Dal Makhani is a popular lentil based dish that originated from Punjab (India). Dal Makhani is a Hindi word where Dal = Lentils and Makhani = Containing Butter, so Its verbal meaning is Buttery Lentils or lentils cooked with butter.

Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Punjabi or North Indian recipe which is now very famous across the country. You can easily find dal makhani being served in marriages, parties and other celebratory occasions also. It is one of the essential dishes in any North Indian food joint, whether it is a Dhaba or a Five Star Hotel, you will find Dal Makhani everywhere.

It is a spicy, creamy, buttery and heavy preparation made by combining Red Kidney Beans (Rajma) and Whole Black Grams (Sabut urad dal) using the slow cooking technique. The more you will cook Dal Makhani over low heat, the tastier it will be. The secret behind its creamy soft texture is actually slow cooking.

To make my Dal Makhani restaurant style and give it that smoky flavor I used the Dhungar Technique using charcoal, however, you can easily skip this step if you are not able to get Charcoal but ya charcoal’s smoke do impart an excellent flavor and aroma which we get in restaurants.

So let’s start making Restaurant style Dal Makhani and here is the step by step method with pictures: 


Whole Black Grams (Sabut Urad Dal)- 1 cup

Red Kidney Beans (Rajma)- 1/4 cup

Fresh Cream- 1/2 cup

Butter- 2 tablespoon

Tomatoes- 3, medium size (Pureed)

Onions- 2, medium size (Finely Chopped)

Green Chilies- 1 (Finely Chopped)

Garlic- 4-5 thick cloves (Finely Chopped or Grated)

Ginger- 1.5-inch piece (Finely Chopped or Grated)

Powdered Spices:

Turmeric Powder- 1/4 teaspoon

Kashmiri Red Chili Powder- 1 teaspoon

Coriander Powder- 1.5 teaspoon

Kasoori Methi- 2 teaspoon

Salt- As per your taste

Garam Masala- 1 teaspoon

Amchoor- 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

Whole Spices:

Cinnamon- 1-inch stick

Bay Leaves- 2

Black Cardamom- 1

Green Cardamoms- 2

Cloves- 4

For Tempering:

Oil- 1 tablespoon

Cumin Seeds (Jeera)- 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida (Heeng)- 1/4 teaspoon

Caraway Seed (Shahi Jeera)- 1/2 teaspoon

For Smoke or Dhungar:

Large Piece of Charcoal- 1

Clarified Butter or Ghee- 1 teaspoon


1. Wash both whole black gram and red kidney beans together and soak them in sufficient water for 7-8 hours.


2. Transfer the lentils to a pressure cooker, add 4 cups water and all the whole spices except bay leaves in it.


3. Allow the lentils to cook over low flame for 25-30 minutes.


4. Here is a closer pic of the lentils how they will look after cooking.


5. Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida, bay leaves and cumin seeds in it. I forgot to add bay leaves here so added them later, but you please add them in this step.


6. Add ginger and garlic to it and mix well. Saute over medium flame till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.


7. Add Shah Jeera in it and mix well.


8. Add onions and green chilies and mix well. Saute over medium flame till onions are golden brown in color and raw aroma goes away.


9. Add tomato puree and mix well. Saute over medium flame for 3-4 minutes.


10. Add all the powdered spices except garam masala and Amchoor (optional).


11. Mix well and saute the puree over medium flame for 2-3 minutes till the masala becomes dry and starts releasing oil from its sides.


12. Add boiled lentils and mix well. Remove all the whole spices from it before adding the lentils in the masala mix.


13. Add 4 cups of water and mix well.


14. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the dal to simmer for next 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is how the dal will look after 30 minutes


15. Here is a closer look of the dal after 30 minutes of slow cooking.


16. Add cream and mix well. Again simmer for 10 minutes.


17. Add butter and mix well. Simmer for next 40 minutes. Add some water if dal is getting too thick. The more you will cook the dal on low flame the more it will be tasty. Also, add garam masala powder and Amchoor at this step.


18. This is how the dal will look after next 40 minutes. Now take out the dal in a bowl and keep aside.


19. Heat a piece of charcoal over low flame till it becomes red hot.


20. Keep the charcoal in a small bowl and pour 1 teaspoon of ghee over it. Immediately transfer this bowl of coal into the dal bowl.


21. Cover the lid of the dal bowl and let it rest for 1 minutes. The more you will leave the charcoal inside the dal the more smoky flavor and aroma it will have. Open the lid after one minute and remove it. Yummy Dal Makhani is ready.



22. Serve it with a dollop of butter, few ginger juliennes, and fresh coriander leaves. You can enjoy Dal Makhani with Roti, Paratha, Rice, and Naan along with some onion rings.

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