Monday, October 6, 2014

Daal Makhani, Maa Ki Dal-Punjabi Dhaba Style

1st week of October is gone, time is flying-don’t you think so? How was the weekend? What did you do? Watched any movies? We watched Haider and we loved it, it is really dark and intense movie. It is based on the Shakespeare play Hamlet and all the central characters were amazing in the movie. Anyways, I have heard that even Bang Bang is a good movie-did anyone of you see it, any reviews??

On Saturday we invited some friends for dinner so the afternoon passed in the kitchen preparing the meal.  And this was menu:
Drinks- Jaljeera
Starters- Nachos with Indian Tomato Salsa and Cheese Corn Patties served with Green Chutney
Main Course- Kadai Paneer, Dal Makhani, Jeera Rice and Ajwain Parathas
Dessert-Suji ka Halwa

Dal Makhani is another delicacy from Punjab, made with black lentils and red kidney beans, however this dal is absolutely different from Punjabi Dal Tadka. The taste, the texture and the method of preparation everything is poles apart. This dal is also called as Maa Ki Daal or Kali (black) Dal and is served mainly on special occasions. It is rich, creamy and loaded with butter and that’s where it gets its name Makhani-meaning buttery.

Now, this is a royal dish not something that one would prepare or even eat on daily basis because it is really high in calories and heavy on stomach. Again, there are many ways to make this dal, but I am going to share the way it is made in the dhabhas- so no low fat and no counting calories. Slow cooking is the most important step- so have patience and let it simmer on slow flame for hours. Add in scoops of butter and full fat cream to give that buttery creamy texture and finally mix in Kasturi methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for flavours. Here is the recipe.

1 cup whole black gram/whole urad dal
½ cup red kidney beans/rajma
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin/jeera
½ teaspoon red chili powder/lal mirch powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1 medium size onion, chopped
2 medium size tomatoes
1 inch ginger/adrak, finely chopped
4-5 garlic/lahsun, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons oil
2 black cardamoms/badi ilaychi
2 bay leaf/tej patta
1 cinnamon stick/dal chini
2 green cardamoms/ilaychi
5 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons full fat cream
salt as required
2 tablespoons coriander leaves for garnishing
2 tablespoons Kasturi methi

Soak rajma and dal overnight. Next day wash well, rinse and presuure cook with 4 cups of water and salt for 4 whistles.
In a grinder, grind together ginger and garlic and make a paste. Also puree tomatoes in the blender. Keep aside.
Heat oil in wok/kadai. When hot, add in cumin seeds, black cardamom, bay leaf, green cardamom and cinnamon. Bring heat to slow and let it cook for 10 seconds.
Next, mix in ginger garlic paste and stir. When the paste turns dark in colour throw in chopped onions. Cook till onions turn soft.
Mix in tomatoes, all the spices and butter. Cook it covered till oil is separated and tomatoes are reduced to half.
Then add boiled daal, cream and mix. Taste and adjust the salt and water. Cover and let it cook for 1-2 hours on very slow flame.
Just before serving mix in Kasturi methi and coriander leaves.

Daal makhani always taste better the next day. So make this a day in advance and serve the next day.
This is high in calories, for making it low fat-ditch the butter and cream. Add in some milk to get the perfect colour.

Serving suggestions:
Serve it hot with rice or parathas.
You can make the complete Punjabi thali- paneer butter massala, aloo chole, dal makhani, jeera rice and kulchas.


  1. Yummy dal makhani. Beautiful click.

  2. Dal Makhani resonates with the rich and robust cuisine of Punjab. My family loves it. Tempting pics :-)

  3. I love dal makhani, thanks for sharing :) we ran 10 miles at the weekend, after which we were so tired our teenagers had to cook dinner!

  4. One of our favorites, yours looks absolutely perfect and tempting

  5. nice menu for the party. dal looks yummy

  6. had lots in college days,nutritious :)

  7. Even though I never made it myself, I love Daal Makhani so much. The rich and thick gravy makes me drool at your pictures!!

  8. Daal is so mouth watering that I could not stop myself eating that DAAL.

  9. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is one of my favorite dishes, but I don’t know how to make it. Now I will surely try your recipe method next time when I make dal makhani

  10. Nutritious looks absolutely delicious and yummy..
    order online food delhi

  11. I tried this Dal makhani Recipe And it comes out delicious :)

  12. Hello! I was wondering about the cardamoms, bay leaf and cinnamon stick - do you grind these, or put them in whole and then remove them before serving? With the cardamoms, do you use the pods or seeds? Thank you!! I am new to Indian cooking, so I have a lot of questions :)

    1. Hi thanks for dropping by.
      Everything is added whole, if you want you can remove the whole spices before serving, we genrally dont remove. You need whole cardamom so pods and seeds both-just open the cardamom little and use.


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