Dal Makhani(The Taste of Punjab)


Dal Makhani is synonymous to Punjab, a state in Northern India.The food from this state is as lively as the people from this state.Liveliness shows up in every aspect of Punjab.People from this state seems to be very fond of desi ghee( clarified butter) and butter and the authentic food from this state is literally bathed in ghee and butter,thus the name Makhani (buttery) is suffixed with some of their dishes.Though the food is high on ghee and butter and is never bland, it is liked by most whether a Punjabi or a non Punjabi.I am yet to find a person who does not appreciate food from Punjab.Looking into the health aspects,it is advisable to reduce the quantity of ghee or butter,but sometimes I feel its better to indulge then compromising on taste or might as well cook these dishes occasionally. Dal Makhani is one dish from the bouquet and it has a prominent place in vegetarian menu.The dish is made with whole black gram (sabut urad) and sometimes kidney beans(rajma) is also added to it.The dish is cooked to a silky smooth consistency seasoned with spices and lots of butter.This when paired with buttered naan,or tandoori roti tastes divine.I wish all of you to relish the creamy texture and mild flavours of the dish so here follows the step by step recipe of Dal Makhani.




  • 1 cup whole black gram pulse
  • 1″ginger
  • 7-8 fat garlic cloves( slice 2 flakes and reserve rest for the paste)
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri red chili powder or paprika
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 large tomatoes( blanched and pureed)sk
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder(jaiphal)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee(clarified butter)
  • 60-70 gm butter minimum
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • Chopped green coriander for garnishing


  • Soak whole black gram overnight or for minimum 8-10 hours.When it is soaked drain the water. Pour in fresh water and gently rub the pulse between the palms for about 5 minutes and drain all the dark coloured water.Wash it again with fresh water…..the idea is to get rid of the black coloured water and not the husk.This will ensure nice red colour to the dish rather then brownish black.
  • Cook it with some salt and water till it blooms and becomes soft either in a pressure cooker or in an open vessel.Cooking in a pressure cooker will save time without compromising on taste.The level of water above the surface of the dal should be just upto the first mark of your fore finger.
  • Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
  • In a separate pan heat 1 tbsp ghee.When it is hot add ginger and garlic paste and cook till its rawness is gone and starts giving a pleasant aroma.Add red chili powder,give it a quick stir and add pureed tomatoes.Cook till it starts leaving ghee.To this add the cooked dal,add some water and keep cooking on low heat stirring in between till a nice smooth consistency is obtained.Add butter and mix well.


  • In a tempering pan heat some more ghee and fry the sliced garlic in it.When the garlic turns golden ,pour it over the pulse which is still cooking on low heat.Lightly roast kasuri methi in a pan and add it over the dal.Sprinkle some nutmeg powder over it ,stir well and switch off the flame.
  • To finish it off pour nicely blended fresh cream,garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot along with buttered naan or parantha.




5 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Loved it


  2. Megala says:

    Looks absolutely delicious !


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