Dal Makhani Recipe Restaurant Style, How to make Dal Makhani

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 mostly 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.

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. it is 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 tablespoons 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 makhni 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 roti, rice, naan or aloo paratha or aloo kulcha or paratha.

preparation for dal makhani recipe

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 makhni

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

slow cooking 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 makhni 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 makhni 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

optional – dhungar method for dal makhani

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

few more tasty lentil recipes for you!

dal makhani

4.83 from 160 votes
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:8 hrs
Cook Time:1 hr
Total Time:9 hrs
Course:main course
Cuisine:punjabi
Calories: 325kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):4
dal makhani recipe
restaurant style punjabi dal makhani recipe - one of the popular indian dal recipe made with whole urad dal and rajma.

INGREDIENTS FOR dal makhani

(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

preparation for dal makhani

  • 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.
  • rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water.
  • drain again and then add them in a pressure cooker. add 3 cups water and stir well.
  • 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.
  • in a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped.
  • 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

  • in a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. you can use salted butter or unsalted butter.
  • 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.
  • saute till the spices become aromatic.
  • then add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions.
  • stir and saute the onions on a low flame often till they become light golden.
  • then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
  • then add the tomato puree and stir again.
  • add 1/2 tsp red chili powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
  • stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.
  • then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. also add 1 cup water or as required.

slow cooking dal makhani

  • stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.
  • keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don't stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • stir the cream very well. then switch off the flame.
  • 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 makhni straight away.

dhungar method for dal makhani

  • 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.
  • keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.
  • pour 1/2 teaspoon oil on the charcoal.
  • immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.
  • cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal makhni. i always keep for one minute.
  • serve punjabi dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, chapatis or steamed rice.

NOTES

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

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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433 comments/reviews

  1. hello dassana
    first thing i want to thank you for all of your recepies which gave me that taste for spices so much that now any lunch without a twist has become sad for my palate! i am french and i am dreaming of one day going to india, learn the traditions and most of all the secrets of the cooking!! i am even going to be tatooed some verses in indian and if you agrees i will need a translator from english to hindi , may that be possible ?

    • hi lavoine, most welcome. good to read your comment and thank you. indian cooking has no secrets. you just need to understand the basics and know about the spices, herbs and the ingredients used in indian cooking. once get the knack of knowing the secrets of spices & herbs in terms of flavor, aroma and taste, then you can make great indian food anywhere. also in india, you won’t have problem as indians do speak english. in most indian cities and towns, english is spoken in hotels, restaurants and cafes. so you won’t need a translator.

    • yes, you can easily make dal makhani without onion and garlic. just add a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) after the whole spices crackle and before adding ginger paste.

  2. Awesome . I prepared it today and every one at home liked it…the step by step recipe preparation is great…5 stars

  3. I have made this several times using this very recipe. It’s a hit always. Thnk you so much for taking time/ efforts to write a recipe in this much details. I keep coming back to your website for more.5 stars

  4. I will cook this for sure😍looks Delicious 😋😋😋 Which oil are you using for that dhungar method. I am a beginner.I have pinned your Medhu vada recipe, vanilla Milk Shake😃Thank you…5 stars

    • low-fat cream with 25% fat content. if you live in united states, you can use light cream or half and half. whipping cream can also be used, but just reduce the amount.

  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe! One question: do you know how long I’d leave it using the Instant Pot? I can never tell what counts as a full whistle with the IP :/

  6. Awesome taste ..Master chef recipe ..special when u use smoking coal in this …must try and easy recipe….thanks for this recipe5 stars

  7. Namaste Dassana!

    Thanks again. Maybe you have a tip on how to reduce issue of meteroism (gases) after eating beans? I’ve used bake soda, but maybe you have better advice.

    All the best

    • namaste eugene, avoid baking soda as it leads to more gas. this is what i follow. rinse and then soak the beans first for 8 to 9 hours. then discard all the water. rinse the beans again in fresh water. drain all the water. then place the rinsed beans in a pan or pressure cooker. add fresh water and cook. when the beans are cooked, strain them and discard the water in which they were cooked. for dal makhani, i keep the stock as it gives a good flavor and taste. however, for people with acidity and flatulence issues, it is better to discard. add beans as mentioned in the recipe and add water as required.

      a tip is to add one to two pinches of hing (asafoetida) in the recipe. you can add asafoetida before sauteing onions etc. cumin seeds can also be crackled in oil. some garam masala added in the dish, also helps in digestion. hope these suggestions help.

