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lentils in copper bowl with melted butter and cilantro on top
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5 from 7 votes

Dal Makhani Recipe

Dal Makhani is an Indian dish made with lentils, kidney beans, and a selection of delicious spices. It’s a hearty meatless meal!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Soaking Overnight8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 204kcal
Author: Kevin


  • 1 cup dried whole black lentils (urud dal)
  • ½ cup dried red kidney beans (rajma)

Spice Bag

  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 inch cinnamon stick break in half


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 Serrano chiles sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 14.5 oz pureed tomatoes (or 2 cups finely chopped)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


  • chopped cilantro
  • drizzle of cream
  • butter


  • Pick through the dried lentils and kidney beans, removing any debris. Cover with water by 1 inch and soak overnight.
  • Cut onion in half. Keep one half intact and chop other half. Tie the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in a piece of cheesecloth with kitchen twine, set aide.
  • Rinse soaked lentils and kidney beans. Transfer to a large stock pot or Dutch oven and cover with water by 1 inch. Add half of the onion and bring to a boil, cover and cook on high for 10 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and cook covered for another 20 minutes. Remove and discard cooked onion half and drain lentils, set aside.
  • To the stock pot or Dutch oven add butter and sauté the chopped onion for 2 minutes. Add the chiles, ginger paste, garlic, cumin, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the pureed tomatoes, tied spice bag, 4 cups water and the par-cooked lentils and kidney beans. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes.
  • Carefully remove spice bag and discard. Either use an immersion blender and pulse several times or transfer half to a blender and puree. Pour back into stock pot or Dutch and stir (See Note 1). Simmer for 10 more minutes. The soup becomes creamier as it simmers, almost a velvety consistency. Add more water as needed for desired consistency. Add the cream and liquid smoke (this is optional, but the flavor is great). Stir to incorporate in the lentils and season to taste.
  • Serve this garnished with a drizzle of cream, dab of butter, chopped cilantro and lots of dosa, naan, roti, flatbread, pitas or whatever bread you like.



  1. You can also use an immersion blender and pulse several times if you still want some lentil texture, or puree until completely smooth.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 439IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg