Dal Bukhara recipe with its step by step pictures. Learn how to make delicious Dal Bukhara at home.

Dal Bukhara

Dal Bukhara is a rich, hearty, delicious and velvety smooth Dal recipe. Bukhara is basically a cooking technique which is inspired by North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of undivided India. The traditional method of making Dal Bukhara includes soaking the legumes for a couple of hours and then slow cooking them in a tomato based sauce for overnight in a tandoor.  

Dal Bukhara was made famous by the chefs of ITC group of hotels. I will not say that that I have posted a 100% authentic recipe, as I did a few changes in the ingredients and cooking techniques, but believe me the end result was perfect. I do not have a  tandoor at my home so I cooked this dal in a pressure cooker first for 20 minutes and then in a pan with lid covered for next 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Dal Bukhara

In the first view, Dal Bukhara closely resembles the very famous Dal Makhani, but there are many differences between these two signature recipes. Some major differences between these two dal recipes are;

  • Kidney beans and onions are not used in Dal Bukhara, unlike Dal Makhani. 
  • Unlike Dal makhani, Dal Bukhara is slow cooked for at least 18-20 hours in a tandoor.
  • Unlike Dal Makhani, fewer ingredients and spices are used in Dal Bukhara.

One thing that is very important to make a perfect Dal Bukhara is the charcoal flavor. Believe me, it is a crucial step for a delicious Dal Bukhara. Second thing please do not reduce the quantity of cream and butter in it else it will not taste the same. In this recipe, I have used unsalted Amul cooking butter and Amul low-fat cream (25%). You can use butter and cream of your favorite brand too but please use only low fat cream.

So let’s start making Dal Bukhara and here is the step by step recipe with pictures.

Ingredients to make Dal Bukhara:

Whole Black Gram (Sabut Urad Dal)- 1.5 cup

Tomatoes- 4, medium (pureed)

Garlic- 4-5 cloves, finely chopped

Ginger- 2-inch piece (paste or finely chopped)

Fresh Cream- 1/2 cup

Unsalted Butter- 4 tablespoon

Salt- As per your taste


Bay Leaves- 2

Cinnamon- 1-inch stick

Red Chili Powder- 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala Powder- 1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder- 1 teaspoon

Kasoori Methi- 1.5 teaspoon

For Dhungaar;

Coal- Small piece

Clarified Butter (Ghee)- 1-2 tablespoon

For Garnishing:

Ginger Juliennes- Few

Fresh Coriander Leaves- 2 tablespoons, finely chopped

Method of making Dal Bukhara:

1. Wash and soak the black gram (urad dal) in 5-6 cups of water for 6-7 hours or overnight.


2. Here is a brief description of the ingredients required to make Dal Bukhara (excluding onion, it was placed here by mistake).


3. Drain the water and take the black grams in a pressure cooker along with chopped garlic. Add 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon butter or oil and salt in it. Close the lid and put the weight on.


4. Pressure cook it for 15-16 whistles or for 15-20 minutes over medium flame. Turn off the flame and allow the steam to escape on its own. This is how the perfectly cooked dal looks.


5. Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaves and cinnamon in it.


6. Add ginger and mix well. Saute over a low flame until raw aroma goes away.


7. Add tomato puree and mix well. Saute over medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till raw aroma goes away.


8. Add red chili powder, cumin powder and Kasoori Methi leaves in it.


9. Add boiled dal, salt, and 1 cup water and mix it well. Close the lid and simmer it for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


10. This is how dal will look after 45 minutes of slow cooking.


11. Add cream and again simmer it for 10 minutes.


12. Add unsalted butter to it and mix well. Again close the lid and simmer it for next 1-hour stirring occasionally. Add a little-boiled water if your dal is getting too thick.


13. This is how dal will look after 1 hour of slow cooking. Look at the perfect color and texture.


14. Now it’s time for the most important step of this recipe, the dhungar technique. Heat a small piece of coal till it is red hot.


15. Keep it in a small bowl and place that bowl over the simmered dal. Pour some ghee over the coal and quickly cover the lid of the pan tightly. Keep it as it is for 2-3 minutes. If you want a more intense charcoal flavor in your dal then keep the smoking coal inside the dal for few more minutes.


16. Open the lid and check the seasonings, add more salt or chili powder if required and add garam masala powder and stir it well. Delicious Dal Bukhara is ready to serve. You can serve it with any Indian bread or rice variety, with some onion and green chili salad and raita as a side dish if you like. It will taste delicious in either way. Garnish with some ginger juliennes, fresh coriander leaves or even with some fresh cream if you like and serve hot.

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