Dal Makhani Recipe, How to make Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe

5 from 10 votes

Dal Makhani Recipe with step by step photos – Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Punjabi recipe. This one pot recipe made in a pressure cooker gives you a homely Punjabi Dal Makhani. Its one of those recipes i make on weekends.

You can 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.

punjabi dal makhani recipe

Its called as Dal Makhani as it is made with Dal (Lentils) – Whole Black Lentils + Red Kidney Beans along with 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 and rich. 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 tastes 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 or aloo paratha or khasta rotis or aloo kulcha or paneer kulcha or plain paratha 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 kaali dal. Below is a pic of both, after they have been soaked and drained.

dal for dal makhani recipe

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:

  1. dhaba style dal makhani
  2. 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.

Serve dal makhani hot with rotis or plain paratha or naan or tandoori rotis or aloo paratha or jeera rice.

if you are looking for more punjabi recipes then do check easy rajma recipe, paneer butter masala, kadai paneermaah chole ki dal and punjabi kadhi recipe.

Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe Below:

Dal Makhani Recipe, Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Dal Makhani Recipe - Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe

Dal Makhani Recipe - One of the most popular punjabi lentil recipe.
course main course
cuisine north indian, punjabi
prep time 15 minutes
cook time 45 minutes
total time 1 hour
servings 4
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 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

how to make recipe

Soaking Beans for Dal Makhani:

  1. Soak the both the rajma and urad dal overnight if you are making this in the morning.
  2. If you are making dal makhani in the evening, then soak the dals in the morning.
  3. Drain the lentils well and rinse them in fresh water. keep aside. 

Making Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe

  1. In a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients including the dals/lentils and white butter.
  2. Add water. Pressure cook for some 12-15 whistles.
  3. Open and check if the lentils are cooked.
  4. You should be able to mash the both the urad dal and rajma with spoon if they are cooked completely.
  5. If they are not cooked thoroughly, then pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles more.

  6. Add water if required.
  7. 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.
  8. If you wish to add cream, you can add cream now and let the dal makhani simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more.

  9. If you like then you can Garnish Dal Makhani with coriander-cilantro leaves (optional).
  10. Serve dal makhani hot with hot rotis, naan, or jeera rice.

Step by Step Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe:

1: Soak the both the lentils 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 the soaked water and rinse the lentils and kidney beans with fresh water. Then add them in a pressure cooker. Also add all the other ingredients – onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic, spice powders, salt and white butter or oil.

dal makhani recipe ingredients

3. Pour water and stir well.

making dal makhani recipe

4. Pressure cook for some 10 to 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 to 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.

making dal makhani recipe

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 to 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.

dal makhani consistency

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.

dal makhani recipe


dassana amit
i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. a home science degree course further enhanced my cooking and baking skills professionally along with an internship in a five star hotel. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

all the 1800 recipes posted on blog are tried and tested and made healthy wherever possible. the recipes are detailed and with step by step pictures that will easily help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food.

73 thoughts on “Dal Makhani Recipe, How to make Punjabi Dal Makhani Recipe

  1. very good dal makhani execlant

  2. Hi Dassana,
    Is it ok to cook dal makhani with white urad dal, i.e. Without chilka?
    If not, are there any other recipe suggestions for using white urad dal, in the form of a ‘dal’?

    • Sweta, the taste will be different. You can just make plain dal fry or dal tadka with white urad dal. You can add your choice of seasonings and herbs in it. for reference you can check dal fry recipe posted on blog.

      • Hi,
        Thanks for the reply. I have tried making it ‘dal fry’ style, the only problem is that urad dal is sticky/viscous so it doesn’t taste that good. However, I’ll give it a try using your dal fry recipe, And next time I’ll buy the one with chilka ?

        • welcome sweta. urad dal is viscous. the trick is not cook it too much. it becomes lumpy and viscous. it tastes good if made well. even the chilka one tastes good. next time you can try adding some chana dal to the chilka urad dal. their combo is good and we call it as kaali peeli dal or maah chole di dal in punjabi. i have posted the recipe. here is the link – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/maa-chole-di-dal/

          • Thanks for the tips. I’ll give it a try. So once the dal becomes soft, we should stop cooking it?

            • welcome sweta. if the urad dal has cooked well, then no need to further cook it. if you have to cook it, then slow cook it stirring often.

  3. Gorgeous, and so simple… Throw it in a pan and boil! My pressure cooker also doesn’t whistle… I translate whistles to about the same number of minutes, plus may be a little more to be certain.

