Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani
5 from 5 votes
Experience the rich, creamy decadence of Dal Makhani, a traditional Indian dish that combines the wholesome goodness of black lentils and kidney beans. A delight for vegetarians and spice lovers alike, this recipe is a culinary journey worth embarking on.
Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani, a rich and creamy lentil dish, holds its roots deep in the heart of North Indian cuisine. With its velvety texture and aromatic spices, it’s a dish that has been cherished for generations. While it might sound fancy, fear not, for its preparation is simpler than you might imagine.

This dish features whole black lentils and kidney beans, soaked overnight to tenderize them before cooking. The lentils and beans are then pressure-cooked until they reach a melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

Meanwhile, a medley of spices including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala infuse the dish with layers of flavor.

To start, we sauté finely chopped onions until they turn golden brown, infusing the dish with a sweet and savory depth. Ginger and garlic paste add a punch of aromatic intensity, while tomatoes and green chilies lend a subtle tanginess and heat.

Once the lentils and beans are cooked to perfection, they’re combined with the flavorful onion-tomato base, simmered gently until all the ingredients meld together beautifully. A touch of double cream adds richness and indulgence, elevating this dish to new heights.

Garnished with fresh coriander leaves, this Dal Makhani is ready to grace your table, whether alongside fluffy rice or warm naan bread.

Expert Tip: For added depth of flavor, toast the whole spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds) before grinding them into powder for the recipe. This releases their essential oils and enhances their aroma.


Lentils Whole Black: Black lentils bring a hearty texture and earthy flavor to Dal Makhani. When cooked, they become creamy and satisfying, adding depth to the dish.

Kidney Beans (Rajma): Kidney beans complement the lentils, providing a contrasting texture and nutty taste. They add substance to the dish, making it more filling and nutritious.

Ghee (Butter): Ghee, or clarified butter, imparts a rich and buttery flavor to the dish. It enhances the overall taste and aroma, giving Dal Makhani its signature indulgent character.

Onions: Finely chopped onions form the flavor base of Dal Makhani, providing sweetness and depth. When sautéed until golden brown, they add complexity to the dish.

Ginger Paste: Ginger paste adds a warm and spicy kick to the dish, balancing out the richness of the other ingredients. It contributes to the aromatic profile of Dal Makhani.

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste enhances the savory notes of the dish, infusing it with a pungent and aromatic flavor. It complements the other spices and ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Tomatoes: Finely chopped tomatoes lend a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to Dal Makhani. They help create a flavorful base for the dish and add a hint of freshness.

Green Chilies: Finely chopped green chilies provide a subtle heat and brightness to the dish. They add a spicy kick without overpowering the other flavors.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients, balancing out the sweetness, acidity, and spiciness. It is essential for seasoning the dish to perfection.

Cumin Powder: Cumin powder adds a warm and earthy flavor to Dal Makhani. It complements the other spices and lends depth to the dish.

Coriander Powder: Coriander powder contributes a citrusy and floral aroma to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile. It pairs well with the other spices, adding complexity.

Turmeric Powder: Turmeric powder provides a vibrant yellow color to Dal Makhani and adds a subtle earthy flavor. It also offers numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Chili Powder: Chili powder adds heat and spiciness to the dish, giving it a bold and robust flavor. Adjust the amount according to your preference for spice level.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a blend of aromatic spices that adds warmth and depth to Dal Makhani. It ties together all the flavors and elevates the dish to a new level of deliciousness.

Double Cream: Double cream adds richness and creaminess to Dal Makhani, giving it a luxurious texture. It balances out the spices and adds a velvety smoothness to the dish.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, are used as a garnish for Dal Makhani. They add a pop of color and freshness, enhancing the visual appeal of the dish while adding a hint of herbal flavor.

Expert Tip: Adjust the spice levels according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of chili powder and green chilies.

Serving Suggestions

  • Rice: Serve Dal Makhani with steamed Basmati rice for a classic and satisfying combination. The fluffy texture of the rice pairs perfectly with the creamy richness of the dish, creating a comforting and hearty meal.
  • Naan Bread: Accompany Dal Makhani with warm, freshly baked naan bread for a delightful Indian feast. The soft and chewy naan provides the perfect vessel for scooping up the creamy lentil curry, making each bite a culinary delight.
  • Roti: Enjoy Dal Makhani with homemade roti or chapati for a wholesome and nourishing meal. The thin and soft flatbread complements the hearty lentil curry, offering a simple yet satisfying dining experience.
  • Side Salad: Serve Dal Makhani with a side salad of fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions dressed with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala. The crisp and refreshing salad provides a light contrast to the rich and creamy flavors of the dish.
  • Pickles and Chutneys: Accompany Dal Makhani with a selection of pickles and chutneys, such as mango pickle, mint chutney, and tamarind chutney. The tangy and spicy condiments add depth and complexity to the meal, tantalizing your taste buds with each bite.

Expert Tip: Soaking the lentils and kidney beans overnight helps to soften them, reducing the cooking time and ensuring they become tender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned lentils and kidney beans instead of soaking them overnight?

Yes, you can substitute canned lentils and kidney beans for the dried ones. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.

Can I adjust the spice level of the dish?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of green chilies and chili powder according to your preference for heat.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the Korean fried chicken in advance and reheat it before serving. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I omit the double cream?

While the double cream adds richness to the dish, you can omit it if you prefer a lighter version. Alternatively, you can substitute it with coconut cream for a dairy-free option.

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Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

by Nabeela Kauser
Experience the rich, creamy decadence of Dal Makhani, a traditional Indian dish that combines the wholesome goodness of black lentils and kidney beans. A delight for vegetarians and spice lovers alike, this recipe is a culinary journey worth embarking on.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 157 kcal


  • 200 g Lentils Whole Black
  • 50 g Kidney Beans Rajma
  • 1 litre Water
  • 2 tbsp Ghee Butter
  • 2 Onions Finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 2 Tomatoes Finely chopped
  • 2 Green Chilies Finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp Double Cream
  • Coriander


  • Allow the black lentils and kidney beans to soak in water overnight.
  • Once soaked, add them along with water to a pressure cooker and cook on high heat for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • In a separate pan, heat ghee and sauté finely chopped onions until golden brown.
  • Add ginger paste and garlic paste to the pan and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Mix in finely chopped tomatoes and green chilies, and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
  • To the same pan, add salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked lentils and kidney beans to the mixture.
  • Simmer the mixture on low heat for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in fresh cream and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Finally, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or naan bread.


  • To enhance the flavour, add a little kasuri methi while cooking.
  • For a vegan version, substitute ghee with oil or vegan butter and the cream with coconut milk.
  • Adjust the quantity of fresh cream according to your taste preference.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 613mgPotassium: 337mgFibre: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 779IUVitamin C: 14mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Curry, Dal, Food, Lentils, Recipe, Spicy, Vegetarian
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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