Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dal Makhani (Creamy Black Lentils)

Dal Makhani is a traditional North Indian signature dish that is not only high in protein but is also very delicious. This particular black dal (Lentil) along with kidney beans is cooked on low flame & cream and/or butter is added to it for the lovely creamy texture. This dal is usually served with Tandoori Roti, Naan (types of indian breads) and even rice. This is the one of the most popular dishes ordered in Indian restaurants.

I made this today for lunch and we all enjoyed it with tandoori roti, salad and pickle. And ofcourse, there had to be a dessert after the meal. So I made all time favorite- Gulab Jamun. (Click to see the recipe)

All in all- a hearty meal. I am sure you will agree with me after looking at the pictures.

The whole spices that are added to the dal gives lovely aroma and taste. Cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, black cardamom, bay leaves are those wonderful, aromatic spices. Now you can imagine how delicious your lunch or dinner going to be when you prepare this dish.

Here is the recipe (Click here for printable version)

1 cup black lentils (called whole urad dal)
1/4 cup red kidney beans (soaked for 2-3 hours in water)
6 cups water
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes
2 green chillies
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1 no. black cardamom
2 nos green cardamom
2 small sticks of cinnamon
1-2 small bay leaves
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
salt and red chilli powder- to taste
1 tbsp of cream - for garnish
few coriander leaves- for garnish

1. Pressure cook dal and kidney beans with salt, black cardamom, green cardamom and cinnamon sticks for about 20 minutes on medium low flame. When you open the lid, check to make sure the kidney beans are soft and tender. If they are not, cook on low flame until they are done. You can add more water at this time depending on the amount of water left in the dal.
2. Add the heavy cream to the dal and let it cook on low flame while stirring in between.
3. In a food chopper, finely chop onions, tomatoes, green chillies and garlic cloves together.
4. In a pan, heat 3 tbsp of ghee, add asafoetida and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds starts to change the color, add the bay leaves and ginger. Stir for 10-15 seconds and add the chopped onion tomato mixture.
5. Cook the onion tomatoes mixture for about 8-10 minutes and then add all the dry spices (salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala). You can add a tbsp of water if the mixture is dry. Let the mixture cook while stirring until the ghee starts to leave from the sides. Switch off the gas.
6. Add the prepared mixture to the dal and mix well. Let dal cook for another 10-12 minutes on low flame. The dal when done should have a thick creamy texture.
7. Add the butter in the end and mix well.

Garnish with cream and coriander leaves right before serving. Serve hot with Roti, Naan, Parantha or Rice.

Enjoy! :)

And yess....Don't forget to send your entries for the ongoing "Spring Event: with a $35 giveaway!


Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Delicious looking dear, love the presentation with naan.

swapna said...

Delicious and creamy dal it!!

divya said...

Wow...looks so creamy and delicious curry...

Tiffany said...

I am suddenly craving Dal Makhani.....fantastic post!!

......... said...

Hi Vaishali, thanks for adding me on FoodBuzz. I wanted to visit your blog. What delicious foods! I'm ready toe at and I just finished dinner! Great photos. I also write a blog on Food however with relationships stories. Please visit. And thanks again

Kadhyaa... said...

first time here and my all time fav .looks so inviting

Kalpana Sareesh said...

creamy n yummy curry..

little j said...

Love your photos! This looks soo good. If there's one perk to not having a job, it's being given the time to make great food & sharing it with everyone :)

Prathibha said...

Love it..looks creamy n rich..

Priya said...

Thats a marvellous and truly inviting dal makhani...yumm!

The Mistress of Spices said...

Lovely photos! I just love dal makhani!!!

Nithya said...

Looks super delicious and the captures are drool worthy :) yummm :)

Gulmohar said...

My fav too and this looks just the way it should look :-)
Will send in our entries for your event soon :-)

Christina said...

This looks so warm and comforting!

Manu said...

Yum! Great simple yet flavorsome recipe. I love Indian cuisine! You have a very nice blog, Vaishali!!! Great pictures too!

Hester aka The Chef Doc said...

Oh my gosh. This entire meal looks so heavenly! I'm not well-versed in the world of lentils but now I want to try my hand at it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

Shanthi said...

Looks extremely rich and delicious

Our Eyes Eat First said...

Hi! Ive enjoyed visiting your blog and would love to present you with


Please visit this link to get the rules of this blog award.

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the

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Tiffany said...

YUM! And I love that you use black and green cardamon! Mmmmmmmmm


Just now I am eating dal makhani and reading your post as well,Looks amazing,great clicks!

Ben said...

Creamy lentils, that sounds so good! You have such a beautiful blog :)

Indrani said...

dal Makahni looks yumm...your pics are super yumm, I love ur blog, so I've shared an award with you, pl. come and collect from my blog, thanks

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