooking water. Combine thoroughly.
  • Mash some of the lentils and rajma with a ladle to thicken the stew.
  • Mix in the garam masala and crushed kasuri methi. If necessary, adjust the consistency by adding water.
  • enable the dal makhani to boil on low heat for 20-30 minutes to enable the flavors to blend.
  • Mix in the cream well. Cook for a few minutes more.
  • Melt butter in a separate small pan.
  • Mix in the melted butter with the dal makhani.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, if desired.
  • Your delectable Dal Makhani is ready to serve.
  • Serve immediately with naan, roti, or rice.

Health Benefits

  • Plant-Based Protein – Dal makhani is prepared from lentils and contains plant-based protein, which is important for muscular function.
  • Dietary Fiber – Lentils provide dietary fiber, which aids digestion, promotes satiety, and keeps blood sugar levels steady.
  • Micronutrient-Rich – Lentils are high in important vitamins and minerals, which contribute to general health and well-being.
  • Heart-Healthy Fats – In moderation, using butter or ghee delivers healthy fats that help heart health.
  • Cultural Significance – Dal makhani is a popular North Indian dish that is often served during gatherings and festivities.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

Dal Makhani, the crown gem of Punjabi cooking, is the epitome of warmth and deliciousness. A celebration of simplicity taken to new heights, this velvety stew is made by simmering black lentils and kidney beans in a rich combination of spices, cream, and butter for hours. The dish's name, which means buttery lentils, reflects both its decadent character and the careful skill required to prepare it. The rich, smokey aromas in each bite are a testament to hours of simmering and expert cooking passed down through the family. To the Punjabi people, Dal Makhani is more than just a meal; it represents their love of rich, robust tastes. This dish, which may be served with either naan or rice, is a cultural bridge that gives diners a taste of the rich legacy of Punjab. As you inhale the perfume of this masterpiece, you're whisked away to a place where modern innovation harmonizes with time-honored customs.

Thank You

The pictures displayed on this website are usually royalty free stock photos taken from Unsplash, iStock, Pixabay, Pngtree, and other sources. We appreciate the work of the individuals who own them. This is to thank them for their work and let them know how much it is appreciated.

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