Dal Makhani

What is Dal Makhani?

Dal = lentils
Makhani = an adjective describing a buttery or creamy sauce

Timmi’s Tips and Tricks

What if I don’t have time to soak the lentils?

Increase the cook time after the whistle in this case. We normally do 20 minutes after the lentils have soaked. Increase that time to 30 minutes and adjust the water level after opening it if needed. A lot more of the water would get soaked up in this scenario, so that will need additional adjustment.

What if I don’t want to use heavy cream?

The heavy cream amount can be substituted with 1/2 cup of milk. I’ve only tried it with regular milk, but I’d imagine any non-dairy option works just as well.

What if I want a smoother gravy (curry)?

Once you’ve cooked the tadka (temper), blend that before adding it to the daal in the pressure cooker.

What Garam Masala should I use?

You can make your own using my recipe here or buy one. I’ve used and recommend the MDH one, which works great for a lot of North Indian dishes.

Dal Makhani

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 inch piece ginger grated
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • dhaniya (cilantro) optional for garnish


  • 3/4 cup maa ki daal (black, whole lentils)
  • 1/4 cup rajma (kidney beans)
  • 2 tbsp chana daal (yellow, half


  • 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 3/4 tsp sukha dhaniya (coriander powder)
  • 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
  • 1.5 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala


  • Clean lentils in water.
  • Submerge lentils in water and soak for 4-5 hours.
  • Drain the water out of the lentils and transfer lentils to a pressure cooker.
  • Add 8 cups of water, hing, ginger, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp oil to the cooker.
  • Put the pressure cooker on high heat. Allow one whistle to sound. Then lower heat to low and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow steam to escape naturally from the pressure cooker.
  • While waiting for the heat to escape, we can prepare the tadka (temper).
  • Heat a kadai or pot of your choice on medium high heat.
  • Add 1.5 tbsp oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to spatter, add the onions. Saute until translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes. Saute until cooked.
  • Add the coriander powder, haldi, red chili powder, and kasoori methi. When adding the kasoori methi, crush it between your fingers to enhance the flavor.
  • Stir to mix everything together and allow the spices to cook for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Once the steam from the pressure cooker has escaped, open it up and add the tadka (temper) to it.
  • Stir to mix and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • At this point, adjust the consistency by optionally adding more water if needed.
  • Taste and adjust the salt level. I added about 0.5 tsp at this point, but feel free to adjust that to taste.
  • Add garam masala and heavy cream. Stir to mix.
  • Optionally garnish with cilantro.
  • Eat hot with rice or your favorite bread.

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