Friday, June 25, 2010

Utterly Not Butterly Delicious Dhal Makhni

I always associate dhal makhni with lots of cream and butter. Thats what most recipes suggested and the version in restaurants projected. Creamy dhal makhni with lots of ghee, butter and cream tasted heavenly with Naan and rice. Yum!!.

I used to make dhal makhni just the same way, lots of cream, butter and ghee. The more butter and cream you add the better it is. I would happily pour a packet of cream and butter.

While on weight loss, I visited my DH's aunt. They being Punjabi served us dhal makhni. I was hesitating to eat it, so she said "you can eat it dear its made in just 2 spoons of oil". OMG!!! I was shocked. I never thought something that tasty could be made from less oil.

The dhal makhni she made was amazingly smooth and damn tasty. She being from Amritsar got it exactly right. I asked her for the recipe, tried at home and it was a hit. This is how I make it. I make it in good amount so that I can freeze some. Usually as in all Punjabi house holds we eat it on weekends.

Ingredients :

1. 2 cups Whole urad dhal/maa ki dhal. Its black in color.

2. 1/2 cup Rajma.

3. 4 Medium size Onions, finely chopped.

4. 1 whole pod garlic, peeled and chopped.

5. 1 inch Ginger, chopped very finely. You can grate it too.

6. 1 tsp cumin seed

7. 2 tsp ghee.

8. 1 tea cup milk.

9. 3 tsp curd.

10. 2 tsp roasted cumin powder.

11. 2 tsp garam masala.

For Tadka

1. 1 medium size tomato finely chopped.

2. 1 green chili slashed length wise.

3. 1 inch ginger, cut into fine long strips.

Gram Masala -

Cumin Seeds - 100 Gm
Whole Black pepper- 50Gm
MOTI ILAICHI OR Big Cardamom 50Gm
CHOTI ILAICHI OR small Cardamom 10-15 No
Cloves 10-15 Gm
Cinnamon 10-15 Gm

Roast above till they emit a nice aroma and then grind into a powder. In our household we use homemade garam masala.


1. Soak dhal and rajma together over night.

2. In a pressure cooker, add dhal-rajma, onions, garlic and ginger. Fill with enough water. For 2 and a half cup you need 4 cups water. This dhal is cooked for a long time so remember if you use less water it will get burnt.

3. Now you need to pressure cook it on medium heat for at least 20 whistles. Then once the pressure comes down check if the lentils are cooked properly, if not, again pressure cook for more time (as per how hard the beans are). You can add some more water if you think the water is less. The aim is to have nicely cooked dhal and rajma.

4. Once the dhal is cooked, check if water is required and boil on medium flame with open lid (you will not cover it now). With the serving spoon just pressure the dhaal and stir. You need not make a paste out of it, but just press it slightly.

5. Now prepare the tadka. In a separate pan, add ghee, when it becomes hot, add cumin when they splutter add ginger and chillies, saute for a minute and then add tomato. Cook till tomato turns all mushy like a puree.

6. Now, in the pressure cooker it self, add the tadka and let it boil. If you think the water is less add the water. More you boil this dhal more thicker it gets, so you need to add water. Add roasted cumin powder and garam masala. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir occasional and slightly keep pressing the dhal.

7. In a cup, add milk and curd together and mix well. There should not be any lumps. Now slowly add into dhal. Put little amount and then stir well, then put little more and stir well. Don't put the whole milk at one go, it will curdle. Add little amount stir, then again repeat the procedure.

8. Add salt to taste.

9. Let the dhal simmer for 10 - 15 minutes more so the taste seeps in. More you cook thicker and creamy in texture it gets. The dhal is actually cook, we are simmering it to enhance the taste. You need to stir it in between by slightly pressing it.

10. End result will be a creamy mixture that melts in your mouth.


  1. Thanks Shiva, for this great recipe. I ams urely going to try it. My idea of daal makhani was puuting one whole packet of fresh cream. Never thought curd and milk could easily replace that cream and work as wonderfully well.

  2. Dear Sscribbles,

    It used to be my idea of daal makhni too. Try this version and you will be surprised how good it can taste. The more you simmer the better it gets.

    Have a great day ahead.



  3. wow!!This look exactly restaurant type..I too make dal makhni but dont add tomatoe in it..I use amchoor for it..

    Hey I tried out the palak paneer..My husband loved it..He rarely like things as he is not fond of food that much but he enjjoyed the creamy palak paneer so much:)

  4. Dear Anamika,

    I am so happy to hear that you and your hubby liked the spinach recipe.

    I have to upload the saute vegetable recipe too, I will do it surely this week.

    Thanks a ton honey.

    Have a great day ahead.



  5. I'm so trying this...Shiva you are simply brilliant!!

    1. Dear Esha,

      I hope you like this recipe as much as I do.

      Lots of love




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