Dal Makhani – Indian Lentil Stew

Yields Serves 4-6

Prep Time 20 min

Cook Time 25 min

Total Time 45 mins


    For the Ginger/Garlic/Chili Paste

    • 2 dry, whole red chiles, preferably Kashmiri red chiles- deseeded and soaked for 10 minutes in warm water and then drained
    • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled
    • 2 cloves garlic

    For the Dal

    • 1 cup urad saboot (whole unskinned black lentils)*
    • 1/2 cup red kidney beans
    • 2 tbsp channa dal*
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) - or use regular butter
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 1 cup tomato sauce
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala*
    • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
    • 2 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)*
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp aamchoor powder (raw mango powder)*
    • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1/2 tsp black salt*
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder

    Add before serving

    • pinch garam masala
    • 1 cup half and half

    To Garnish

    • Lime Wedges
    • Yogurt
    • Cilantro, chopped
    • Red Onion, chopped finely

    Ingredients marked with an * can be found in Indian grocery stores.


      1. Rinse the lentils, red kidney beans and channa dal and add them to the pressure cooker with the 4 cups of water. Let them sit in the water while you prepare the other ingredients.
      2. Make a paste by grinding together the red chiles, ginger and garlic. You can use a mortar and pestle or try my method. I tried grinding them without much success in a mini Cuisinart so I removed some of the water for the recipe and added it to the paste mixture...worked like a charm.
      3. Combine all ingredients except the last measure of garam masala in the pressure cooker and set for 15 minutes on high; let pressure release naturally. Mash the lentils a little bit, add the pinch of garam masala and simmer.
      4. Add the half and half and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
      5. Serve over rice and garnish with yogurt, chopped cilantro and diced red onion.
      6. Serve with Naan (optional).

      Recipe Notes

      I usually double it and then freeze leftovers. Works like a charm.

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