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Dal Makhani Recipe

This is without doubt my favourite Indian dish. You rarely find it on the menu at your standard ‘Curry House’ but go to India and it is served everywhere. It’s rich and creamy taste is wonderful served on it’s ow with just some naan or roti and some plain rice.

Dal Makhani Recipe

The secret to the great taste is to slow cook the dal over several hours to allow it’s flavour to release and combine with the other ingredients. Makhan means butter in Punjabi. This is a rich dish so best not eaten too often but it tastes out of this world.

Please, give this recipe a go one day, you won’t regret it.

Dal Makhini Recipe Ingredients

1kg of black lentils

200 grams of channa dal

100 grams of Ginger paste

1 1/2 tins of tomato puree

50grams of red chilli powder (more for colour than heat)

100 ml of vegetable oil

500 grams of butter

500 grams of cream

5 grams of Kasuri methi powder

100 grams of Ghee

Salt to taste


It is important to soak the dal in water over night as this will help loosen it up and make the cooking time shorter.

First Place the two types of dal into a bowl with a little water and a couple of teaspoons of salt. Rub together for a few minutes then wash the dal with clean water several times. This both cleans the dal and removes any starch. Add the dal to a large pot with enough water to cover ans bring to the boil. After boiling for 5 minutes drain and set the dal aside.

In the large pot add the oil and when hot fry off the ginger paste for 2 minutes. Next add the chilli powder and the tomato puree. Stir in and simmer for several minutes. Next add the daal to the pot along with the ghee, some salt and the butter. Bring to a very low simmer and cook for at least 5 hours (yes that was a 5!).

Just before serving stir in the methi powder and cream and serve hot.

5 comments… add one
  • P. Milo January 4, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Hi Chilli King
    Gave this recipe a shot yesterday as a treat for my daughter who is a veggie, but unfortunately even though I put it in the slow cooker for 4 hours and then simmered on the oven for a further 5 hours it turned out nothing like your photo and no matter what I tried to do to rescue it, eventually it had to consigned to that great food bin in the sky. The only thing I did different to your recipe was to use hot red chilli powder to add a bit of bite. But there you go , can’t win them all and hopefully it will turn out better next time.
    Cheers…..P. Milo…..

    P.S Would it be possible to say how many people your recipes should serve. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    • The Chilli King January 5, 2012, 7:03 pm

      P.Milo – Sorry to hear this didn’t work out. The first time i tried it I had the same issue – the daal just wouldn’t cook no matter how much I boiled it in the pressure cooker. I ended up putting it down to a bad batch of daal. I think I was using Natco daal. When I switched to a different brand it worked a treat. I’ll have a look tonight and let you know which variety I use as it’s slipped my mind.

  • P. Milo December 18, 2011, 10:24 am

    Hi Chilli King
    Going to have a go at the Dal Makhini this week. Excuse my ignorance on this but just wondering when you say 1 1/2 tins of tomato puree, are you using a certain size tin or do you judge the amount by weight or by how many people you are cooking for?

    Regards……..P. Milo……

  • P. Milo November 14, 2011, 6:29 pm

    Hi Chilli King……
    Fancy giving this recipe a go. Instead of bringing everything to a very low simmer for 5 hours, would it be possible to use a slow cooker instead ? If so any idea how long it would take to cook ?

    From the inept but willing to learn…………P. Milo…….

    P.S…… Just overwintered my chilli plants and will be making some of your chilli oil with my remaining green Scotch Bonnets. Will let you know how things turn out. Cheers….

    • The Chilli King November 15, 2011, 10:08 am

      P. Milo – A slow cooker would be ideal for Dal Mahani. I’m not really sure how long would be best however the longer the better for this recipe. I’d say 12 hours wouldn’t be over doing it. In India they cook this dal over night as the longer it is cooked, the better it tastes. This is my favourite Indian dish by a long way!

      Good luck with the chili oil!

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