Indian Curry Recipes |  Dal Recipes | Easy Dal Makhani Recipe
Legumes play such a huge role in my pantry. I tend to make something or the other which involves a lentil or dried beans more than 3-4 times per week.  Dals are as common a side dish in an Indian's household as probably pasta is to Italian (or in fact even an American) household. If you like Dal Makhani, then you would most probably like this one too.
Indian Curry Recipes |  Dal Recipes | Easy Dal Makhani Recipe
I tend to refer to this as a less pompous/ modest cousin of the more popular Dal Makhani. The similarity tends to be its main ingredient - Indian Black Lentils or " Urad dal" in Hindi. While the Makhani tends to add in kidney beans (and optionally channa dal/bengal gram lentils) along with it, this one does fine without and all by its lonesome. While Makhani is more about cream and richness (as its name denotes - "Makhani" meaning cream), this one is more based on tomato sauce.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • 1 cup (7oz/200 grams) Whole Black Gram (Indian Black lentils/Urad dal)
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 med-large Tomatoes chopped, preferably ripe
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste, see Tips
  • 1 Jalapeno/Green Chilies, as per taste
  • Abt 2" ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Large pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Cumin-Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • Abt 1 tbsp Jaggery, grated, or as per taste - see Tips
  • About 1/3 cup finely chopped onions (optional) and cilantro sprigs for garnish
1. Tomato Paste: If you do not have tomato paste, you can substitute it with some tomato puree - approx 2-3 tbsp for 1 tbsp of the paste.
2. Jaggery: Sugar generally tends to balance out that acidic/sour taste of the tomatoes. I try to opt for natural sweeteners instead of refined wherever it seems feasible to me. But you can use regular sugar instead. You would need to adjust the amount according to the taste of your tomatoes.
1. Soak the lentil for 6-8 hours. I do it the previous night after washing it in cold water couple of times.
2. You can choose to either cook it on a stove top for 30-40 minutes (or until cooked) or go the Indian (easy and fastest) route of using your pressure cooker. Take only around 10 minutes without you having to check on water levels. Add the bay leaf and 3 cups water to the lentils.
3. Pressure cook to 3-4 whistles. Its perfectly OK if its mushy 'cos that's what you want for this.
4. Mash it with a potato masher. Though you don't per se this much water to cook the lentils, I add it since this is a gravy based dish. Set aside.
5. While the lentils were cooking, you can alternatively heat up a pan. Add 1-2 tbsp butter (or 2-3 tsp oil, if richness is not necessary). Add cumin along with Asafoetida and when aromatic, add the onion and chilies.  Saute for a minute and add the garlic and ginger.
6. Next goes the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and saute for another minute.
7. Add 1 cup water, increase the heat and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes
8. or until you find it becoming more of a sauce.
9. Now add the tomato paste, turmeric, jaggery and cumin-coriander powder. Mix until combined.
10. Close with the lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 6-8 minutes
11. until you find it thickens into a red gravy.
12. Add the cooked lentil to this
13. and stir to combine. Do a taste test and see if it needs more salt and/or jaggery.
14. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 10 minutes. The more you simmer, better its taste.
15. Few minutes before serving, crush the kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves with your fingers and add it to the dal. Stir to combine.
Serve hot, garnished with some finely chopped onions and cilantro. Goes extremely well with rotis and rice (steamed or pulav style). It also makes a great accompaniment to Kulchas and Naans. Indian Curry Recipes |  Dal Recipes | Easy Dal Makhani Recipe

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By Kerry on Jan 9, 2017

Can this recipe be frozen? I like to cook a lot at a time while I'm busy with it but can I freeze the leftovers?

By Savita on Aug 8, 2016

I am planning to buy organic food grains and wanted to learn black urad recipe. This one inspires me to buy the protein rich stuff! Thank you!

By Michelle on Jan 29, 2016

I made this tonight, my first time using a pressure turned out amazing! Thank you!! This will become a regular for my indian cuisine nights!!

By Wan Dee on Aug 8, 2015

This was really delicious, I did not have Asafoetida and had to use ground Fenugreek, but it still came out very flavorful and delicious. I also messed up on a couple of steps because I was trying to make too many dishes at one time, but it still came out so good!

