Quintessential Dal Makhani Recipe (Buttery Black Lentil Mix)

Quintessential Dal Makhani Recipe: a mixture of black lentils (urad dal) cooked with beans, spices and essential Indian spices that result in a buttery – melt in your mouth dal.

Dal Makhani Recipe can be made in the slow cooker.

Most famous and sought-after recipe from the state of Punjab and is a default in ‘ALL’ Indian Restaurants.Dal Makhani

Dal Makhni Recipe/ Makhani / Makhani Dal / Ma ki Dal (Indian Lentil Mix) is a recipe that actually needs no introduction to anyone who would have ever tasted Indian food or been to an Indian restaurant.

It seriously is the Quintessential comfort-food recipe especially for people coming from the Northern part of India and every household adds their special touch or flavor to it.

The ‘Dal/Lentil’ calls for few main ingredients like Black Lentil/Urad Daal, Kidney Beans/Rajma, Ginger+Garlic paste, Cream, and few more ingredients.

All these ingredients are added at just the right time to enhance the dish and make it extremely mouth-watering.


This Dal Makhani recipe is also one of those recipes which when cooked for longer becomes even more buttery and almost melts in your mouth.

Once made, it can be stored in refrigerator up to a week or frozen for a month (just thaw overnight in the fridge).

I usually love preparing this dish with few kidney beans, but it’s absolutely as per your choice.

You can even use all black lentil or mix with Split Bengal Gram/Chana Dal.

Since, this is a slow-cooked, slightly heavy recipe, hence we usually eat it on a special occasion or maybe once in 1-2 months, however, you can eat it as and when you want.

You can make the lighter version with ‘No Cream’.

Dal Makhani recipe

If you’re a slow cooker fan, you will definitely love this even more, as all you need to do is add the ingredients and start your slow cooker.

Then carry on with your other activities while the dal gets ready (the cooking time would be exactly the same you use to cook any other lentil).

Give this Dal Makhani recipe a try this weekend and enjoy with your favorite side of bread or rice or just about any grain.

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Yield: 6

Quintessential Dal Makahni (Buttery Black Lentil Mix)


Quintessential Dal Makhani Recipe: a mixture of black lentils (urad dal) cooked with beans, spices and essential Indian spices that result in a buttery - melt in your mouth dal.

Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 8 hours


  • 2 Cup Black Lentil (Urad Dal) - I'm using whole lentil
  • 1/2 Cup Kidney Beans
  • 3 Large Onions - thinly chopped
  • 2 Tsp Ginger+Garlic Paste - fresh or store bought
  • 2 Tomatoes - thinly chopped - you can use canned/frozen or even puree/paste
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil - you can use any light oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Ghee / Butter - optional
  • 1/4 Cup Cream
  • 5 Cups of Water - to cook the lentils
  • For Tadka / Tempuring: (Optional)
  • 1 Tsp Ghee
  • 1-2 Whole Red Chili
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Pinch of Fenugreek leaves
  • 2-3 Tsp Cream

* Powdered Spices *

  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 2 Pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi / Dry Fenugreek Leaves - optional
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Tsp Salt - use as per taste

** Whole Spices **

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Small Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Black Cardamoms
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 6-7 Black Peppercorn


  1. A night before OR atleast for 6-7 hrs, soak black lentils+kidney beans in a large pot with 5 cups of water.
  2. Once nicely soaked, cook them in the same pot for an hour (over low flames) OR use a pressure cooker to cook (15 minutes / 3-4 whistles)
  3. Once the dal is cooked, keep it aside.
  4. Heat a large pot/pan (that can accommodate all the lentil).
  5. Now, add oil+ghee and let it melt completely, takes about 1/2 minute.
  6. Now add all the 'Whole Spices' and let them crackle and heat for a minute over low flame.
  7. To this, add chopped onions and saute till slightly pink (about 3 minutes).
  8. Add, ginger+garlic paste and saute cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Now add all the powdered spices (EXCEPT Fenugreek leaves) and saute for a minute.
  10. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become slightly cooked.
  11. Finally, add the cooked lentils/dal, saute and cook covered for 20 minutes in low heat (stir every 3-4 minutes)
  12. Once the dal is nicely cooked with all the spices, add the cream and fenugreek leaves.
  13. Saute and cook for another 10 minutes over low flames.
  14. Give it a final stir and turn the heat off.
  15. **** If you are doing the Tadka/Tempuring
  16. Heat a small pan and add oil.
  17. Add whole red chili + cumin seeds and let them crackle for 1/2 minutes.
  18. Turn off the heat
  19. Transfer the Dal Makhni to serving bowl, decorate with tadka, fenugreek leaves and some fresh cream.
  20. Serve Hot with choice of side or store in fridge/freezer as per choice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 15gSugar: 8gProtein: 25g

38 Replies to "Quintessential Dal Makhani Recipe (Buttery Black Lentil Mix)"

  • Darcey March 10, 2016 (1:00 am)

    YUM! This just got added to my meal plan.

