Dal Makhani| Dabha style Dal Makhani

Dal Makani is a creamy silky lentil  dish made by slow cooking the black gram dal  in slow cook process. This dish also has a surprise hint of Rajma or kidney beans. Dal Makhani dish is special from other similar dals because of its creamy silky texture and the smoked flavor that comes from the slow stove top cooking. I have managed to get this in my Instantpot as well

My Love affair with Dal Makhnai dates back to the 90’s.   I fell in love with the spicy, creamy and smoky  taste and that unique aroma. This dish was a restaurant or Dhaba special and I would eagerly wait for those occasional visits.  Mom would make it at home on special occasions but that would not suffice for me. Once I started cooking myself it become more easy for me to whipp it up whenever I want. I must say there were some anti Dal Makhnai elements ( my bro he he) then who have come to love it now…….LOL….

Dal makhani is traditionally slow cooked with creamy tomato sauce. As the story goes, this restaurant favorite was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, the founder of the Moti Mahal chain. It is interesting to note this was created he had created the tomato- and cream-based gravy for the butter chicken  which is the base for Dal Makhani as well.

Dal Makhani which is loaded  with butter an cream can also be made vegan by replacing the cream with vegan alternative (recipe coming soon). The black gram also has a many  health benefits which is another reason to include this dal to our diets.

nt Traditionally the cooking process takes a long time to get the creamy consistency and also the smokiness. The slow cooking releases the  whole black gram’s stickiness or sliminess specially with butter to give it that perfect texture. That said thanks to the cookers and the Instant pots of the world we can cook pretty decent versions in our own kitchen. Here is my recipe that come out perfect every single time.

Dal Makhani | Dabha style Dal Makhani

Dal Makani is a creamy silky lentil dish made by slow cooking the black gram dal in slow cook process. This dish also has a surprise hint of Rajma or kidney beans
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: ramyaanagu


  • Whole Black gram/ Urad dal with skin – 1 -1/2 cup
  • Red Kidney beans/ Rajma – 1/4 cup
  • Onion- 1 big
  • Tomato – 2-3 medium
  • Gralic – 3 clove
  • Ginger – small piece
  • Green chillis – 2-3slit
  • Butter or Oil – 2 tbs
  • whole milk or cream – 1/2 cup use vegan substitute for vegan version

Dry Masalas:

  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Cumin- powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 Tbs
  • Cjilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Haldi/Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Slat to taste
  • pinch or two of sugar

To temper:

  • Jeera – 1/ 2 tsp
  • Fennel/Sunff seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Whole big Elaichi/cardamom -1
  • Cinnamon – 1 small piece
  • Bay leaf – 1 large


Instant pot version

  • Meanwhile chop the onions, garlic and tomatoes really small
  • Now when the instant pot is hot, add oil or Ghee and then add the cumin and fennel seeds
  • Once it splatters add in the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and the slit green chills.
  • Add in the grated ginger, turmeric, coriander powder and chilli powder. Make sure not to burn the masalas.
  • Now add in the chopped garlic , onions and salt and let it cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Then add in the tomatos and give it all a good mix. let it cook for 2 mins
  • Now add in the soaked Whole Black gram and red kidney beans.
  • Add required salt and close the lid.
  • Set the instant pot to Chilli/Bean mode and cook the mix till it is well done
  • The dals should mash when pressed between fingers
  • Now again turn to the saute mode and add the garam masala and the coriander leaves and give it a stir for a 10-15 min.
  • This allows the dal to thicken more and brings the creaminess from the urad dal
  • Crush some kasoori methi and add coriander leaves
  • Turn off the heat and garnish it with drip of cream, and butter and serve it hot Roti, naan or rice
  • To get a smoky flavor heat some coal in fire till is red hot and burns evenly. now place the hot charcoal in a bowl and pour oil on top of the charcoal. Smoke comes out of the hot coal. place this bowl in the dal and close it for 2-3 minutes. of course this is optional for added flavor

Tried this recipe? I’d love to know your feedback. Tag @amomscookbook on Instagram and hashtag it #amomscookbook. You can follow me on Facebook,Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes.

Rate this Recipe

Average rating 0 / 5. 0

5 thoughts

Leave a Reply