    • thanks. whistles depend on the quantity of the ingredients in the pressure cooker and the size of the pressure cooker. for cooking lentils like black gram, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the quality of the black gram.

  4. Is there a way to make this with canned beans instead of soaking the dried ones?

  5. This seems like a good recipe, but I’m confused by the “pressure cook for 12-15 whistles” comment. Most modern pressure cookers do not whistle! Could you translate the whistles into minutes for a modern non-whistling pressure cooker?

    • praveen, cook the dal for 20 minutes or till its cooked well. while making dal makhani, make sure that the dal is cooked properly so that it is easier to digest and it also gives the best taste. the cooking time can vary depending upon dal quality, size of the pan/cooker and intensity of the gas flame.

  6. You have the best recipes . I am not Indian but my husband is and he and his family say my food comes out better than theirs! Restaurant quality food! I’m not kidding and I agree!

    • pleased to know this monyca 🙂 glad your husband liked the dal makhani and other recipes from our blog. thankyou for your kind and honest words.

  7. Could this be made in a dutch oven on stovetop? Or a crockpot? If so, any additional directions, including time?

    • yes lisa the recipe can be made in a dutch oven or a crock pot on the stove top. just that the cooking time will be longer. it may take an hour for the lentils and beans to cook and a further cooking to thicken the gravy slightly.

  8. I love all recipes on this website. They are too good! Do you have an app that I can download?

    • thanks joyce. we will be launching an app soon.

  9. I followed this recipe almost to the letter, and it turned out just perfect. Given that my previous cooking experience is almost nil, I was blown away by the result. Everyone at home loved it. Thanks a ton!

    Quick tip for those who want to skip the 8-hour soaking – Wash the beans well. Then pressure cook plain for one whistle. After that let it sit for an hour. Later discard the water. Once this is done, then cook normally the soft soaked-overnight beans.

    • thanks a aravind for the feedback and also thanks for sharing this tip.

  10. It’s the best dal makhani recipe. Ever. Thank you for this and all your other recipes. I started cooking a few months back. And now i do a big bunch of your recipes all the time. And collect accolades from everyone like a boss. All thanks to you.

    • thanks a ton andy for this appreciation and positive feedback.

  11. Thank you for this recipe,I’m planning to make dal makhni tomorrow.

    • welcome suraj do try dal makhani and keep us updated 🙂

  12. dhal makhani my newly found comfort food. Cooked without cream but served with basmati rice and natural yoghurt. yum…..thank you for posting one pot recipe.

    • welcome vinaya

  13. I ordered this dish on a whim at an Indian restaurant and I loved it so much that I looked up recipes on my way home. I made your recipe tonight and it was wonderful! Instead of butter+cream I used reduced fat cream cheese, which worked very well. Thank you for such a delicious recipe! I will look through your recipes to find more to make.

    • welcome anna. glad to know this. thanks for sharing your positive feedback and variation.

  14. Thank you for this recipe, I have my urad dal and kidney beans soaking right now and will be trying the recipe tomorrow. I really like that this recipe seems easy to make, yet I’m sure it will be full of rich flavour. I fell in love with this dish after my employer let me try some of his from home, he himself is originally from Lahore, but here in Sheffield I have trouble finding this dish in restaurants or ready made, so it will be a joy to eat this wonderful food once again!

    • welcome scott. good to know this.

  15. thanks a lot for this punjabi flavour

    • welcome reet

  16. according to your method dal is directly cooked so I want to ask that don’t we have to put tadka in dal

    • reet, in generally dal makhani tadka is not added.

  17. Hi Dassana,

    I am a big fan of all your recipes and love the way you put it across. I’m planning to make dal makhni tomorrow, wanted to know if it can be made with the split black gram variety? If yes, is there a change in the pressure cooking and soaking time?
    Thanks a lot, for all your wonderful recipes, looking forward to many more!!

    • thanks aditi. the consistency of dal made with split black gram is different then the consistency of dal made with whole black gram. we make another dal with split black gram and chana dal and its called as mah chole di dal in punjabi. so for an authentic dal makhani recipe, i would suggest to use whole urad dal. but you can have a look at the maa chole di dal recipe here – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/maa-chole-di-dal/

      p.s – you can add a bit of rajma to this dal too.

  18. Something wrong here. I had seen this had the whole procedure. Now, only cook dal and add cream. Rest of the process is missing.

    • muralidhara, the steps are still there. may be the page didn’t loaded properly. please refresh the page.