  • Amber March 9, 2016 (5:54 pm)

    Looks good. I can’t say I have ever tried anything like it.

  • Laurie March 8, 2016 (12:57 pm)

    I’ve never tried something like this before. I’m intrigued on how it tastesz

    • Molly Kumar March 11, 2016 (4:39 pm)

      It actually tastes absolutely creamy and almost soup like consistency with beans. Do give it a try 🙂

  • Jessica Cassidy March 8, 2016 (11:03 am)

    Yum! that looks delish but spicy 🙂

    • Molly Kumar March 11, 2016 (4:59 pm)

      Thanks Jessica, yes most of our Indian recipes are spicy, but you can just omit the chili and the recipe will still taste absolutely delish.

  • Doran March 8, 2016 (1:59 am)

    This look delicious! So perfect for next week’s meatless monday meal.

  • Bismah March 7, 2016 (4:22 pm)

    I am such a huge fan of beans and lentils especially with fresh bread to go along with it. This dish looks really tasty and has a really great variety of spices.

  • Rosey March 7, 2016 (2:24 pm)

    A new way to use kidney beans woohoo! This sounds great.

  • Nicole Escat March 7, 2016 (5:44 am)

    Looks so yummy and tasty to be honest. I want to make one for my mom. Thank you for sharing the ingredients and instructions. My mom would definitely love it because she loves food so much.

    • Molly Kumar April 6, 2016 (6:23 am)

      Aweee, thanks so much Nicole. I hope she enjoys it as much as we do – hugs.

  • victoria March 7, 2016 (4:41 am)

    This is my first time to hear about this and it’s such interesting to me, I would love to try this on weekends

    • Molly Kumar April 1, 2016 (5:28 pm)

      Hope you like it – Thanks for visiting.

  • Elizabeth O. March 7, 2016 (1:46 am)

    WOW! That’s a lot of flavor. I love that it has a bit of a spicy kick to it too. I would love to try this! It’s really very interesting to me.

  • Mama March 7, 2016 (12:11 am)

    Wow that looks like a work of art! Sounds like a dish my husband would enjoy!

  • Emma White March 6, 2016 (9:10 pm)

    oh wow that looks and sounds just amazing going to give it a try for sure

  • Carol Cassara March 6, 2016 (3:15 pm)

    I have never made dal but it is one of my favorite things to have at an Indian restaurant. I love it. Maybe i need to try this recipe, right?

    • Molly Kumar April 1, 2016 (5:31 pm)

      I would highly suggest that you give this recipe a try (It’s very similar to the ones available in restaurant)

  • Michelle Gwynn Jones March 6, 2016 (5:10 am)

    I always love a recipe you should start working on the night before. I didn’t know cardomon came in different colors.

    • Molly Kumar March 11, 2016 (4:51 pm)

      I love overnight recipes too, especially if the night work involves only soaking or mixing things and leaving overnight 🙂 You should give these different cardamoms atry, not only do they look different, they tastes world apart too! Thanks for visiting.

  • peter @feedyoursoultoo March 4, 2016 (10:02 pm)

    I am so into lentils now. I love your presentation.

    • Molly Kumar March 11, 2016 (4:40 pm)

      Thanks so much Peter, they definitely are a great source of protein and I love them too 🙂

  • Sam March 4, 2016 (9:01 pm)

    Yum! I have never tried this but it sounds delicious! Saving this to make later!! Thanks!!

  • AiPing | Curious Nut March 4, 2016 (8:28 pm)

    This sounds very similar to the South Indian sambar (or dal curry in Malaysia). I love it. I can have this with roti every day!!

    • Molly Kumar March 11, 2016 (5:00 pm)

      Hi AiPing, sambhar is definitely one of the way we make dal curry, this is more of a Northern style version with cream and absolutely different spices. Do give it a try 🙂

  • Lokness @ The Missing Lokness March 4, 2016 (8:27 pm)

    I would have any soup that is creamy and buttery. How great that this soup can be cooked in a slow cooker and be frozen! It would be so nice to take out the soup and enjoy it when I want to. Thanks for sharing!

    • Molly Kumar March 24, 2016 (5:29 am)

      Absolutely, it freezes great and can be stored for upto a month that way 🙂

  • Jayshree March 4, 2016 (7:41 pm)

    Super tempting dal makhani ????
    And you are right , slow cooking churns out the best flavoured dal makhani !! Love the pictures there ♥️

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