Easy Traditional Dhal Makhani
Dal Makhani is a traditional North Indian vegetarian dish made with Urad Dal (black dal), butter and cream. This recipe is for the customers who bought the Dhal Makhani spice kit from our India Food Express subscription service.
In the package recipe, we substituted the urad dal for canned beans and lentils, which saves a huge amount of time without an appreciable loss in flavour, but if you want to make the completely authentic recipe, here is our package recipe with the authentic urad dal, and one or two little tweaks.
Where and How to Buy Urad Dal
Your town or city probably has an Indian grocer, and if so, that's the best place to find Urad Dal. There are a few mainstream grocery stores that stock it as well, so check your international aisle.
There are two kinds, one is whole and black, and the other has the husk removed and is split/white. For this recipe, get the black kind (pictured above).
Dhal Makhani Ingredients
1. 1 slightly rounded cup urad dal
2. Butter: 2 to 8 tbsp (if you're not watching calories, go all in)
3. Onion: 1 medium
4. Garlic 3 cloves (optional)
5. Ginger 1" piece, peeled (optional)
6. Tomatoes: 2 medium sized
7. Whipping cream 35%: 2 tbsp
8. Fresh Cilantro: 1 cup chopped
9. Salt to taste
Note: Regular coconut milk can be used as
whipping cream substitute
Traditional Dhal Makhani Preparation
1. Rinse the Urad Dal and soak overnight in three cups of water, plus a teaspoon of baking soda (this will make it easier to boil your Dal the next day).
2. Dice the onion (1 medium) into small pieces. The smaller the better.
3. Grate your garlic and ginger using the small side of a box grater or a micro-plane style grater and set aside in a small bowl. (optional)
4. Roughly chop the fresh cilantro (1 cup) and dice the tomatoes (2 medium).
Cooking the Dish
1. Start early by boiling your dal lentils, add one additional teaspoon baking soda to your boiling water, and boil on medium heat for 1-2 hours until dal can be easily mashed.*
2. In a pan, melt butter (2 tbsp) over medium heat and fry the diced onions, grated ginger and garlic until brown. (3 to 4 minutes)
3. Add SPICE PACK 1, diced tomatoes, salt (1/4 tsp recommended) and a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Stir well for 1 minute.
4. Add the pre-rinsed lentils, kidney beans, warm water (1/2 cup)and bring it to a boil.
5. Turn down the heat to low and cook covered for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally
and add more water if needed.
6. Mix in SPICE PACK 2 and adjust the heat level to your liking by adding the hot chili pack.
Be Careful, this spice is HOT!!!
7. In a separate pan, melt butter (2 to 6 tbsp) over medium low heat and add in SPICE PACK 3.
8. Now add the melted spiced butter into the lentils and mix well to 2 minutes.
9. Garnish with whipping cream (2 tbsp) and fresh cilantro.
*If you have a pressure cooker or instapot, boiling the urad Dal will go much more quickly, you can find instructions in this recipe under Method: