Dal Makhani Recipe Restaurant Style, How to make Dal Makhani Recipe

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dal makhani recipe

restaurant style punjabi dal makhani recipe - one of the popular indian dal recipe made with whole urad dal and rajma.

4.47 from 144 votes
total time:
540minutes

dal makhani recipe with step by step pics – one of the most popular dal recipe from punjabi cuisine. this dal makhani recipe is restaurant style and tastes awesome. if you love authentic punjabi food then you are going to love this dal makhani even more.

dal makhani recipe restaurant style

dal makhani is always always on our menu whenever we dine outside, which happens very rarely. our choice of restaurant is usually a north indian one, rather than chinese or one with a world cuisine. if its not dal makhani then its some other punjabi recipe like:

  1. paneer butter masala
  2. chana masala
  3. matar paneer
  4. punjabi dum aloo
  5. rajma recipe
  6. kadai paneer

tips for making delicious dal makhani

1. use whole spices – i tried many times to get the restaurant taste in the dal makhani i make at home. but it never came close. i remember once having dal makhani (and it was one of the best dal makhani, we have had) in goa. we have had dal makhani at this place many times, at the quiet and serene benaulim beach in goa. surprise, surprise i once found a black cardamom and a clove in the dal makhani. i thought may be its the black cardamom and clove giving that flavor. when we make dal makhani at home, we never add whole spices or whole garam masala. instead we add garam masala powder. thereafter i made dal makhani many times with the whole spices and it does make a difference. but i still felt something was missing.

2. its important to add good amount of cream and butter in dal makhani. when i cracked the dal bukhara recipe, i felt it was the cream and butter making this difference, apart from the slow cooking. i would always add less butter or oil (2 tbsp for 1 to 1.25 cups of lentils) and make dal makhani with no cream or very less cream. you could still make dal makhani with less butter and cream. just remember to slow cook it for longer periods of time, to get the real deal.

3. the more slow cooked dal makhani is, the better it tastes. initially i have cooked the lentils in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. but later i have slow cooked on a low flame for 25 minutes.

4. another factor is the smoky charcoal infused aroma in the dal makhani, which we get in restaurants. i tried the dhungar method (charcoal smoking technique) and it worked very well. i myself was surprised when i tasted this dal makhani. exactly like the ones we get in restaurants. the dhungar smoking technique is optional and you can just skip if you cannot get charcoal.

5. lastly don’t forget to soak whole urad dal and rajma overnight, so that they take less time to cook. always use the fresh lentils and not the ones close to their expiry date for best taste and flavor.

dal makhani restaurant style

two more similar dal recipes you can make at times are kaali dal (punjabi maah ki dal) and amritsari dal recipe (langarwali dal).

serve dal makhani with rotis, rice, naan or aloo paratha or aloo kulcha or parathas.

dal makhani recipe
4.47 from 144 votes
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dal makhani recipe

restaurant style punjabi dal makhani recipe - one of the popular indian dal recipe made with whole urad dal and rajma.
course main course
cuisine punjabi
prep time 8 hours
cook time 1 hour
total time 9 hours
servings 4
rough calories per serving 325 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

main ingredients for dal makhani

  • ¾ cup whole urad dal OR 140 grams whole urad dal
  • ¼ cup rajma OR 40 grams rajma (kidney beans)
  • 3 cups water for pressure cooking OR 750 ml water
  • 1 medium onion OR 50 grams onion OR ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 or 2 green chilies - chopped (hari mirch)
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (adrak lahsun ka paste) OR 6 to 7 garlic + 1 inch ginger - crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 2 large tomatoes OR 200 grams tomatoes pureed OR 1 cup tomato puree
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 to 3 cloves (lavang)
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms (choti elaichi or hari elaichi)
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg (jaiphal powder)
  • 1 cup of water or add as required
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup low fat cream - 25% to 30% fat
  • ½ tablespoon low fat cream for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 tablespoon butter - salted or unsalted
  • salt as required

for dhungar method: (optional)

  • 1 small piece of charcoal
  • ½ to ⅔ teaspoon oil

how to make dal makhani recipe

preparation for dal makhani

  1. soak both 3/4 cup whole urad dal and 1/4 cup rajma/kidney beans overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. later drain them well.
  2. rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water.
  3. drain again and then add them in a pressure cooker. add 3 cups water and stir well.
  4. pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. if they are not cooked, then add about 1/2 cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. the urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. you can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. the same rule applies for rajma too. keep the cooked beans aside.
  5. in a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped.
  6. blend to a smooth puree. keep aside. you can also use ready 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes while pureeing.

making dal makhani

  1. in a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. you can use salted butter or unsalted butter.
  2. add the whole spices - 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf.
  3. saute till the spices become aromatic.
  4. then add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions.
  5. stir and saute the onions on a low flame often till they become light golden.
  6. then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  7. add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
  8. then add the tomato puree and stir again.
  9. add 1/2 tsp red chili powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
  10. stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.
  11. then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. also add 1 cup water or as required.
  12. stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.
  13. keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don't stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  14. once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
  15. stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. when simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. the longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes. i kept dal makhani for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. do keep on stirring at intervals.

  16. when the gravy has thickened enough, then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup cream. dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. it has a medium consistency.
  17. stir the cream very well. then switch off the flame.
  18. now add 1/4 tsp kasuri methi, crushed. stir again. cover and keep the dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. or else you can serve dal makhani straight away.

dhungar method for dal makhani

  1. heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot. with the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it evenly burns.
  2. keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.
  3. pour 1/2 teaspoon oil on the charcoal.

  4. immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.
  5. cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal. i always keep for one minute.

