Dal makhani

Dal makhani

20 mins Prep · 120 mins Cook

Dahl makhani is a popular lentil dish from the north-Indian state of Punjab. Made with whole black lentils (urad dahl) and red kidney beans (rajma), it’s a rich dahl made with butter and cream. It’s often finished with a hot coal, which imparts a smoky flavour to the dish

Created by Spinneys
Prep time 20 minutes
Soaking time Overnight
Cook time 120 minutes
Serves 4
Cuisine Indian
Diet Vegetarian
Preparation Moderate
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 358
Fat 27.3g
Saturates 16.6g
Protein 7g
Carbs 23.4g
Sugars 3.5g
Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details

Cooking Instructions

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Rinse the urad dahl and red kidney beans. Soak in 750ml of water overnight. Drain the water and place in a medium-sized pot along with 750ml of water. Place over a medium heat and cook until tender, approx. 1½ hours.


Rinse and finely slice the leek. Peel and crush the garlic and ginger.


Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and butter together over a medium heat (use Amul butter if possible). Add the leek to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until golden. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the tomato purée (or tinned tomato), chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon of garam masala and salt and cook until the oil rises to the surface. Add in the cooked dahl and stir to combine. Add in the remaining 500ml of water and lower the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring now and then. 


Once simmered, add in the cream and stir well. The dahl is ready to be served at this stage, alternatively there is one last step that is optional.


Place a small metal bowl on the surface of the dal. Heat a piece of charcoal over direct heat or gas flame until red hot. Place the coal inside the bowl and pour melted ghee over the coal. Immediately close the pot with a tight-fitting lid and set aside for 2 minutes to smoke.


To make the tempering, finely julienne the ginger. Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee in a medium-sized frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add the ginger and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Crush the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) with your hands into the ghee along with 1 teaspoon of garam masala and red chilli powder. Cook for a further 30 seconds, swirling the pan frequently.


Pour the tempering over the dahl and serve topped with roughly torn coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice.