dal makhani recipe dhaba style, how to make dal makhani recipe

dal makhani dhaba style, dal makhani recipe

dal makhani dhaba style recipe – dal makhani is one of the most popular dal recipe of india along with dal tadka and dal fry. i have already shared easy one pot way of making dal makhani recipe and also restaurant style dal makhani recipe. well, this one pot recipe is the way, my mil makes dal makhani at home and is liked by all.

the recipe posted here is how this creamy dal is served and relished in punjabi dhabas. this is one dal which is made by every dhaba and is usually had with rotis or different varieties of parathas.

like sarson ka saag and langarwali dal, the taste of dal makhani also improves with time. so you might like it even more on the second day. but keep in mind that it is little heavy on stomach and to get the best taste addition of makhan (butter) is must. so eat in moderation no matter how delicious you find this creamy dal.

the recipe of dhaba style dal makhani has been adapted from  the book “the dhabas of amritsar” (India | US). this recipe is the simplest recipe allowing the flavors of urad dal coming through in the dish. only tomatoes, garlic and red chili powder are used in the recipe. so there is a slight tang of the tomatoes in this mildly spiced dal makhani. the original recipe does not use rajma or kidney beans, but i have added them. many people add rajma to dal makhani and many don’t.

dal makhani is best served with naan, rotis, paratha or plain rice. also goes very well with jeera rice.

dal makhani recipe

the dal makhani pics are very plain and simple as on some days there is no time to do anything.

if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check dal bukharamaah ki dal, maa choleyan di daal, methi dal, cholar dal and varan bhaat.

dal makhani dhaba style recipe below:

4.1 from 11 reviews
dal makhani recipe dhaba style
dhaba style dal makhani - a delicious creamy lentil preparation as made in the dhabas.
CUISINE: north indian, punjabi
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 1 cup black gram or sabut urad dal
  • ¼ cup kidney beans or rajma (optional)
  • ¾ to 1 cup tomato puree (approx 2 medium tomatoes pureed)
  • 8-10 garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or kashmiri red chili powder or add as per your taste
  • 2.5 tbsp oil or 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 to 3 tbsp cream
  • salt as required
  1. rinse and soak the lentils in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
  2. drain and then add them in a pressure cooker.
  3. add 4 cups water and pressure cook on high or medium flame for 12-15 whistles.
  4. when the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid.
  5. drain the water and rinse the lentils.
  6. put back the lentils in the pressure cooker.
  7. add 4 cups fresh water, tomato puree, butter or oil, garlic, red chili powder, cream and salt.
  8. stir and mix well.
  9. pressure cook again for 12-15 whistles on a medium to high flame.
  10. when the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and check the lentils and the consistency of the dal.
  11. the lentils should be completely cooked and mushy.
  12. now simmer the dal without any lid on a low to medium flame, till the consistency becomes medium and smooth.
  13. mash some lentils with the back of a spoon to thicken the dal.
  14. the lentils should become so soft, that they should melt in your mouth.
  15. check the seasoning and add more salt or red chili powder if required.
  16. simmer for 15-18 minutes or more till you get a creamy smooth consistency like the way you see in the dhabas and restaurants.
  17. serve the dal makhani hot plain or topped with some butter or cream along with rotis, naan, paratha or plain or jeera rice.
1. the consistency of dal makhani can be easily adjusted by adding more or less water.
2. if in the third stage of cooking the consistency becomes thick, add some water.
3. if the consistency is thin, then simmer dal makhani for a longer period of time till you get the desired consistency.

{ 61 Responses }

  1. Ankita says

    Hi,can I use half chilka urad and half Chilka masoor dal? Instead of whole of the Chilka urad dal?And also can I use the half and half cream in this receipe??

  2. Tanya says

    hey thanks for such a easy recipe ,I live with my dad and we both are so bored with off season veggies so i decide to made some dal but still i need some variation we usually avoid out side food so i thought why not to try dal makhani at home and bingo i go through your recipe and yes it was superb so yummy even my dad is now so impressed with my cooking soo all thank to u :) keep it up

  3. Rajesh Ruparel says

    I have earlier also tried your AALU GOBHI – Dhaba style & was cooked really very good. Food is my Life & like to cook varities – I rather we loved the cooking very much – I am so sorry – I forgot to write about that –
    Yesterday I Cooked RAAJMA with your recipe only . . with a very less difference it was same but I really enjoyed your style. Thanks a million.
    Today I am going to make PANEER MAKHHANWALA – IN ADVANCE THANKS as I know that will also be lovely. Previously i was surfing recipes . . .Now only your vegrecipesofindia – sorry now the name as per my wife is vegrecipesforrajesh . . . .
    if you are from Mumbai – call me & try my hand . .you are welcome anyday – anytime . . .**********

    • says

      thanks rajesh for the feedback on the recipes. paneer makhanwala will be good. its a tried and tested recipe. we smiled when we read your wife’s name for you. i have deleted your number from the comment for privacy concerns. thanks a lot for your kind gesture. we don’t think we will be able to make it to mumbai any time soon, but i am sure whatever you prepare will be really good.

