Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dal Makhani aka Maa ki Dal - Punjabi Cuisine

After a hat-trick of sweet recipes, I thought I should post something spicy for a change. I am at my mom's place right now and she won't let me cook anything elaborate, so I browsed through my Drafts and found this one waiting to be beautified and posted :-)

I had made this months ago when I had invited some friends home for lunch on a Sunday.  Dal Makhani is a sumptuous dish full of nutrition from dals/lentils and the cream on top to finish just makes this a super-hit with everyone! :-)  It goes very well with both rice and roti varieties alike. I generally make a simple Garlic Rice or Jeera Rice and they make a good pair.

Dal Makhani

Let me take you through a pictorial first :-)

Rajma and Black whole Urad dal soaked in water overnight

Tadka with butter, zeera and red chillies

Onions fried

Tomatoes mushed up

Add spices, cooked dal and finish with cream :-)

What I Used -

Rajma / Red Bean- 1/2 cup
Whole Black Urad Dal - 3/4 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium (Using additional Tomato puree greatly enhances the taste)
Fresh Cream - 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp

Spices To Temper - Tadka - Thalikka -

Butter - 1 tbsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 4
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric / Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp (I used Kashmiri variety for a rich color)  
Dhania powder / coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom spice mix - 3/4 tsp (you can get them pre-made from your Indian store or powder them yourself using your dry spice grinder)
Kitchen King Masala - 3/4 tsp
Salt - taste

How To -

  • Soak the lentils overnight with enough water. Drain the water and pressure-cook the dals with sufficient (fresh) water for 4-5 whistles (It's okay to over-cook than to under-cook the lentils) .You could add salt as well. Wait for the pressure to get released naturally.
  • Take a kadai, melt butter and add jeera. When they crackle, add red chillies and then add ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add finely sliced/chopped onions and let them turn brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and let them turn mushy.
  • Add the spice powders - turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, kitchne king and the cardamom-cinnamom-cloves spice mix.
  • Add the water/ stock from the cooked dal and then slowly add the lentils and lower the flame. Let the dals absorb the flavors form the masalas. Close with a lid for about 5-7 minutes.
    • Tip : I like to mash up about 4 tbsp of cooked dal and then add to the gravy. This gives thickness to the gravy and also a good flavor to Dal Makhani as such :-)
  • Check for salt.
  • Add cream and mix well and you can see the gravy coming together as a thick, creamy mixture :-)
  • Serve hot. You could add another tablespoon of cream just before serving! :-)

Isn't it inviting ??


  1. My favorite dal. Looks super yummy.

  2. For sure fav one ...looks so yum

  3. so yummy my favourite dhal

  4. Healthy and delicious! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and joining in my blog. Need to browse your other post...

  5. Hey DV,
    What a coincidence :) I wrote my own variation of Dal Makhani in my blog this week as well. Would have tried yours if I had seen it first :) Anyway, next time.

  6. First time at your space.


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