Restaurant-style Dal Makhani or slow cooked black lentils in 45 minutes

Preparation time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 to 5


¾ cup black lentils

¼ cup kidney beans

2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee

3 tbsp butter

½ tsp cumin seeds

2-inch cinnamon stick

3 green cardamom

3 cloves

2 bay leaves

½ cup onion (finely chopped)

1 ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste

½ cup tomato puree

1 tsp chilli powder

2 green chillies

¼ tsp nutmeg powder

4 cups water

½ tsp dry fenugreek leaves

¼ cup fresh cream

1 tbsp coriander leaves

Salt to taste



Step 1:

Take black lentils and kidney beans separately in bowls. Add enough water and soak them overnight for 5 to 6 hours. Then, rinse and drain.


Step 2:

Pressure cook the soaked black lentils with 350 ml of water until they are well cooked – 5 to 6 whistles.


Step 3:

Heat a large kadai or a pan. Add two tablespoons of clarified butter and 1 ½ tablespoons of butter. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté for a few seconds over medium heat.


Step 4:

Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt, and sauté until they become light brown in colour.


Step 5:

Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell dissipates.


Step 6:

Add tomato puree, salt (as required), red chilli powder, chopped green chillies, and nutmeg powder. Saute over low to medium flame until the oil separates.


Step 7:

Add the cooked lentils and kidney beans and give it a good stir. Keep stirring often so the lentils don’t get stuck at the bottom of the pan. Also, mash the lentils with the spatula for a slightly thick consistency.


Step 8:

Add two cups of boiling water. Mix well and allow it to boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the flame to medium. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.


Step 9:

Add dry fenugreek leaves and continue cooking for 1 or 2 minutes, then turn off the flame.


Step 10:

Add fresh cream and mix well.


Step 11:

Add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of butter. Mix well. Finally, garnish with coriander leaves. Dal Makhani is now ready to be served.



To make homemade tomato puree, blend two chopped tomatoes to a smooth puree in a blender or mixer jar—no need to blanch them.


Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes.

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