  19. your dal recipe is helpful bring more north indian food recipe

    • thanks rachna

  20. Its too good

    • thanks dilip

  21. Thanks alot for this wonderful recipe:
    Its so easy, I have made this on my younger brother’s wedding anniversary. Everyone like this.Thanks again *

    • welcome Jagdish. glad to know this.

  22. Dassana,

    Hope you don’t mind me adding some comments here. When I cook dals or any saucy food that reuqires onions/garlic, et, I typically saute them beofre adding other ingredients and that’s how I make Dal Makhani as well.

    I noticed that you have put all the ingredients in raw form and pressure cooked them. Clearly this is a lot easier, only I am not sure what the taste difference will be like. Any case I am going to check it out.

    My comment is “if you are pressure cooking them, why add butter or oil to all the ingredients? To keep the name of the recipe true to its tradition , perhaps during the simmer or just before serving hot one could add lite sour cream (about 2 tablespoons) or 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter or better yet 3 tablespoons of thick creamy yogurt like Greek” This will keep the food tasty yet healthy and low fat overall”

    • no issues. actually this is a family recipe and thats how we make it. so i have stuck to the recipe without changing anything. butter or oil is added as we are not sauteing anything in them. some fat should be there. i don’t add cream in this homemade version. so its just the butter or oil. sour cream or yogurt will give a sour taste.

  23. Thank you for such a wonderful and simple recipe. My husband loves dal makhani a lot and It turned out to be the best dal makhani I’ve made. Thanks again!

    • welcome sharada. thanks for sharing this encouraging feedback on dal makhani.

  24. delicious! tasted just like what i love in the restaurant. we used unsoaked beans and used pressure cooker for 10 minutes then 5 minutes. thank you!

    • thanks and welcome lauren.

  25. Can you still make this even if you don’t have a pressure cooker?

    • celeste, yes you can make dal makhani in a pot but the cooking time will increase.

  26. Thanks for the recipe; it is so easy in the pressure cooker and as always tasted so much better on day two and three 🙂 Next time I’ll make my own garam masala, from your recipe link, and expect an even more delightful result.

    • thanks darren. homemade garam masala is more aromatic and better than the store bought ones.

  27. Being Sunday i will prepare this recipe for my wife and son wana give them surprise.i also cook like her or even better

  28. Can we skip the rajma? I am not much of a fan and hence dont have it in the house!! 🙂

    • lavanya, yes you can skip rajma. many cooks don’t add rajma in dal makhani. if you want then you can increase the proportion of dal accordingly.

  29. I am excited to try it this week. My brother cooks good food and dal makhani he cooks very very tasty n true punjabi flavour. Wish me good luck. Thnx for the recipie. Nagi

    • happy cooking and all the best.

  30. Awesome…yummy…my husband tried dal makhani in a restaurant and asked me to cook it at home…i didn’t know the a,b, c of this dal and here i searched and came across this recipe and since then i have to make it weekly 😀
    thanks Dasana for such a wonderful meal 🙂

    • welcome meril. nice to know that you liked the recipe.

  31. Hi dassana i just love ur recipe its very easy to cook i made methi malai matar, white sauce pasta n its vry yummy thanks will u plz share the recipe of veg kolhapuri resturent style plz

    • thanks neelam. i will be making the veg kolhapuri soon. i had tried before too but the taste was not perfect, so will try again.

  32. very nice

  33. Hi Dassana!

    An amazing recipe. Comes out wonderful everytime I make it. And the best part is how simle you’ve made cooking it. Thanks so much for sharing it!


    • welcome pallavi. yes, this dal makhani recipe is very simple and easy to make.

  34. Oh, wow! I just tried this and I could eat this every day! I had tried Dal Makhani in a Restaurant back home (in Switzerland). I loved it so much I tried to find a recipe to give me this deliciousness again, and I found it. I really like that everything is put together at once and cooked in a pressure cooker, so I save time, both in preparing, cooking and watching the cooking.
    This will most definitely go in my personal hand written cook book (where I only put recipe’s that are worth the effort of writing them down by hand).

    • thanks a lot for writing such a positive comment. yes, it is a very easy and delicious recipe of dal makhani. must try.

  35. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  36. To get the best colour of dal makhani first boil it in open vessel for ten minutes then wash all black colour. then pressure cook it

    • manjit, thanks for the the tip.

  37. wow its so easier to make dal makhani with the description provided by u…. thanks

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