Tag Archives: lentils

Daal Makhani


After I got married and moved to Delhi NCR, I realized l had landed in the land of paneer, naan and chana masala and in a few days of eating out, we were swimming neck deep in butter. Nilesh called it ‘enough’ and hauled me in the kitchen, to cook a decent Maharashtrian meal of varan-bhaat-bhaaji-poli. But I had developed this fixation with daal makhani I 0rdered in each restaurant and could not get the earthy aroma out of my head. I shot a mail with a subject line – ‘daal – makhani this time!’ to dear friend Shweta and pat came this recipe. I gathered the ingredients and courage and tried it. Eureka! The outcome was as delicious as right out of a restaurant kitchen.

Here is the recipe, pretty much a copy paste from Shweta’s  email dated 23rd August 2006. It is a regular in my kitchen till date – I skip the red chili powder and dried red chili and load it up with cinnamon and black pepper which gives it a nice aroma, without making to too spicy for Aditi.


Ingredients –
Urad daal (black whole urad, not the split one) – 1 cup
Rajma – One-Fourth cup
Chana Daal – One-fourth cup
Ginger – lots (a 2.5 inch piece)
Garlic – 2 small pods (optional)
Tomatoes – 2 ripe ones, chopped fine.
Ghee/ Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt – as per taste
Heeng – 1 tsp
Red Chili powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Whole Red Chili – 1 (broken into two halves/ optional)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder – half tbsp
Ground black pepper – half tbsp

Method –

  1. Wash the three daals well, mix them and soak overnight (about 8 hrs) in lots of water.
  2. Add salt to taste and pressure cook the soaked daals. What I do is put the cooker on high flame and after first whistle and lower the flame to medium. Let it cook for about 7-8 whistles. There should be enough water or the daal will burn due to the long cooking time.
  3. Once the cooker cools down, mix the daals well with a ladle, chana daal should almost dissolve, rajma will be as it is. This is how you get the soupy consistency, long cooking time is the key.
  4. Then add ginger juliennes (more the better, but depends on your love for ginger).
  5. Now in a wok, heat ghee (or butter), add heeng, jeera, dry red chillies, chopped garlic (optional). Fry a little and then add finely chopped tomatoes.
  6. Once tomatoes are soft, add some red chili powder and then add the daal. Let it simmer for a while.
  7. Add in the black pepper powder and cinnamon powder.
  8. If you want you can add more butter/cream at the end.