  4. says

    Dear Dassana,

    I live in Zimbabwean bush and your recipes are an inspiration! I am always looking for new ways to cook with the ingredients available here. I am trying to live a simple and sustainable life here and your recipes mean that we can eat great food full of flavor! thank you Laurie

  5. gayatri says

    Dear Dassana,
    Thanks a lot for sharing such easy and traditional recipes. So far I have made only a few of your recipes however you can already include me in your fan list.
    your recipe for dal makhani is a hit in our house. There’s lot to share with you but can’t due to space constraints. The next recipe on my list is punjabi garam masala.
    please keep on posting your lovely recipes and thanks for your quick replies to all of us. 1 more thing thanks to your mil and mum for sharing their traditional secrets with you . Btw I want to give a 5 stat rating but it seems somethings wrong on my system my apologies for the same.

    • says

      welcome gayatri. thanks for sharing this positive feedback. i am humbled. i agree without their help, something would have been missing from the blog. i will convey your regards to them and they will feel good. thanks once again.

  6. Poulomi says

    Thanks Dassana for your lovely, mouthwatering recipes. I myself being a Bengali, love trying out various other Indian recipes. Your parantha recipes are a great hit in my home. Also thanks for the pics of the recipes stage wise. Good luck… Hope to learn more from you in the near future….

  7. Neena says

    Hi Dassana , I made this dal ,wow ,the taste was awesome ! But Could you pl. tell instead of whistles ,how much minutes can I keep the dal in cooker ? Because while preparing I lost the count of whistles

    • says

      thanks neena. first pressure cook for 20 minutes. if the dal and rajma have not softened then cook for further 10 minutes. at times the dal will cook but the rajma will be little hard. so you have to cook till the rajma also softens. you can add water as required.

  8. DRDN says

    I have a problem after the first step of cooking, the lentils are cooked , how do I seperate or remove the water and then rinse the lentils , I feel lot of the lentils is going to get washed out in the process of washing. What do i do

    • says

      you will have to use a fine meshed strainer like a juice strainer. add the cooked lentils in the strainer and then rinse them. lentils will not be washed out. as the lentils are just cooked and not yet mushy or softened.

    • says

      may be you have added more water. so you just have to simmer the dal makhani for some more minutes, till the water reduces and gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

  9. Gurpal Singh says

    Hi dassana
    I made this dal makhani today and the taste was very good. I didnt pre-planned to make this so i didnt had the time to soak the lentils & kedney beans for overnight. I soak it in the hot water for 1.5 hr and then started cooking. This was the first dal i was going to cook in my life. I just followed the instructions exactly as u’ve written. At first step when i pressure cook it upto 12 whistles the dal cover (chilka) became separated from dal because it was fully melted.
    I came worried as i didnt know how it would turn out to as there was 2nd step left with more 12-15 whistles.
    Without carring that much, i go ahead and added 8 crushed garlic, 3 tomato puree, 2tsp refind oil, salt, red chilli powder & fresh cream. As lentils was already fully melted so this time i pressure cook only 1 whistle. Open up and saw that dal was almost done. I simmer it for 4-5 minutes until i got required consistency.

    When i taste it the taste was very good and much much better than i expected. The dal was fully done and melted in mouth. The taste of this dal reminds of my mom & gurudware di dal.

    Few questions, which brand butter did u use? I know u must be using home made butter, i do make it but i finish it off as i lyk very much. The Amul butter which i bought have salt in it. So which supermarket butter is good for regular cooking.

