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Restaurant Style Dal Makhani

By: Admin
Region: Indian
Dish:Vegetarian - Curries
Servings: 4
Time to Prepare: 1 Hr


3/4 cup whole urad dal , 140 grams (whole black gram)
1/4 cup rajma , 40 grams (kidney beans)
3 cups water for pressure cooking , 750 ml water
1/2 cup finely chopped onions , 50 grams onion or 1 medium sized onion
1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or serrano peppers or 1 to 2 green chillies
2 teaspoons Ginger-Garlic Paste or 6 to 7 small to medium-sized garlic + 1 inch ginger – crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
2 large tomatoes , 200 grams tomatoes – pureed or 1 cup tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 to 3 cloves
2 to 3 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
1 inch cinnamon
1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
2 to 3 pinches grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg powder
1 cup water or add as required
1/4 cup low fat cream or half and half or 2 tablespoons heavy cream or
1/4 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – optional
3 tablespoon Butter – salted or unsalted
Salt as required
1 small piece of charcoal
2/3 teaspoon oil – any neutral tasting oil
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/2 tablespoon low fat cream or half and half for garnish – optional
1 inch ginger julienne – optional


-Soak both the whole urad dal and rajma overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. Later drain them well.

-Rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water.

-Drain again and then add them in a 3 litre pressure cooker. Add water and stir well.

-Pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. If they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more.

-The urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. You can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. The same rule applies for rajma too. Keep the cooked beans aside.

-In a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes and blend to a smooth puree. Set aside.

-You can also add ready 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes. No need to blanch the tomatoes while pureeing.

Preapration of dal makhani
-In a pan, now heat butter. You can use salted butter or unsalted butter.

-Add the whole spices – cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamoms, black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta.

-Fry for some seconds till the spices sputter and become aromatic.

-Add finely chopped onions.

-Stir and sauté the onions on a low or medium-low heat often till they become light golden.

-Add the ginger garlic paste. Stir again and sauté for some seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

-Add the chopped green chilies and sauté for a minute.

-Add the prepared tomato puree and mix well.

-Add red chili powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
-Stir very well and sauté this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.

-Then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. Also add 1 cup water or as required.

-Stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.

-Keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t stuck to the bottom of the pan.

-Once it has begun to thicken, add salt as required.

-Stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. Keep on stirring when the lentils are simmered on low heat.

-When simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. The longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes.

-I kept it for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. Do keep on stirring at intervals.

-When the gravy has thickened enough, then add cream. Dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. It has a medium consistency.

-Mix the cream very well. Then switch off the heat.

-Add crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Mix again.

-Cover and set dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. Or else you can serve dal makhni straight away.

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