Dal makhani

Dal makhani

This recipe is made possible by BBC Food!


  • 200g/7oz dried black urad dal
  • 100g/3½oz dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • pinch asafoetida
  • 1 bird’s-eye chilli, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz onions, finely chopped
  • 220g/7¾oz fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2cm/¾in fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 80ml/2¾fl oz double cream
  • salt
  • naan bread, to serve

For the spiced butter

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped


  1. Tip the urad dal, kidney beans and 1.6 litres/2¾ pints of water into a saucepan, and make sure the saucepan is large. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes, and then simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, then mash with a potato masher and set aside.

  2. Heat the ghee in another large saucepan over medium heat. Add the asafoetida, chilli and cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds, then add the garlic. Fry for 20 seconds. Add the onions and fry for another 12 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée and stir well for a minute.

  4. Add the ginger and chilli powder and fry for 1 minute more. Add the cooked dal.

  5. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and add 400ml/14fl oz water. Simmer for 20 minutes over low heat. Add the garam masala and double cream. Stir well and turn off the heat.

  6. To cook the spiced butter, melt the butter in a small frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. For any longer, this could all go wrong and end up with you needing to restart and or burning it.

  7. Add the chilli powder and remove it from the heat. Add the coriander and stir well. Pour over the dal, stir and serve warm with naan bread.

Banner and Image Credit: BBC

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