  8. Greetings from Moscow!

    I’ve just done dal makhani your way! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ve spent tons of time researching, and yours is by far best and accessable.

    The whole spices and smoking makes the difference.

    • namaste eugene. thanks for sharing this lovely feedback. so glad to know that you have found this dal makhani recipe best and easy as compared to other recipes. the whole spices and smoking does make a lot of difference. thanks again.

  9. Hi Dassana,
    I followed your recipe to the T and doubled the recipe to make 8 servings. I cannot tell you how amazing it tasted! I had guests over and between 3 people, the whole vessel was emptied!! The dhungar method worked perfectly. This was better than at some restaurants I’ve tasted. Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

  10. Hi
    I follow this site regularly
    I absolutely love your recipes
    Keep doing great work
    God bless you5 stars

  11. You are the best Ma’am. I can cook just because I have you. Thank you so much for each and every recipe. And this one is just brilliant.5 stars

  12. cool, stylish and perfect recipe, beautifully explained step by step by Dassana madam. Just next to Raisina Recipe… hat’s off.5 stars

  13. This is lovely and I am going to make it for a party this weekend. One question: I’ll be using an instant pot to cook the pulses. My IP give different times for smaller beans vs. larger and the urad dal looks quite a bit smaller than the rajma. Should I just go with the longer time? I’m not sure how whistles translate to the IP timer but was just planning on going with the recommended cook time for soaked kidney beans. Thank you for all of these beautiful vegetarian recipes!

    • thanks natalie. go with the longer timing. urad dal is smaller than rajma. they are of the same size as moong beans but take more time to cook than moong beans. by the time the kidney beans (rajma) are cooked, the urad dal will also be cooked completely and have kind of smooth consistency.

  14. Hi there – this looks delicious – but I don’t have a pressure cooker. Is it possible for me to make this recipe without one? How might the dish be affected? Many thanks

    • yes eleanor, you make dal makhani in a pot. cooking in a pot gives the dish a really good taste, but yes you do need to stir at intervals when slow cooking dal makhani. soak lentils overnight and then cook them covered with enough water in a deep pot. add a few drops of butter or oil so that the water does not froth much while cooking lentils.

  15. Thanks a lot got your recipes Dasanna! You’re amazing ! I follow your recipes to the dot and had amazing dinners ! Love your presentation as well ! All the best to you !5 stars

  16. Thank you Dassana. Your all recipes have real taste of India. Please keep sharing new recipes.

  17. Dassana,
    Hi there. I have only made Mattar Paneer from your blog so far, but have plans to make dal makhani tonight. I have become a fan of this blog and visit it a few too many times a day, in search of what to make NEXT. Ty for the detailed posts and the pictures are truly perfect. I agree with the others, you are making confident and skilled chefs without even knowing it. Its not only because of your perfect recipes, rather the background and cultural explanations that help with the whole picture thus making the dish has become more of a culinary experience than just cooking. I have LOVED sharing this gem. Keep up the hard work and TY again.5 stars

    • thanks much jahvini for this lovely feedback. so glad to read and makes me feel good too. sure do try dal makhani and you will love it. it is one of the most popular recipes tried by many readers. thanks again and happy cooking.

  18. Best dal makhani recipe so far. Kudos to the efforts and detailed steps. It turned out yummy & everyone asked for the recipe. 🙂5 stars

  19. Hello Mam, Your site is awsome for a person like me who is new to cooking… The added advantage is the pictures… Really helpful… Thanks a lot and keep up the good work…5 stars

  20. Thank you for creating this wonderful blog. Can’t appreciate enough for such detailed tried & tested recipes, also for step by step photo instructions & every little personal touch of yours in every recipe you post.
    I have made many of your recipes, but never left a comment for this great help you do for many people like me. Sorry for my procrastination & thank you too!!!5 stars

    • thanks deepta for this genuine feedback. no need to feel sorry. it does help me when i get feedback from readers, but even if some readers are unable to comment or share their feedback, it is alright. thanks again and happy cooking.

  21. 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!5 stars

  22. Just made this amazing recipe. Turned out excellent 🙂 thank you so much for all the details!!!5 stars

  23. 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!!5 stars

    • 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.