Restaurant Style Dal Maharani

5 from 1 vote

Creamy, rich, and luscious, this Restaurant Style Dal Maharani is a version of the popular Indian lentil curry Dal Makhani. Make it using my easy recipe from scratch at home.

Dal is something that is made in every Indian household. Here are a few dal recipes that I like a lot: Green Moong Dal, Malwa Dal, Dal Makhani, Shahi Dal, and Punjabi Yellow Dal Tadka.

Dal Maharani served in a bowl.
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About Dal Maharani

Dal Maharani is a creamy and luscious North Indian lentil curry prepared with whole urad (black lentils), rajma, and chana dal as its base.

This creamy lentil curry is perfect to serve for festivals or special occasions.

Serve it with jeera rice or Indian bread such as naan, missi roti, or tandoori roti.

You can cook this restaurant-style dal maharani recipe in a traditional pressure cooker or an instant pot.

This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. I cook it in my 3-liter stovetop pressure cooker or a 3-quart instant pot. If scaling the recipe, use a bigger cooker or instant pot. The cooking time will remain the same.

Difference Between Dal Maharani And Dal Makhani

Dal Maharani is very similar to Dal Makhani, but has unique taste and flavor.

Dal Makhani is a richer preparation made with lots of butter added, while the quantity of butter, ghee, and cream is slightly less in Dal Maharani.

Dal Maharani is also spicier than its cousin, Dal Makhani, which is mildly spiced.

Dal Makhani has a mildly sweet taste, while Dal Maharani has a robust taste.

Ingredients

You will get all the ingredients to make this lentil curry at any Indian grocery store.

Dal maharani ingredients list 1.
Dal maharani ingredients list 2.
Dal maharani first tempering ingredients
Dal maharani second tempering ingredients.

For The Dal

To make the lentils, you will need whole urad (whole black gram lentils), chitra rajma (red kidney beans), chana dal (Bengal gram lentils), ghee, Kashmiri red chili powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, bay leaves, Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), garam masala powder, butter, unsweetened heavy cream, and fresh ginger.

If you don’t have Chitra variety of rajma, use the regular rajma (kidney beans).

You can skip adding cream if making it for everyday meals.

To make this maharani dal recipe spicier, you can add a few whole spices, such as black cardamom (badi elaichi), green cardamom (hari elaichi), cloves (lung), cinnamon stick (dalchini), cumin seeds, etc. while cooking the lentils.

For The First Tempering

You will need ghee, onions, Kashmiri red chili powder, and canned tomato puree.

If tomato puree is not available, you can use tomato paste in its place.

For The Second Tempering

This is optional but gives this dal a great flavor. For this tadka, you will need butter (or ghee), garlic, and Kashmiri red chili powder.

How To Make Restaurant-Style Dal Maharani

Soak The Lentils

Wash the following ingredients with water.

  • ½ cup whole urad (whole black lentils)
  • ¼ cup chitra rajma (red kidney beans)
  • ¼ cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentils)

Soak them together or separately in 3-4 cups of water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

Soaked lentils.

Cook The Lentils

In A Pressure Cooker

Wash the soaked lentils once again and drain them well.

Add them to a pressure cooker along with the following ingredients.

  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole bay leaves.
Soaked lentils, ghee, chili powder, ginger garlic paste and bay leaves added to a cooker.

Add 3 cups of water and stir well. Close the lid of the cooker.

Water added to the cooker.

Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

Lid of the cooker closed.

Remove the cooker from the heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Open the lid and mash the lentils with the back of a ladle or a potato masher until creamy. 

Cooked lentils.
Mashed lentils.

Heat the dal on medium heat until it starts to bubble.

Add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon of ginger juliennes

Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add some more water if the dal is too thick.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Kasuri methi, garam masala, butter, cream and ginger added to the dal.
Ready lentils.

In An Instant Pot

Follow the steps until bay leaves are added to an instant pot.

Add 2.5 cups of water and stir well. Close the lid of the pot.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 20 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and the timer to start. 

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. 

Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the vent to the venting position. Use a spoon to move the vent to prevent steam burn of the fingers.

Open the lid and mash the dal with the back of a ladle or a potato masher until creamy. 

Press SAUTE and heat until the lentils start to bubble.

Add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon of ginger juliennes

Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add some more water if the dal is too thick.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Temper The Lentils

Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium heat.

Once the ghee is hot, add ¼ cup of chopped onions and fry until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.

