Video recipe: Dal Makhani recipe - Curry with whole lentils

Dal Makhani Recipe

Here is a spicy, creamy and rich lentil stew. This originates from the kitchens of North India. You can make this a vegan dish by swapping butter with plant based vegan butter and cream with coconut cream. The results will be pretty similar. 

A large pot can hold good for a week in the fridge or cooled and frozen in containers for up to a month. For families where both parents are working, this makes a great staple to make ahead and freeze for hectic weeknight dinners. Our family enjoys this with fresh garlic or butter naan. Also tastes sumptuous with soft, steamy rice. 

In this video below, there is a slight variation to the classic Dal Makhani Recipe. This one uses fresh fenugreek/methi leaves instead or dry methi or kasoori methi leaves. The original dal makhani recipe can be found below. 

Original Dal Makhani Recipe

Serves 4

Cooking time: 30 mins


1 cup whole masoor dal, or whole urad dal and rajma kidney beans, single or mixed together

1 cup onions, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

2 green chilies, slit ( more or less as you like)

1/4 tsp ginger, chopped

1/4 tsp garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp garam masala powder

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp crushed dry fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi

Couple of spoons of ghee or melted butter

Salt to taste


Wash and soak dal in warm water for 30 minutes. if using rajma whole kidney beans, soak overnight. Cook in 3 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Pressure cooking them will be faster and will make the lentils soft and mushy. Set aside. 

In a saucepan, on medium heat, add a spoon of ghee. To this add mustard and cumin seeds. As they splutter in the ghee, add onions. Sauté for a minute. 

Add some more ghee in the center, add chopped ginger and garlic. Once the aroma kicks in, add green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. Toss in tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are pulpy. 

Add in the chili and turmeric powders, sauté for a few seconds until aromatic. 

Pour in the cooked dal and a cup of warm water. Combine to form a smooth mixture. 

Bring this to a boil on low heat. Check for taste. Add cream and garam masala; stir in. Finish off with a sprinkle of well crushed kasoori methi. Turn it off and serve hot with rice, chapatis, bread, naan, or straight up as soup. Enjoy! 

Dal Makhani Recipe