By Sushma on Nov 18, 2014

Hi, I tried this recipe sometime back and it came out very tasty. I have re-blogged it in my blog. Thanks for the recipe!

By Sushma on Nov 18, 2014

Hi, I tried this dal sometime back and it came out very tasty. Have re-blogged it in my blog. Thanks for the recipe!

By fazila aboobaker on Nov 17, 2014

I made this recipe served it with roty . enjoyed it thouroughly many thanks fazila

By Fazila aboobaker on Nov 12, 2014

Can't wait to try this . I m not fimiliar with ashafoefida . Many thanks & kind regards

By 10 Amazing Indian Dishes You Need To Experience - From Lovers with Love on Oct 3, 2014

[...] via [...]

By Rachel on Sep 16, 2014

I don't need a reply, but just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed this tonight. I have six children and everyone commented on how good it was. I didn't even have the last couple of ingredients. Next time I go to the Indian shop I will endeavour to find them! Thank you!

By Gloria on Jun 27, 2014

Mmmm Lecker, I love it. Thank you so much. The pictures helped too.

By Alex on May 13, 2014

But I used spring onion :)

By Alex on May 13, 2014

This came out beautifully. One of the best dishes I have ever cooked.

By Prabal Kirtika on Apr 29, 2014

Well explained recipe

By Anu on Apr 25, 2014

Nicely described recipe.can we use tomato purée in place of chopped tomatoes?can we add some chana daal,black masoor daal also along with the whole black urad daal?

By swapnil chauhan on Apr 5, 2014

hi,,i was going through ur recipe,,pictures r tempting,,um going to make dis one for my father in law,for the vry first time,hope he ll like it,,, :)

By Raja on Jan 28, 2014

Made it for guests... loved it. Kasuri Methi and Jaggery: nice touch! Combined it with Palak Paneer, Mattar Pulao, Aloo Raita, Pudina Chutney, Naan, and Gajar Ka Halwa for dessert... quite a treat!

Thank you :) --DK

By Kanchana on Jan 28, 2014

Is it very similar to dal makhini.?

Similar, yes but not same. Pls refer my Dal Makhani Recipe post. --DK

By Tony on Jan 27, 2014

Brilliant recipe. Thank you. Dish came put well. Eating it with naan :D

Thank you :) --DK

By Rupa on Jan 27, 2014

Tried the recipe n it came out well.... Yummy dal :-|

By nikhil on Jan 17, 2014

dk could you tl me d name of that great chef who invented dis, I knw d invented plce bt nt d name of dat persn . ,

By PD on Oct 25, 2013

Hi, how much salt do you add in Step 6? Salt is not listed in the ingredients list. Thanks.

As per your taste. Will add in the ingredients section. Sorry for the lapse --DK

By Paneer Paratha - The best veggie recipes from around the net. - on Sep 9, 2013

[...] But it does go well with any other spiced curries you can think of like Palak Paneer, Dal Makhani, Dal Bukhara etc. You can even pair it with some sort of Chutney as well. Variations, that you might [...]

By anuradha on Aug 23, 2013

too good dish. for morning breakfast with roti it goes well so the intake of rice reduced. very nice

By Deepthi on Aug 19, 2013

It looks yummy.. I just read it now n no time to soak the dal and prepare for today's dinner, but nevertheless, this is my tomo's dinner menu. Thanks dear for the wonderful recipe. Am also from south and learning NI dishes as my hubby is from Lucknow. So will peep into your website frequently going forward. :) Cheers.

By Jacqui on Jul 11, 2013

Very good, does it freeze well?

By zoram on Jun 11, 2013

Very good recipe, just I cilantro at the end I leave out, I cannot stand the taste of it ! Without it --like heaven ! :wink:

By ashwani on May 12, 2013

I am told that in rajsthan in a restaurant black dal bhukara is cooked for 40 hours. I want to know the name of the restauarnt , if some one has the answer please send me in my e mail

By Akhil on Apr 25, 2013

I find the dish amazing, I’ll definitely try it.Thanks for the gr8 recipe. I was bored with eating ordinary food, I think you all must have (been in/are in) the same phase, so this is definitely for you an exotic Indian recipe with gr8 sections filled with delicious recipes.

By Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani - Jump Into A Book on Apr 23, 2013

[...] Kala dal (Black Lentils) [...]

By Guru on Apr 12, 2013

Charul it's called Dal Bukhara coz, it's from a restaurant named Bukhara at Maura Sheraton New Delhi, The original name of this dal is Dal Makhani

By Yash Pal on Mar 4, 2013

Call me a party pooper, I don't mind. Please check the Wikipedia for definition of 'lentil', 'pulses' and 'legumes' The lentil (Lens culinaris) (International Feed Number, 5-02-506) is an edible pulse/bean. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 centimetres (16 in) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. A pulse (Latin "puls",[1] from Ancient Greek πόλτος poltos "porridge")[2], sometimes called a "grain legume",[3] is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food for humans and other animals. Included in the pulses are: dry beans like pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; dry peas; lentils; and others. Pulses are important food crops due to their high protein and essential amino acid content. Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen. Just like words such as "bean" and "lentil", the word "pulse" may refer to just the seed, or the entire plant.

By Anirudh on Jan 26, 2013

I use Serrano instead of Jalapeno. I just don't like what Jalapeno does to Indian dishes.

By kiranmai .... on Oct 29, 2012

oh man u r just amazing... i have visited a few cooking sites before but this is the only one i ever tried logging into to leave a comment. ur recipes and the photos are just so good and not to mention the wide variety of cuisine u cover...indian...south..north and so much continental... if its ok which part of the country do u actually belong...coz u made dal makhini with the same ease as u made payasam so jus wondering...but too good...really

Thank you so much Kiranmayi for taking time to provide such a generous comment. I am originally from the South but having spent my growing up years in the North, I guess I am at home at both the places :) Foodies don't have boundaries do they? ;). --DK

By Sindhu Jitesh on Oct 10, 2012

All your recipes are awesome!!! I never visit any other cooking site now coz all I need is instantly available here. Its a gr8 blog. All those pictures are a very gr8 help in cooking. Thanks a ton!!!!

By sana on Sep 28, 2012

Hi, Please advice me on buying a pressure cooker. Just recently while cooking the lid of my old pressure cooker blew off, and I am terrified ever since, but may be mine was old and faulty so I was thinking of buying a new one. Please suggest me whether I should buy it or just let it go. Also if I buy, should I buy it from India? The Hawkins pressure cookers? I would be grateful. Thanks :)

By vanamala on Sep 28, 2012

nice dish..i will try

By shadan on Sep 26, 2012

very good and tasty recipes you post with step by step pictures i think u r very much interested in cooking it look's yummy.

By Preveena on Sep 24, 2012

I have to agree with Charul @ Tadka Masala.. all your photographs are indeed a visual treat. I woke up and saw this recipe in my inbox this morning, i went straight into the kitchen and left the dal to soak. This is edfinitely my dinner tonight, will come back and let you know how it turned out. that makes my morning :) Thank you Preveena :) --DK

By Rama Balage on Sep 24, 2012

Very simple and nice recipe DK. Love the step by step instructions JR - Around the 1700s large double walled ovens called Bukharis were used to cook for the needy. The nawab once tasted and loved the food and turned them into royal recipes. Hence, till date any recipe with the name Bukhara is a tribute to those hardworking ovens. :)

Wow! That's an awesome info. Never knew that. Thank you so much Rama :) --DK

By Vrushali on Sep 24, 2012

Nice recipe indeed! I love your blog! Beautiful photos and good description. Love your tips also. Question posted by Charul made me inquisitive too and found this! you may find it interesting

They also mention the city and the restaurant! Cool! --DK

By Charul @ Tadka Masala on Sep 24, 2012

I love the way you give step by step pictures only only because it is easy to understand that way, but also because it is a treat to eyes. :wink: PS: why is it called dal bukhara?

Personally I have no idea - may be 'cos it originated from the restaurant Bukhara (the one in Delhi I think?) or from the city in Uzbekistan! --DK

By JR on Sep 24, 2012

DK, what brand vessel do you use for cooking? Where di you get it from?

Mostly Cast Iron pans along with Calphalon (with occasional stainless steel pans) --DK