Dal Makhani is a rich lentil (dal) dish that goes extremely well with basmati rice or naan. It originates from North Indian Punjabi cuisine made with whole black lentils and is very popular at Indian restaurants or amongst Indian home cooks. Black lentils can be hard to come by, but it is worth the hunt for an authentic dal makhani. Try local Indian stores, or worst-case scenario, black dal can be purchased online. This recipe is extremely simple and is flavoured with Kashmiri chili powder, ginger, garlic, ghee, butter, cream, gram masala and kasuri methi. Of course, like most recipes, this can be spruced up with more spices like smoked paprika to the tadka (tomato base, or perhaps the addition of fresh chili pepper or onion to the tadka). Despite the simple ingredients, this dish is very tasty and develops a perfect flavour and texture because it is slow-cooked for close to two hours after the cooked dal and tadka are combined. Check this recipe out if you are looking for a tasty dal recipe. It also happens to be vegetarian so can be served to a broader audience.
Dal Makhani 17 Steps
Rinse your black lentils in cold water, about 3 -4 times.
Once the water is pretty clear, place lentils in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Soak for 4 hours or overnight.
After lentils are soaked, discard water, place lentils in a pot and fill with water until lentils are completely submerged.
Bring to a boil, cooking for about 60-90 minutes until the lentils are very soft and cooked through.
Stir every 20 minutes or so and top with boiling water if water is evaporating quickly.
As the dal starts cooking, there may be scum at the top, skim the top of the dal and discard the scum.
Once dal is cooked, set aside and prepare your tadka (tomato base).
To prepare the tadka, add ghee to a medium to heavy bottomed pan (non-stick frying pans works well). Add puree ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
Add Kashmiri chili pepper and cook on low for about 1 minute, stirring the whole time.
Add your fresh tomato puree (blended tomatoes) and salt to taste.
Keep cooking on medium heat, stirring the whole time until the ghee is released from the tomato paste.
Your tadka should be nice and thick with most of the water evaporated.
Add your tadka to your dal and stir. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, mix well and reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, the longer the better. Keep stirring every 10 minutes and add water if dal is getting too thick.
Use the back of your wooden spoon to mash some of the lentils to release starches and thicken the dal.
Cook for an additional hour stirring in intervals and adding water as necessary. Finish with toasted Kasuri methi, and a pinch of garam masala and mix well.
Add 4 tablespoons of butter and your cream and mix for 4-5 minutes.
Serve with naan, white rice and additional cream, butter and cilantro for garnish.