Restaurant Style Dal Makhani Recipe is a creamy, rich and flavorful lentil dish made using whole black lentil and mild spices. It goes very well with rice or any Indian bread like Naan or Paratha. Here is a easy and best Dal Makhani (Dal Makhni) Recipe with step by step pictures and video.
What is Dal Makhani?
Dal Makhani Recipe is a very famous Indian lentil preparation which literally translates to Buttery lentils. It is a Punjabi recipe which is very delicious and flavourful and is loaded with clarified butter of ghee and regular butter.
In the ancient times, this Makhni dal was cooked overnight to give it a very creamy and rich texture. But to keep up with the modern times, the recipe has been modified and pressure cookers come in the scene. Dal Makhani Recipe in dhaba style is still cooked on low flame over wood fire for 8-10 hours to give it a nice creamy texture.
The dal is soaked overnight and then cooked till it is very soft and tender. A tadka of tomato puree and curd with other spices is then added to the cooked dal.
Dal Makhni Recipe is one of my favourite recipe to cook when I have guests at home and it has always been appreciated.
How is Authentic Dal Makhani prepared?
In olden days, Dal Makhnai used to be cooked overnight over wood on very low heat. It gave the dal a very nice and smoky flavour and creamy texture. In today’s time, due to lack of wooden fires and so much time at hand, it’s preferred to cook it in pressure cooker. But if you have the means, go ahead and try this recipe on wood fire.
I have an alternate to give that smoky flavour to this dal without cooking it over wood. So do read along and get that secret tip.
Traditionally curd is not added in Dal Makhni but after many experiments I found that adding some fresh curd increases the flavour of this home cooked dal much more. You can totally choose to skip it but I use it in my recipe always.
What is the best way to cook Dal Makhani Recipe at Home?
After trying out many ways, I find that pressure cooking the dal until is nicely softened and then cooking it on low heat for 30-40 minutes gives a fabulous result. If you have a crock pot or a slow cooker, you can try that as well.
Instant Pot is a great gadget to pressure cook your dal too.
To make Dal Makhani in Instant Pot, I suggest cooking the lentils in Instant Pot and giving the tempering over stove top. This will make the process easier and more effective.
To cook the dal in Instant Pot, wash and soak rajma, urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or for 8-10 hours. Add rajma, urad, chana dal, salt, 2 tbsp ghee, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder and salt in the pot. Add 5 cups of water.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 40 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release on it’s own for 20 minutes.
Open the lid and mash the dal with the back of a ladle until it is creamy with some.
Can we make Dal Makhni recipe without cream?
When I am making Dal makhani for everyday meals, I try to avoid butter and ghee in the last step. But whenever there is something special like some festivals or guests at home, I add cream and butter to it. You can also experiment with both the flavours and decide for yourself. But definitely addition of butter and cream refines the flavour of this dish making it more creamy and rich.
The Dhaba version of Dal Makhani is made without adding cream to it. The dal is slow cooked and a second tempering of ghee is given over the served dal.
Can we make Dal Makhani without Onion and Garlic?
You can definitely make Dal Makhani recipe with adding onion and garlic and the best part is that it comes out just as delicious. I have a Jain Dal Makhani Recipe on the blog. Type Jain Dal makhani in the search bar and you will get the result.
Dal Makhani Ingredients
The most important ingredient to make Dal Makhani is whole urad. You can buy it from any Indian grocery store or even online. Some Rajma or red kidney beans is always added to it. You can use dried kidney beans and soak them along with urad or even use drained and washed canned beans.
I like to add a little chana dal to my Dal Makhani as it makes it even more creamier and is traditionally added in the recipe.
Use canned tomato puree to make Dal Makhni as it has more concentrated flavour and gives a nice taste to the dal.
Most people do not use curd in their recipe but I like to add some curd mixed with a tbsp of maida in my Dal Makhani. It gives a nice tang to the dal.
Other than these ingredients, onion, ginger garlic paste and spices like cumin powder, garam masala powder etc are used to make this makhni dal.
How to make Vegan Dal Makhnai?
You can make a vegan version of this dal by substituting ghee and butter with oil and yogurt and cream with cashew cream and any vegan yogurt.
Do give this recipe a try and serve it with Jeera Rice. And do not forget to leave your feedback in the comment section.
Tips to make best Dal Makhani
Soak the dal and rajma for at least 8-10 hours.
Adding a little bit of chana dal makes the Dal Makhni very creamy.
