Dal Makhani Recipe and Variations | Cook Creamy, Rich, and Satisfying Indian Dish at Home 

Dal Makhani Recipe and Variations | Cook Creamy, Rich, and Satisfying Indian Dish at Home 

Introduction Dal Makhani:

When it comes to Indian cuisine, few dishes can match the rich, creamy, and utterly satisfying taste of Dal Makhani. This classic dish, known for its indulgent flavors, is a favorite in households and restaurants across the country. If you’re looking to recreate the magic of Dal Makhani in your own kitchen, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will share a delightful Dal Makhani recipe that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani is a popular North Indian dish made from black lentils and kidney beans cooked in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy. It is typically flavored with a blend of aromatic spices and finished with butter and cream, giving it a luscious and indulgent flavor. This dish is a favorite in Indian cuisine and is often served with rice or various types of bread like naan or roti.
Prep Time 7 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Servings 4
Calories 278 kcal


  • 1 cup whole black gram (urad dal)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp  red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


Soak and Cook the Pulses:

  • Rinse the urad dal (black gram) and rajma (kidney beans) under cold water. Soak them in plenty of water for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • After soaking, drain the water and transfer the dal and rajma to a pressure cooker.
  • 4-5 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and pressure cook for about 6-7 whistles or until they are soft and well-cooked. Set aside.

Prepare the Dal Makhani:

  • In a large pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Stir in the grated ginger, minced garlic, and green chili. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the raw smell disappears.

 Add Tomato Puree:

  • Add the tomato puree and cook until the oil starts to separate from the mixture. This can take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala. Sauté for a few minutes until the masalas are well-cooked and aromatic.

 Combine Cooked Pulses:

  • Add the cooked dal and rajma to the tomato-onion mixture. Mix well.
  • Pour in the cream and combine everything.

 Simmer and Garnish:

  • Add a bay leaf for added flavor. Simmer the dal on low heat for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding water as needed.
  • Season with salt according to your taste.

 Serve Hot:

  • Once the dal reaches your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


  • Your homemade Dal Makhani is ready to be served. It pairs perfectly with steamed rice, naan, or roti.
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Variations of Dal Makhani:

  • Dal Makhani with Coconut Milk:
    • To add creaminess and subtle sweetness, use coconut milk.
    • Add coconut milk at the same time as butter and cream.
    • You can also substitute butter and cream with coconut milk if desired.
    • Coconut milk complements the spices in the dish and adds a rich flavor.
  • Dal Makhani with Yogurt:
    • Use full-fat yogurt for best results, as light or low-fat varieties can curdle when heated.
    • To achieve an even creamier consistency, whisk together Greek yogurt and coconut milk before adding to the dal makhani.
  • Dal Makhani with Apple Cider Vinegar:
    • Add a unique tangy twist by including one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar towards the end of cooking.
    • The vinegar enhances the flavors of the dish, balancing sweet and savory notes.
  • Sarson Da Saag Makhani (Mustard Greens & Spinach Makhani):
    • This variant combines mustard greens and spinach with traditional ingredients like ghee, Urad Dal, Rajma, and onions.
    • It offers health benefits, including high levels of vitamins A and K, iron from mustard greens, and calcium from spinach.
    • Ideal for those seeking a healthy option.
  • Aloo Makhani (Potato Makhani):
    • Incorporate creamy potatoes into the classic North Indian dish.
    • Replace some or all of the Urad Dal and Rajma mixture with cubed potatoes.
    • Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender before adding other ingredients as usual.


Making Dal Makhani at home is a delightful culinary experience that rewards you with a dish that’s brimming with flavor and comfort. Whether you’re preparing it for a special occasion or simply craving some creamy goodness, this recipe will guide you to a perfect outcome every time. So, don your chef’s hat and treat yourself to the incredible taste of homemade Dal Makhani.


1. Why is Dal Makhani Called So?
Dal Makhani gets its name from two key components: “Dal” and “Makhani.” “Dal” refers to lentils or pulses, and in this dish, it typically consists of black gram (Urad Dal) and red kidney beans (Rajma). “Makhani” refers to the use of butter or cream in the preparation. Dal Makhani is known for its rich and creamy texture, achieved by adding generous amounts of butter and cream during the cooking process. The combination of these two elements, creamy lentils and butter or cream, gives rise to the name “Dal Makhani.”

2. What is Another Name for Black Dal?
Another name for black dal is “Urad Dal.” Urad Dal is a type of lentil, specifically black gram lentils, which are commonly used in various Indian dishes, including Dal Makhani.

3. Is Dal Tadka and Dal Makhani the Same?
No, Dal Tadka and Dal Makhani are not the same. They are two distinct Indian lentil dishes with different flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods:

Dal Tadka: Dal Tadka is a simple, everyday Indian dish made with cooked lentils, often yellow or red lentils (Masoor Dal), to which a tadka (tempering) of spices, ghee (clarified butter), and sometimes onions and tomatoes is added. It has a lighter and more soupy consistency and is known for its spiciness.

Dal Makhani: Dal Makhani, on the other hand, is a richer and creamier dish. It features black gram (Urad Dal) and red kidney beans (Rajma) cooked in a tomato-based gravy with significant amounts of butter and cream. It has a thick and creamy texture, often with a hint of sweetness due to the cream and butter.

4. What Are Other Names for Black Dal?
Black dal is commonly known as “Urad Dal” in India. It is also referred to as “Black Gram Lentils.” Urad Dal is a versatile ingredient used in various Indian dishes, both in its whole form and split form.

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