    • says

      thanks gurpal for such a positive feedback. in fact coincidence, but today i also made dal makhani. if the cover if dal separates, then no issues. like as you say the dal should be melt in the mouth. i think since you soaked in hot water, that make the lentils cook faster. what you have done is right. the only thing important in the recipe is that the lentils have to be completely cooked. and the more you cook on a slow flame, the better it is. cooking tomato puree etc does not take much time. slow cooked dal makhani, where the dal is simmered for hours, it tastes very good. you can try this way too when you have enough time. just remember to stir occasionally otherwise the dal would stick at the bottom of the cooker.

      if i have white butter at home, i use that. otherwise i use amul butter. but white butter gives a better taste than amul butter. if using amul butter, the just cut down on the salt. imported varieties of butter are also good, but they are very expensive.

      • Gurpal Singh says

        Thank you for your quick reply.
        I will try that method too some day. Whenever i wish to cook something i try something new and love sharing the experience. Slowly will learn all recipe from your website. And i feels very good when delicious food makes the taste buds, body & mind happy.
        Btw, i forgot to say…wish you happy new year :)

        • says

          welcome gurpal. its all learning and trying new recipes and cooking methods. even i learn and keep on learning. all the best and wish you happy new year too.

  10. Shraddha Tripathi says

    Hi, i am planning to prepare it tomorrow. Just have a quick question though won’t cooking d cream will make it cruddle?

  11. Gisella says

    Hi, I am planning to make this recipe. But I do not have a pressure cooker that relies on whistles, instead i have one that is measured by time. About how long does it take for the beans to cook? Thank you :)

  12. priyanka singh says

    Hi i am.trying dal.makhani first time after reading the recepie …. Hope to enjoy with my family

  13. Andie says

    I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe – but I don’t have a pressure cooker! Any tips for making it using a regular pot?

    • says

      soak the lentils and kidney beans overnight. next day rinse them well and then add them to a pot of boiling water. cover partly and cook them till the lentils and beans become soft. then proceed with 7th step of the recipe. if the consistency begins to thicken and then add some hot water. it will take more than an hour for the beans to cook first, before you move to the 7th step.

    • Matti says

      Dear Arun,

      An alternative (and my personally preferred) method of softening the lentils is to use the microwave. Soak the urad dal over night and then microwave on high for 12 minutes, stir, five minutes, stir, five minutes, stir, five minutes. Be sure to pour out most of the water (I only reserve a bit, maybe 1/2 a cup) before microwaving. Comes out perfectly soft and leaves me free to prep the other stuff for this recipe. I also like to add onions, ginger-garlic paste, cumin, yogurt, and a bit of garam masala to this dish for flavor. Stewed on low for an hour makes this dish really pop.

  14. Arun chetri says

    Hi Dassana…first of all, I love your site and especially the way you present the entire recipe which includes simplest of details. Also, the way you provide with some additional information going beyond the recipe..appreciate your work..coming to the point on this dal makhani recipe; can we use actual tomatoes instead of puree?! Also, does the cream extremely important to complete this recipe or can we go without it?! Thanks for your reply in advance…continue the good work. Regards, Arun

    • says

      thanks arun. you can add chopped tomatoes. but in this case, i would suggest you to saute the tomatoes in butter/oil first till they soften and become mushy and then add the lentils and other ingredients. cream balances the tang of the tomatoes and contributes more to the already buttery & sweet taste of the beans. but you can avoid the cream. if you slowly simmer the lentils for some extra time like say 30 to 40 mins more, then the dal tastes so good, that you won’t need to add cream. but remember to keep on stirring so that the dal does not stick to the bottom of the pan or cooker.

  15. kanchan says

    Hi Dassana, I like ur recepies. I just want to know why did u through the boiled water and again used the fresh water and also no tadka required, isnot it? u have put everything in the boiling dal.

    • says

      to get the best color in the dal makhani, the water is discarded after cooking the beans & lentils. mostly the way dal makhani or dal bukhara is cooked, tadka is never added. everything is added in one simmering pot.

    • says

      kavitha, dal makhani should be very well cooked. the whole urad dal should become very soft and this softness gives the dal makhani a creamy and melt in the mouth texture. well cooked dal is easy to digest. if the dal is not cooked well then it can upset the stomach.

  16. Bharti says

    Hi Dasana,

    Can I use slow cooker to cook the dal? If so, do I add anything other than dal and water? Love your site and recipes come out great! Thanks.

    • says

      hi bharti. you can use slow cooker. i have seen some dal makhani recipes being made on slow cooker on the web. though i have never tried making dal makhani in the slow cooker. i guess that you can add everything. its basically slow cooking so all the ingredients can be added. you can check on the internet and you will get some dal makhani recipes made in slow cooker.