If you have a slow cooker, use it to cook the dal. Slow Cooker Dal Makhnai will be even more creamier.
You can also make Dal Makhani in an instant pot if you don’t have a regular Indian style Pressure cooker. In fact, it will be even more easier to cook the dal. Just follow the same method for cooking the dal and put the setting for 30 minutes on high pressure in your instant pot to cook the dal.
Adding a tsp of all purpose flour in curd prevents it from separating. Always follow this tip whenever you are using curd in any recipe.
Grating the onion instead of chopping with make sure the pieces do not come in your mouth and the onion gets dissolved with the dal while cooking.
I always use canned tomato puree to make Dal makhani as the flavours are more intense in it.
You can also smoke the dal using coal to get the dhaba style smoky flavour. Just heat a charcoal piece until it is red hot. Keep a small bowl over the dal and keep the coal piece on it. Drizzle a tsp of ghee on the hot coal and immediately cover the lid of the dal. Let the smoke soak in the dal. Remove the lid and discard the coal. Heat the dal once gain before serving.
Garnish this Dal makhani with some fresh cream drizzled on top and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.
You can puree the masala before adding cooked dal in it if you want very creamy Dal Makhnai. That’s how most restaurants do it.
What to serve Dal Makhani with?
Kesar da Dhaba Style dal Makhani
Kesar da Dhaba is a small joint in the city of Amritsar in Punjab. It’s famous for it’s vegetarian Punjabi food and people flock to this dhaba to eat their fare. Their Dal Makhani is very very famous and we recently got a chance to eat it on our Amritsar trip.
The dal comes with ghee floating on top. their is hardly any cream in it but the amount of ghee and butter used to make it makes up for all the loss :). The dal is sloww cooked overnight over wood fire which gives it a creamy texture and a very earthy taste.
If you want to try something similar, go low on cream. Increase the amount of ghee to double and then pour some more while serving 🙂
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How to make Dal Makhni Step by Step
Wash and soak rajma, urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or for 8-10 hours. Add rajma, urad, chana dal, salt, 2 tbsp ghee, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder and salt in a cooker. Add 5 cups of water and cook till the dal is nicely done. Mash the dal with the back of a ladle until it is creamy with some.
In another pan, add the remaining ghee. When the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds starts to splatter, add onions.
Fry till they become translucent.
Whisk curd with Maida. Add tomato puree and whisked curd in the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring continuously to avoid the splitting of curd.
Add grated ginger and garam masala. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix the dal in the pan. Add butter and cream and cook for 2- minutes. Add kasuri methi and cook for another minute. Garnish with fresh cream and coriander. Serve hot with naan.
Dal Makhani Recipe Video
Dal Makhani Recipe
Restaurant Style Dal Makhani Recipe
Restaurant Style Dal Makhani Recipe or Dal Makhni Recipe is a creamy, rich and flavorful lentil dish made using whole black lentil and mild spices.
- 1/2 cup Whole Urad / Whole Black Lentil
- 1 tbsp Chana Dal / Bengal Gram
- 1/4 cup Rajma / Kidney Beans
- 4 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 cup Onion Grated
- 1 tsp Ginger Grated
- 6 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 3 tbsp Curd
- 1 tsp Maida
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1/4 cup Fresh Cream
- 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
- Salt to taste
Wash and soak rajma, urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or for 8-10 hours.
Add rajma, urad, chana dal, 2 tbsp ghee, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder and salt in a cooker.
Add 5 cups of water and cook till the dal is nicely done.
Mash the dal with the back of a ladle until it is creamy with some.
In another pan, add the remaining ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds starts to splatter, add onions.
Fry till they become translucent.
Whisk curd with Maida.
Add tomato puree and whisked curd in the pan.
Fry for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring continuously to avoid the splitting of curd.
Add grated ginger and garam masala.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix the dal in the pan.
Add butter and cream and cook for 2- minutes.
Add kasuri methi and cook for another minute.
Garnish with fresh cream and coriander.
Serve hot with naan.
You can puree the masala before adding cooked dal in it if you want very creamy Dal Makhnai.
That's how most restaurants do it.
You can also smoke the dal using coal to get the dhaba style smoky flavour. Just heat a charcoal piece until it is red hot.
Keep a small bowl over the dal and keep the coal piece on it. Drizzle a tsp of ghee on the hot coal and immediately cover the lid of the dal.
Let the smoke soak in the dal. Remove the lid and discard the coal. Heat the dal once gain before serving.
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