  6. serve punjabi dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, chapatis or steamed rice.

recipe notes

if cooking the beans in a pot, it may take from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
 

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preparation for dal makhani recipe restaurant style

1. soak both ¾ cup whole urad dal (whole black gram) and ¼ cup rajma/kidney beans overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours. drain them well. here’s a pic of soaked whole urad dal and rajma.

urad dal and rajma

2. rinse the urad lentils and rajma legumes a couple of times in water.

rinse urad dal

3. drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker.

urad dal for dal makhani recipe

4. add 3 cups water and stir well.

water to make dal makhani recipe

5. pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the whole urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. if they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. the urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. you can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. the same rule applies for rajma too. keep the cooked beans aside. both the urad dal and rajma beans have to be fresh. if they are old or close to their expiry, they take a lot of time to cook.

cooking urad dal for dal makhani recipe

6. here’s both the rajma and urad dal cooked and softened.

cooked urad dal

7. in a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped. no need to blanch the tomatoes.

tomatoes for dal makhani recipe

8. blend to a smooth puree. keep aside. you can also use store brought 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes.

puree for dal makhani recipe

making dal makhani

9. in a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. you can use salted butter or unsalted butter.

melt butter for dal makhani

10. add the whole spices – ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/indian bay leaf. saute till the spices become aromatic.

spices for dal makhani recipe

11. then add ½ cup finely chopped onions.

onions for dal makhani recipe

12. stir and saute the onions on a low flame often.

sauting onions for dal makhani recipe

13. saute the onions till they become light golden.

sauting onions for dal makhani recipe

14. then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

add ginger paste - making dal makhani recipe

15. add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.

making dal makhani masala

16. then add the tomato puree.

add puree to make dal makhani

17. stir again.

sauting to make dal makhani recipe

18. add ½ tsp red chili powder.

making dal makhani recipe

19. then add about 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.

nutmeg for dal makhani recipe

20. stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides. about 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame.

sauting dal makhani masala

21. then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans.

add urad dal

22. add the remaining stock. add 1 cup water or more if required.

add water to dal makhani

23. stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.

simmer dal makhani recipe

24. keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan. the lentils become viscous and start to stick at the bottom if not stirred. mash a few lentils too while stirring.

simmer dal makhani recipe

25. once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.

salt for dal makhani recipe

26. stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. when simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. the longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes. the lentils become creamy, viscous and the consistency of the dal will keep on thickening as you simmer. i kept for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. do keep on stirring at intervals.

simmer dal makhani recipe

27. when the gravy has thickened enough, then add ¼ to 1/3 cup cream. punjabi dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. it has a medium consistency with a viscosity coming from the thoroughly cooked lentils.

cream for dal makhani recipe

28. stir the cream very well. then switch off the flame.

simmer dal makhani recipe

29. now add ¼ tsp kasuri methi, crushed. stir again. cover and keep the dal makhani aside, if you are  proceeding to the dhungar method. or else you can serve punjabi dal makhani straight away.

making dal makhani recipe

30. heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot. with the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it evenly burns.

dhungar for dal makhani recipe

31. keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.

dhungar for dal makhani recipe

32. pour ½ to ⅔ tsp oil on the charcoal. the hot piece of charcoal would begin to smoke as soon as you pour oil on it.

dhungar for dal makhani recipe

33. immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.

dhungar for dal makhani recipe

34. cover with a lid tightly for one minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal makhani. i usually keep for one minute.

cooking dal makhani recipe

35. serve punjabi dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, parathas, kulcha, phulkas or aloo paratha or steamed rice.

dal makhani restaurant style recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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380 comments/reviews

  1. Every recipe I’ve tried thus far has been amazing! I am especially happy you take the time for step by step pics…it really helps us rookie chefs 😉. I’m truly grateful for your blog…its saved me many times. Looking forward to many more meals! Thanks Dassana for all the dedication!

    • thanks a lot. glad to ready your comment. most welcome and am happy that the recipes are helping you. happy cooking.

  2. Just made this amazing recipe. Turned out excellent 🙂 thank you so much for all the details!!!

  3. I am so grateful to you for teaching me how to cook. When I moved to US, I was so bad at cooking that my house-mates had to have an intervention. I did improve after that but my food was average and often un-reliable. It was only after I chanced upon your blog that my entire cooking style and confidence changed. I also learnt about the nuances and differences between recipes which I had never bothered to know about (i.e. why myriad of paneer recipes cooked using the same ingredients are called differently, or different recipes for chole, etc.).
    Now I can say that I cook as good as my mom!! And I have learnt most of it from your blog!!

    • thanks you much dhaval. i am so glad that and i feel good also that the recipes on blog are helping folks who want to cook good indian food. comments like yours are also encouraging. thanks again and wish you all the best.

  4. This is the best dal makhni recipe I’ ve ever tried. Every time I make it, it turns out really tasty. I just do it with a little more butter. 😉
    Btw you look so cute. 🤗

  5. Dear Dassana Amit,
    All the recipes that I have tried from your blog, has turned out tasty. We can see the passion in the way it’s put up in the blog. Tried and tested recipes…I recommend this blog for everyone 😊

    • thank you akshaya. happy to know this. thanks for sharing the love. warm regards.

  6. Why we add salt at last moment?

    • you can add salt before. generally salt is added later in dals, lentils and legumes so that they cook well. its said that if added earlier, then the lentils don’t soften and become mushy. but i have seen whether salt is added first or later, the lentils do get cooked well when pressure cooked. could be when cooking in a pan, they must be not cooking well if salt is added earlier.

  7. Hi Dassana,

    Cooked dal makhani yesterday and it was delicious 🙂

    • Thanks Dhivya. Glad to know this.

  8. One of my favorite recipe. This is simply amazing. Everyone in my family just love this.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Welcome Ila. Glad to know that this dal makhani recipe is liked by everyone in your home.

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