Dal Makhani is lentils as you have never experienced them, luxuriously creamy with a hint of spice and smokiness, it’ll have you coming back for more!
Can’t get enough lentils? Try this fantastic Vegan Coconut Lentil Curry with Butternut Squash!
Lentils are a go-to dish for when I want a filling and nutritious meal on a budget. Fortunately lentils can also be fantastically delicious and made into all sorts of memorable recipes.
Dal makhani is a great example of lentils taken to the next level. Born out of Delhi, this black lentil dish is sumptuously creamy with a pleasant hit of spice and smokiness.
This recipe takes some time to make but less effort than you think and the result is completely worth it! I’ve given instructions for using an Instant Pot as this makes the recipe much quicker and easier.
Black lentils are key to this recipe. Also known as Beluga lentils, they are quite small and have a dark colour, hence the name.
The great thing with black lentils is that they tend to hold their shape and texture when cooked and don’t become a mush like red lentils. This makes them perfect for a recipe like this one.
Black lentils are also packed full of nutrients while having a delicate flavour, making them a good choice for all sorts of recipes.
Making this recipe
Most of the time making this recipe is waiting for the kidney beans and black daal to soak. There is no way to avoid this step so make sure you plan ahead and aren’t disappointed when it comes time to start!
Drain the beans and lentils and add them to an Instant Pot set to pressure cook at high temperature. When the time is done, let the pressure release naturally, then drain the lentils and beans while keeping aside two cups of the liquid.
Put a deep frying pan over medium low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Then add chopped onion and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
Add in the garlic and ginger, give it a half a minute to cook, they add the passata, crushed tomatoes, paprika, chilli powder and graham masala. Give it a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
It’s time to add the cooked lentils and beans with the liquid kept aside from the Instant Pot along with a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for thirty minutes. Stir once in a while to keep it from burning.
Once done, mash up a few of the lentils and beans with a potato masher. This is one of the secrets to the incredible creamy texture!
Top the dal makhani with a half cup of double or heavy cream and let it cook for about 5 minutes longer. The texture will be lovely and creamy, with a pleasantly smoky aroma. Delicious!
- Using an Instant Pot greatly reduces the time it takes to cook this recipe.
- Make sure your lentils and beans are very soft. When pressure is put on them you should feel no resistance.
- For a creamier texture, crush some of the lentils and beans with a potato masher when nearly done cooking.
- Serve dal makhani over rice or with warm naan or chapati.
- You can also add chutney or pickle for a fuller experience. We love chilli lime pickle!
- 210g / 1 cup lentils
- 125g / ½ cup kidney beans, soak overnight
- 1 litre / 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic paste or 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 45g / ¼ cup tomato passata or crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp graham masala
- 500ml / 2 cups water
- 125ml / ½ cup double cream
- Soak the lentils and beans in plenty of water overnight. Drain them and add to the Instant Pot with 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt, pressure cook on High for 13-15 minutes, allow for natural pressure release. Drain the lentil and beans but keep 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Melt the butter in a deep frying pan and sauté the chopped onion until soft for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds longer. Then add the tomato passata or crushed tomatoes, smoked paprika, chilli powder and graham masala, stir and cook for a few seconds until it starts to simmer. Add the cooked lentils and beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid with a pinch of salt, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stir once in a while to prevent burning.
- Mash some of the lentils and beans with a potato masher to increase the cream texture, then add in the heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Lentils and beans should be very soft when done in the Instant Pot. When pressure is put on them you should feel no resistance.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 561mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g