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Dal Makhni/ Buttery Black Lentils

If there was a word better than yummy, it would describe this dal. Maybe divine is a better suited word for this dish. Of the various kinds of Dal preparations from India, this one is the richest. It has butter and then it is garnished with some cream in the end.

Dal Makhni/ Buttery black lentils

If you want to have this Dal make sure you have loads of patience and time. I had made up my mind last night that I would prepare this Dal today for dinner. 🙂 Yes, this is another one of those dishes where you need to plan a day in advance, almost like my previous post – Rajma. The reason being that these black lentils would need to be soaked anytime between 12- 16 hrs at least. So overnight is a good option. I soaked them for about 18 hrs or so.

Soaked black lentils

This dal is not complicated, just that it needs to simmer for a long time on your stove. 🙂

Again another dish from the Northern state of India – Punjab.

So when I started to cook this today I picked up a book to keep me occupied while my cooking was on the way and it kept me busy & my mind off the wait to dig into this yummy dal :). So make sure you have something to keep you occupied when you plan to cook this.

Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 1.5-2hrs
Whole Black lentils/Whole Urad Dal – 2 cups, washed & soaked in 6 cups of water, overnight
Kidney Beans – 2 tbsp, washed & soaked along with the black lentils
Onion – 1 large, chopped finely
Garlic cloves – 6-8 medium-sized, chopped finely
Ginger – 2 inch piece, finely chopped
Cumin/Jeera seeds – 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder – one and a half tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp,
Green chilli – 1-2, slit, You can reduce this to reduce the spice
Tomato – 2 medium-sized, chopped finely
Butter – 2-3 tbsp
Cream – 2-3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Drain the extra water out of the soaked lentils. Add the drained lentils to a pressure cooker. Add some salt and some chilli powder and one half of the chopped ginger along with a litre of water. Once the water starts to boil, close with the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Take off heat and open the cooker once the pressure is off. Check is the lentils have been cooked. You should be easily able to mash them with a spoon. If so then they are cooked well. Else pressure cook for another whistle.

Heat the oil and butter together in a frying pan set to medium heat. Add the cumin seeds once the butter melts and the mixture is hot. Fry the cumin seeds till they begin to change colour. Next add the chopped garlic, onions & rest of the ginger. Fry them well. Once they turn golden brown, add the chopped tomatoes along with the remaining chilli powder and slit green chilli’s and mix well. Fry till the tomatoes turn to pulp. Once so take this mixture off heat, put the cooker back on the heat. Make sure the heat is set to low. Add this Butter/onion & tomato mixture to the lentils and mix well. Make sure there is enough water, and let the lentils cook for about 30-40 minutes on low heat. Keep stirring in an interval of 5-10 minutes. Check salt. Add the garam masala powder to the cooking lentils. when the Dal has reached a nice consistency you want then remove it from heat.

Garnish with some cream.

Garnish with some cream

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with a bowl of hot steamed rice or roti’s, with some salad/pickle & papad/poppadams on the side.

Dal Makhni/ Buttery black lentils

Notes: If you have ended up with some leftovers of this Dal do not worry at all. This Dal tastes even better after warming up the next day. The flavours get infused better the next day, but do remember to warm it and let it simmer for about 10-15 mins.  This does not mean it does not taste good fresh. 🙂

If you liked this recipe, you may also like Lobia DalIndian Kidney Bean curry/RajmaPalak Paneer and other curry recipe’s.


9 thoughts on “Dal Makhni/ Buttery Black Lentils

  1. Pingback: Keli Paan
  2. After trying mushroom rice last week, I backed myself to cook Dal makhani
    🙂 . Turned out to be delicious . Thanks for posting the recipe. P.S: I added 3 red chillies and lil asafoetida , further, was lazy to chop giner and garlic , instead used ginger garlic paste 😀


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