Dal Makhani Recipe

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Dal Makhani Recipe. Punjabi Dhaba style Dal Makhani recipe made without rajma. Slow cooked dal makhani with butter and cream. Recipe with step by step pictures and video.

Dal Makhani is comfort food. This dhaba / restaurant classic is my favorite. After having Dal Makhani at the ITC Bukhara – Royal Afghan, I have been wanting to recreate this classic at home. After a lot of tries, the Jiggs Kalra’s version from his cookbook Prashad published in 1986 just hit the spot. The recipe comes from Manjit Singh Gill (the then executive chef of the famed Bukhara Maurya Sheraton in Delhi). Also, Vir Sanghvi writes in his book “Rude Food” that Dal Makhani was invented by Moti Mahal and did not come from Punjab (He writes that a Punjabi home cook never mixed cream and black dal). This is a restaurant classic and was never cooked at home.

While the original recipe uses Rajma and Urad, the bukhara version is 100% urad. The dal gets its texture / viscosity from the slow cooking. At the famed bukhara restaurant, the dal is cooked overnite and is never taken off from heat. ITC also uses mineral water to standardize the taste of its signature dal bukhara at all its hotels. This is my attempt at recreating this classic recipe at home.

Here is a picture of our fantastic meal with the most delicious dal at ITC.
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Click here to buy the books mentioned above online
Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi
Prashad Cookbook by J Inder Singh Kalra
Prashad Cookbook by J Inder Singh Kalra (Kindle Version)

Here is a list of other recipes on the site using urad dal.
Urad Dal recipes

I have made some small changes in the recipe to suit my home kitchen. Here is my adapted version of Dal Makhani.
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Here is the video of how to make dal makhani at home

Here is how to do dal makhani at home
Dal Makhani
Soaking the lentils for making Dal Makhani
Pick the urad dal for any sand or stone particles. Wash and Soak 2/3 cups of whole black urad dal for at least 8-10 hours. The original recipe uses Rajma. If using Rajma, soak about three tablespoons of rajma along with the black urad dal.
Soaked-Urad-Dal

Do not skip soaking. This is a very hard lentil and needs soaking overnight.
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Prep Work for making Dal Makhani
The original recipe is made in an open pot. I have made the recipe in a pressure cooker as its easy and gets the job done in lesser time. Take a pressure cooker and add in the soaked and drained lentils. I have used a 3 liter cooker today. Do not use a very big cooker for making the said quantity as I have seen that the dal might scorch while cooking.
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Take a mixie and add in about 3 big ripe tomatoes (about 250 grams). Chop them roughly and add. Also add in a whole pod of garlic and two inches of ginger (about 20 grams each). Grind to a fine puree.
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Add the grind puree to the cooker. Add 600 ml of water. Also add in quarter cup of butter. Quarter cup is about 4 tablespoons of butter. ( We shall worry about the clogged arteries later). Vir Sanghvi writes that this dish is not a lentil dish but a dairy product and I have to agree. The original recipe uses 1/2 a cup of butter. I have noticed that using half the quantity of butter itself produces a very rich dish. If you are feeling fancy, add more butter. Its totally up to you.
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Add in the salt and the red chilli powder. Use Kashmiri red chilli powder for a vibrant colour.
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Cover the cooker and set on the stove. After you get the first whistle (after about 3-4 minutes), reduce the flame to the lowest possible and allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes. The slow cooking will make the dal very creamy. Just two things. The lowest flame possible and 30-40 minutes.
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After the said cooking time, remove the pressure cooker from heat and allow the pressure from the cooker to settle naturally.
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Take a potato masher and gently mash the dal.
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Keep the dal back on a low heat and add in quarter cup of cream. I have used Amul cream (the one that comes in a tetra pak) today. Heavy whipping cream works just fine. Simmer on a low flame to heat up the cream. The original recipe uses half a cup of cream but I have used just half the quantity and I should say that I am very happy with the viscosity and richness of the dal.
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Mix well.
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Dal Makhani ITC Bukhara style is done.
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Serve the Dal Makhani with roti, naan or paratha.
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Print
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Dal Makhani Recipe

Dal Makhani Recipe. Punjabi Dhaba style Dal Makhani recipe made without rajma. Slow cooked dal makhani with butter and cream. Recipe with step by step pictures.

  • Total Time: 9h
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Main Ingredients for making Dal Makhani

  • 2/3 cup whole black urad dal
  • 3 tablespoon rajma (red kidney beans) – optional
  • 20 grams garlic (approx. about one whole pod)
  • 20 grams ginger (about two inches)
  • 3 big ripe tomatoes (about 250 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 600 ml water
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Here is how to make Dal Makhani at home

  • Pick the urad dal for any sand or stone particles. Wash and Soak 2/3 cups of whole black urad dal for at least 8-10 hours. The original recipe uses Rajma.Β  If using Rajma, soak about three tablespoons of rajma along with the black urad dal.
  • Take a pressure cooker and add in the soaked and drained lentils.
  • Take a mixie and add in about 3 big ripe tomatoes (about 250 grams). Chop them roughly and add. Also add in a whole pod of garlic and two inches of ginger (about 20 grams each). Grind to a fine puree.
  • Add the grind puree to the cooker. Add 600 ml of water. Also add in quarter cup of butter. Quarter cup is about 4 tablespoons of butter. ( We shall worry about the clogged arteries later). Vir Sanghvi writes that this dish is not a lentil dish but a dairy product and I have to agree. The original recipe uses 1/2 a cup of butter. I have noticed that using half the quantity of butter itself produces a very rich dish. If you are feeling fancy, add more butter. Its totally up to you.
  • Add in the salt and the red chilli powder.
  • Cover the cooker and allow it to cook, After you get the first whistle (after about 3-4 minutes), reduce the flame to the lowest possible and allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • After the said cooking time, remove the pressure cooker from heat and allow the pressure from the cooker to settle naturally.
  • Take a potato masher and gently mash the dal.
  • Keep the dal back on a low heat and add in quarter cup of cream. I have used Amul cream (the one that comes in a tetra pak) today. Heavy whipping cream works just fine. Simmer on a low flame to heat up the cream. The original recipe uses half a cup of cream but I have used just half the quantity and I should say that I am very happy with the viscosity and richness of the dal.
  • Mix well. Dal Makhani ITC Bukhara style is done. Serve the Dal Makhani with roti, naan or paratha.

Notes

The original recipe is made in an open pot. I have made the recipe in a pressure cooker as its easy and gets the job done in lesser time.

I have used a 3 liter cooker today. Do not use a very big cooker for making the said quantity as I have seen that the dal might scorch while cooking. 5 liter cooker is ok. Add a cup of water extra while cooking if using a 5 liter cooker.

Adjust the butter and cream according to your preferences.

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 8h
  • Cook Time: 1h

Keywords: dal makhani

8 thoughts on “Dal Makhani Recipe”

  1. Amazing reproduction of the original. We had dal Bukhara at Maurya back in 80’s and the flavor still lingers . The other variants of dal Makhani are cooked in the restaurants in Pandara road near India Gate there are 4 restaurant’s all from Multan in erstwhile Punjab they compete with each other and are all amazing. Gulati, Havemore are two and there are few more in Pandara road. This is a true gem of Dilli

    Thanks for the excellent reverse engineering of the classic …. much appreciated

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