Dal Makhni- creamy Black whole lentils

This Meatless Monday, i am encouraging everyone to include more lentils in their daily meals by giving them a delicious way of doing that. Dal Makhani is a very popular North Indian lentil dish which is known for its creamy, rich texture and subtle spicy taste. If you think Lentils are boring, your perception is just about to change ! Read on πŸ™‚

Well it is not surprising that lentils are often known as boring additions to meals and many kids find ways to avoid eating some. I was one such kid and since i was brought up on a strict vegetarian diet, my mother made serious attempts to feed me some protein in the form of lentils. She would often try change the form and make soups and patties out of it ( like these Shammi Kebabs, mixed dahl soup or lentil burgers) which i loved! Then one day, we had guests over and she decided to make some Dal Makhani.

Dal = Lentils (In India all types of Lentils are called Dals
Makhani= Buttery (rich, creamy)

dal makhni close up

My version of Dal Makhni

Dal Makhni is made by boiling Black Urad Lentils and Red kidney Beans together. It is then tempered with onions, tomatoes, masalas/spices and cream …. ooh just the thought of it is making my mouth water !! Over the years of watching mother prepare these lentils, i have learnt her tricks of making it awesome every single time πŸ™‚ Oh and by the way… i love lentils now, thanks to Dal Makhani πŸ™‚

My version is a slightly healthier one. Now, you won’t need the excuse of an occasion to enjoy this dish. I replaced cream with some thick greek yogurt and it does the trick! Check out the recipe.

Meatless Monday – Dal Makhani

Dal Makhni

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

dal makhni copy


  • Black Urad Dal-1 cup , soaked overnight
  • Red Kidney Beans-1/2 cup , soaked overnight
  • butter- 1 tablespoon
  • oil – 1 tsp
  • cumin seeds- 2 tsp
  • 2-3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 small sticks cinnamon
  • onion-1 medium , finely chopped
  • sized tomatoes, grated – 3 medium
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (less or more, as you prefer)
  • Β grated ginger- 1 tablespoon
  • green chili, slit in half – 1 medium
  • thick tomato paste – 1 tablespoon
  • salt to taste
  • turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
  • sugar- 1 tsp
  • garam masala- 1 tsp
  • greek yogurt/ thick yogurt- 2 tablespoons
  • dry mango powder- 2 tsp
  • 2 green cardamom, crushed
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • Water as needed
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander for garnishing


  1. Begin with washing the lentils thoroughly and soaking them for atleast 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Boil the lentils with 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric till done. Usually takes my lentils 2 whistles followed by about 15 minutes of cooking on simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, take a skillet and to it, add in butter and oil. Place on heat and let the butter melt on medium high. Tip- Always add a little oil along with butter when cooking with butter to avoid butter from browning and burning.
  4. Now, add in the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Let the cumin splutter. Now, add in the ginger and garlic. Saute on medium high till the garlic and ginger starts to brown a bit.
  5. Add in the onion and continue sauteing till the onions are lightly brown and toasted. Add in the coriander powder, grated tomato, tomato paste, green chili, salt, red chili powder, garam masala and cook till the tomatoes are slightly reduced.
  6. Now, add in the boiled lentils to this. Add water as needed. Add in dry mango powder, greek yogurt, sugar and crushed cardamom. Let this cook on medium high till everything comes to a boil.
  7. Now, lower the flame and place a lid on the skillet. Continue to cook on low flame for another 10 minutes.
  8. Finish off the dish by adding in the nutmeg and chopped fresh coriander. Serve hot with naans, parathas or rice. Tip- Take a spatula and crush some of the lentils to make the lentils creamier and homogeneous.

Make this recipe Diabetic friendly by excluding the butter from the recipe and using low fat yogurt !

If you want to amp up the rich factor, just add in cream instead of greek yogurt and while serving, add a little pat of butter on top as well. I love to serve these along with my homemade Garlic naans (as you see in the pic above) and these make for a perfect, hearty meal to celebrate just about anything. Bookmark this recipe for your next dish with lentils and visit this space again soon as i would be putting up the recipe for those gorgeous garlic naans soon too !!

Taking this to Friday Fiesta with Julie and Liz


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  1. I just started using lentils, and love them! This recipe looks amazing!

  2. This looks so good! How do you stop the yoghurt from curdling when you add it to the hot dish?

  3. Looks delicious, wonderful food for cooler weather. I am pinning it to serve to my vegetarian friends. Thank you for posting.

  4. This looks great. I have never heard of mango powder but it sounds delicious and I bet your family was more than happy to tuck in πŸ™‚

    • Oh thats interesting to know. Actually dry mango powder is one of the main tangy spices in Indian cuisine. If you get a hold of it, try it out. In case u want to try the recipe minus the mango powder, maybe give in a good squeeze of lemon or add some tamarind paste πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Diwali 2016- Collection of 27 recipes | Divine Spice Box

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