Dal Makhani North Indian Style Recipe


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup dry kidney beans (optional)
  • water to cover
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 cup canned tomato puree, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cream (optional)


  • Place lentils and kidney beans in a large bowl; cover with plenty of water. Soak for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain.
  • Cook lentils, kidney beans, 5 cups water, and salt in a pot over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside. Keep the lentils, kidney beans, and any excess cooking water in the pot.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook cumin seeds in the hot oil until they begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cloves; cook until bay leaves turn brown, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; add ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat.
  • Stir tomato puree into spice mixture; cook over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, coriander, and butter; cook and stir until butter is melted.
  • Stir lentils, kidney beans and any leftover cooking water into tomato mixture; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Stir fenugreek into lentil mixture. Cover saucepan and simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Add cream and cook until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.