Recipe: Dal Makhani (दाल मखनी / ਦਾਲ ਮੱਖਣੀ)

Dal makhani (Hindi: दाल मखनी) (Punjabi: ਦਾਲ ਮੱਖਣੀ) is a famous dish from Punjab. Now, it is popular throughout India and is one of India’s most famous dishes. The dish is made from whole unpeeled black urad dal and red kidney beans (rajma). They are soaked overnight and pressure cooked until very soft, then partially mashed for a creamy consistency. The seasonings include onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, chilies, many spices, butter and cream. These seasonings are very typical of Punjabi cuisine.

This post contains one versions of the dal makhani recipe! This version is the home style dal makhani, which is super easy and only requires a pressure cooker and no other pan. All you have to do is put everything inside and cook. There is no necessary masala mixture to prepare. It is also healthier because it doesn’t need cream (but you can still add cream if you wish). This dish is just like how most Punjabi people make it at home. Another version is the restaurant style dal makhani. This one is more complicated and less healthy. However, it is richer so it tastes better. This kind of dish is eaten in restaurants and also during special occasions. I do not include this recipe in this post, but it is found on Veg Recipes of India, a really good and comprehensive Indian food blog. You should search it on Google if you want to know the recipe.

Anyways, the recipe is again adapted from Veg Recipes of India. The website has even more recipes like restaurant style dal makhani (more complicated and rich), dhaba style dal makhani (similar to restaurant version but less complicated I think), mah di dal (has no rajma), mah chole ke dal (includes chana dal), rajma (red kidney beans), chole (garbanzo beans), and many, many other recipes for dals.

Home-Style Punjabi Dal Makhani


1 cup whole black urad dal

1/2 cup kidney beans (rajma)

4 cups water

1 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder (use Kashmiri red chili powder for not spicy version)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 medium size (in India) or small size (in USA) onion, finely chopped

2 medium size tomatoes (Roma tomatoes in USA), finely chopped

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp Punjabi garam masala

2-3 tbsp butter

2-3 tbsp cream (optional)

salt to taste

cilantro leaves for garnishing (optional)


1. If making in morning, soak urad dal and rajma overnight. If making for dinner, soak in the morning.

2. Drain. Add everything to a pressure cooker except cream and cilantro.

3. Pressure cook until soft. (12-15 whistles)

4. You should be able to mash with a spoon.

5. Simmer 12-15 minutes, mashing partially until it gets a creamy consistency.

6. Stir in cream if using and simmer 1-2 minutes.

7. Garnish with cilantro is using. Enjoy!

Serve dal makhani with rotis, naan, or jeera rice. All of those recipes are on Veg Recipes of India site. 🙂


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