Friday, December 5, 2014

Dal Makhni: The Royal Taste of Punjab

Dal Makhni: This has always been the royal taste of Punjab and a staple in Punjabi households: the royal fest food. The royal dish which was almost always prepared when we had guests over (vegetarian guests, that is). My mother used to prepare this royal treat and we always were left craving for more and more. We used to have this with jeera rice or parathas, or even plain rotis. Whatever it used to be, it always tasted awesome and mouth-watering. It tastes even better the next day because the flavors are marinated overnight and give a wonderful, wonderful taste.. Well, words are too less to say anything about THE Dal Makhani so let's move on to the recipe:


Black Urad Dal (whole): 1 cup
Red Kidney beans (Rajma): 1/4 cup
Cooking oil: 1 tsp.
Butter: 3 tsp.
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder
Red chilli powder
Onion (chopped): 1 
Garlic cloves: 4
Ginger: 1 inch
Green chilli (chopped): 1
Tomato (chopped): 2
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
Cinnamon: 1 inch
Cloves: 2
Bay leaf: 1
Beaten Yoghurt: 1 cup
Kasoori methi: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
Cream (for garnish): 2 tsp.
Red chilli (whole): 1 (optional) 

  1. Soak the urad dal and red kidney beans overnight in separate vessels.
  2. In the morning, wash them and add them to a pressure cooker with 3 cups water. Add 1 tsp. oil, salt and turmeric and pressure cook the dal for 8-10 whistles (depending upon the cooker). The dal must be soft and mushy. 
  3. Let the steam release itself. Open the cooker and take out the dal in a separate bowl, leaving the water in which the dal is boiled in the cooker. 
  4. Add the yogurt to the dal and mix well. Press and beat together the dal and yoghurt until they are intermixed and dal is very soft. Keep aside. 

  5. Heat butter in a pan and add cumin, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. By this time, prepare a paste of onions and garlic in the mixer.
  6. Add the onion-garlic paste to the pan and mix well. Let it cook until the ghee is separated on the sides. 

  7. By this time, prepare a paste of 1 tomato, green chilli and ginger in the mixer.
  8. When the onion-garlic is cooked, add the tomato paste to the pan and mix well. 

  9. Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Mix and let cook till the paste leaves ghee on the sides. 

  10. When the masala is done, add the softened dal and yoghurt mix to the pan. Crush the kasoori methi between your palms and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook for 2-3 minutes. 

  11. Add the whole dal to the pressure cooker in the water in which the dal was boiled. Mix well and let cook on medium flame for 15 minutes, until the dal becomes thick. Add garam masala and turn off the flame. 
  12. After 10 minutes, open the cover, garnish with cream and serve hot !!
  13. This is how my mother prepares it, but I do another step sometimes. Instead of adding garam masala to the dal, I heat another 1 tsp. oil/ghee to the pan and add chopped tomato, whole red chilli and garam masala. Let the tomato become soft, then add this mix to the dal for an added flavor. This step is optional because it's not included in the authentic recipe.
  14. Garnish with cream/ a dallop of butter and serve.

Love this recipe? Please do leave a comment and/or feedback in the comments section below.
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These are the pictures sent by the precious readers who took out their valuable time to share the picture of the positive feedback of Dal Makhani recipe they tried. If I have missed out your picture by mistake, please understand that it's not intentional and kindly send it to me again on Facebook. Every feedback and picture makes me more than happy. 


  1. Can u tell me the cup measurement

    1. dear cup means a normal cup but bigger than the cup we use for tea. This measurement is according to ratio that if you use 1 cup dal you use 1/4 cup rajma you can do the same with a bowl: use 1 bowl dal to 1/4 bowl rajma..

  2. Tried this recipe today,it was delicious. Thank you for posting this recipe with pictures it was helpful.
    Keep posting :):)

    1. You're welcome.. thanks so much for trying and sharing positive feedback..

  3. recipe is very simple and looking forward to try it out tomorrow..

  4. The land of Punjab which is described as the land of the Gurus and the warriors, as a matter of faith believes in earning honest living through hard labor and in sharing the fruits of this labor with others without expecting any returns that is the life in punjab.

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