Onions added to hot ghee in a pan.

Add 7 oz (200 g) of canned tomato puree and 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Tomato puree and chilli powder added to the pan.

Pour the tempering over the cooked dal and mix well.

Tempering poured over the dal.
Mixed well.

Do The Second Tempering

Transfer Dal Maharani to the serving bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter (or ghee) in a small pan.

Once the butter is melted, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and fry until it turns light brown in color.

Garlic added to hot ghee in a small pan.

Switch off the heat, add ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, and stir gently.

Red chili powder added to the pan.
Chilli powder mixed with ghee

Immediately pour the tempering over the dal. Serve!

Tempering poured over the dal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I give a smoky flavor to Dal Maharani?

You can give a restaurant-style smoky flavor to home-cooked dal. The method of smoking the food is called Dhungar method. Heat a small piece of charcoal over high heat on a direct flame until it is red hot. Now keep a bowl over the cooked dal and keep the hot piece of charcoal in the bowl. Pour a teaspoon of ghee over the charcoal and immediately close the lid of the pot. Rest for 10 minutes. Discard the charcoal and give your smoked lentils a nice stir. Serve!

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Creamy, rich, and luscious, this Restaurant Style Dal Maharani is a version of the popular Indian lentil curry Dal Makhani. Make it using my easy recipe from scratch at home.
5 from 1 vote

Restaurant Style Dal Maharani Recipe

Creamy, rich, and luscious, this Restaurant Style Dal Maharani is a version of the popular Indian lentil curry Dal Makhani. Make it using my easy recipe from scratch at home.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Soaking Time: 10 hours
Total: 10 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

To Cook The Lentils

  • ½ cup whole urad (whole black gram lentils)
  • ¼ cup chitra rajma (red kidney beans)
  • ¼ cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 whole bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons ginger juliennes

For The First Tempering

  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 7 ounces canned tomato puree (200 g, or 100 g tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder

For The Second Tempering (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon butter ( or ghee)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
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Instructions 

Soak The Lentils

  • Wash whole urad, rajma, and chana dal with water.
  • Soak them together or separately in 3-4 cups of water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

Cook The Lentils

    In A Pressure Cooker

    • Wash the soaked lentils once again and drain them well.
    • Add them to a pressure cooker along with ghee, chili powder, ginger garlic paste, salt, and bay leaves.
    • Add 3 cups of water and stir well. Close the lid of the cooker.
    • Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
    • Remove the cooker from the heat and let the pressure release naturally.
    • Open the lid and mash the dal with the back of a ladle or a potato masher until creamy. 
    • Heat the lentils on medium heat until it starts to bubble.
    • Add Kasuri methi, garam masala, butter, heavy cream, and ginger juliennes and mix well.
    • Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Add some more water if the dal is too thick.
    • Check for salt and add more if needed.

    In An Instant Pot

    • Follow the steps until adding bay leaves to an instant pot.
    • Add 2.5 cups of water and stir well. Close the lid of the pot.
    • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 20 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and the timer to start. 
    • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. 
    • Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the vent to the venting position. Use a spoon to move the vent to prevent steam burn off the fingers.
    • Open the lid and mash the dal with the back of a ladle or a potato masher until creamy. 
    • Press SAUTE and heat the dal until it starts to bubble.
    • Add Kasuri methi, garam masala, butter, heavy cream, and ginger juliennes, and mix well.
    • Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Add some more water if the dal is too thick.
    • Check for salt and add more if needed.

    Temper The Lentils

    • Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat.
    • Once the ghee is hot, add onions and fry until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.
    • Add tomato puree and chili powder and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently while cooking.
    • Pour the tempering over Dal Maharani and mix well.

    Do The Second Tempering

    • Transfer the dal to the serving bowl.
    • Heat butter in a small pan.
    • Once the butter is melted, add garlic and fry until it turns light brown in color.
    • Switch off the heat and add chili powder and stir gently.
    • Immediately pour the tempering over the dal. Serve!

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    In case you don’t have chitra variety of rajma, use the regular rajma (kidney beans).
    You can skip adding cream if making it for everyday meals.
    This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. I cook it in my 3-liter stovetop pressure cooker or a 3-quart instant pot. If scaling the recipe, use a bigger cooker or instant pot. The cooking time will remain the same.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 400kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 667mg, Potassium: 323mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 914IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 4mg
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    5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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