Dal Makhani Recipe with step by step photos – Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Punjabi recipe. You could see dal makhani being served in marriages, engagements and almost any parties in India. It is not only popular in North India, but also South India.
Its called as Dal Makhani as it is made with Dal/Lentils – Whole Black Lentils and Red Kidney Bean and Makhan (White Butter) and full fat cream. This dish is rich in calories. Due to the use of all these ingredients Dal Makhani becomes creamy. If you are working on your diet, you could avoid the cream completely. I have not used cream in this recipe though.
For some unknown reason, Dal Makhani tastes even better on the second day. There are some punjabi recipes like sarson da saag, langarwali dal and dal makhani which taste better on the second day. But don’t eat too much dal makhani as it is heavy on the stomach. Usually in Punjab, they serve dal makhani topped with lots of butter and white cream. It goes well with rotis, rice or naan.
Dal Makhani is made from Red Kidney Beans and Whole Black Lentils as I have mentioned before. Kidney Beans are called as Rajma in India. Whole Black Lentils are also known as black gram and sabut urad dal or kali dal. Below is a pic of both, after they have been soaked and drained.
Generally this lentil and legume combination are cooked first individually and then simmered in a base of onion, tomato puree, ginger, garlic, white butter and spice powders.
This Dal Makhani recipe is the simplest & easiest version and is my mother-in-law’s recipe. This is a one pot method where all the ingredients are thrown in and then cooked together. We usually use pressure cooker for cooking the beans and lentils. However, a pot can also be used. Though cooking in a pot will take a lot of time. You can also check these other variations of making dal makhani – dhaba style dal makhani and restaurant style dal makhani recipe.
There are many methods of making Dal Makhani recipe. In the traditional method, the pot of Dal Makhani is simmered on a slow charcoal fire overnight. Due to this the cooking method the charcoal flavor infuses in the Dal Makhani giving it a nice rustic flavor and taste.
Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe Below:
- 1 cup whole black gram (whole urad dal)
- ½ cup kidney beans (rajma)
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon cumin or ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger (adrak), finely chopped
- 4 to 5 medium garlic cloves (lahsun), finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon punjabi garam masala or garam masala powder
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or ghee or oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons low fat cream, optional
- salt as required
- few coriander leaves for garnishing, optional
Soak the both the rajma and urad dal overnight if you are making this in the morning.
If you are making dal makhani in the evening, then soak the dals in the morning.
In a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients including the dals/lentils and white butter.
Add water. Pressure cook for some 12-15 whistles.
Open and check if the lentils are cooked.
You should be able to mash the both the urad dal and rajma with spoon if they are cooked completely.
If they are not cooked thoroughly, then pressure cook for 2-3 whistles more.
Add water if required.
Now again open the cooker and let the dal makhani simmer in the cooker itself without the lid for 10-15 minutes or more till you get a smooth and creamy consistency and texture.
If you wish to add cream, you can add cream now and let the dal makhani simmer for 5 or 10 minutes more.
If you like then you can Garnish Dal Makhani with coriander-cilantro leaves (optional).
Serve dal makhani hot with hot rotis, naan, or jeera rice.
Step by Step Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe:
1: Soak the both the lentil and bean overnight if you are making this in the morning. If you are making dal makhani in the evening, then soak them in the morning. Drain them and in a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients – kidney beans, black gram, onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic, spice powders, salt and white butter or oil.
3. Pour water and stir well.
4. Pressure cook for some 10-11 whistles. Open and check if the lentils are cooked. You should be able to mash both the kidney bean and the black gram with a spoon or with your fingers, if they are cooked. If they are not cooked thoroughly, then pressure cook for 2-3 whistles more. Add water if required.
As you see in the below pic, the beans and lentils are cooked, but the consistency is watery. Its like cooked beans in a broth….. and Dal Makhani is smooth and creamy. So the whole mixture has to be simmered on slow fire till the consistency thickens a bit and becomes creamy. Mash a few rajma and urad dal with a spoon. This will help in making the gravy smooth and giving a creamy texture.
5: Let the Dal Makhani simmer in the cooker itself without the lid for 10-15 minutes or more on a low or medium flame. In the pic below, the consistency has changed considerably. If you wish to add cream, you can add cream when you get the smooth consistency and simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
Remember the consistency should be neither thick nor thin. If the Dal Makhani become thick and then add some water. Also, as the Dal Makhani cools down, it will thicken more.
6: When done, then you can garnish Dal Makhani with coriander-cilantro leaves. This step is optional though. Serve dal makhani hot with rotis, naan, tandoori rotis or lachedar paratha or aloo paratha or jeera rice or biryani rice or saffron rice. if you like then while serving add some butter on top.