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Dhaba Style Dal Makhani

LunchMain CourseIndian

When I say that it is Dhaba style dal makhani, I mean that it is Delhi’s Dhaba Style Dal Makhani. That is the best. Literally. It is creamy, flavourful, & just absolutely drool-worthy. And with this recipe, you can have the same experience at home too.

Also, make it a little extra so that with the leftover dal makhani, you can make our delicious dal makhani wraps too. One dish, two recipes. Wao.

STORY TIME

We both are from Delhi. We both are vegetarians. That means every birthday, every anniversary, or every special occasion at home was celebrated with dal makhani. Literally. In both our families, dal makhani, some kind of paneer recipe, and naan used to be our go-to meal whenever we ordered food from outside. No celebration was complete without these food items.

Then we grew up, we got married, shared our love for dal makhani with each other, and then moved to Pune. There we just couldn’t find that same taste of dal makhani in any Dhaba or restaurant. And like always, I had no option left but to make it at home. And we did it. We got the same taste in our homemade dal makhani too. That was a big celebratory moment. And like always we celebrated with dal makhani. Since then, we have never ordered dal makhani from outside. Homemade is always the best. Right?

If you don’t have time, watch the video instead.

SECRET OF DAL MAKHANI

You may think that the creaminess of dal makhani comes from adding a lot of cream or butter to it. That is not true. I mean, you need that but that is not the only thing to get that rich and creamy texture. The secret is – SLOW COOKING. That’s right my friend. There is no shortcut to that. You have to have patience, a lot of it while making this delicious recipe.

How Slow Cooking helps?

Well, the dal which we use in this recipe – urad dal (whole) or urad chilka – gets very starchy and creamy when you cook it for a very long time. The more you cook, the more creamy it gets. In many restaurants or dhabas, by the end of the day, when they are done with making naan or roti on the tandoor, they put this dal on it and leave it to cook overnight. Dal cooks slowly on hot coal for the entire night and that is how you get that rich and creamy texture in it.

But obviously, you can’t do that at home. Although, my Instant Pot has an option of slow cooking which I will try one day. I slow cook this dal in two parts. First, when I pressure cook urad dal and rajma together. After a whistle in the pressure cooker, I cook it on the lowest flame for another 40 to 50 minutes till it gets well cooked and mushy. Then after tempering, I add a lot of water and again cook on the lowest flame till it gets rich and creamy. That takes another 1.5 to 2 hrs. So, if you want to make it for lunch, I would suggest starting it right after breakfast.

ADJUSTMENTS – YOU MAY WANT TO MAKE

  1. Tempering: I don’t add onion in this recipe but if you want, you can add 1 to 2 large onions, pureed well or finely chopped. Cook till they get brown and caramalised.
  2. Butter: I use store bought milk cream in this recipe but you can substitute that with butter or homemade milk cream which we call malai in hindi. If using malai, blend it first otherwise you will see tiny white pieces all over.

dal makhani

CAN WE MAKE IT VEGAN?

Of course. Why not? I am going to try and share the vegan dal makhani too very soon. And you can trust me, it would be as delicious as this one. We ordered vegan dal makhani once and it was so delicious. I mean it was hard to tell whether it was vegan or not. That gave me the motivation to try it at home too. So, very soon you will have one healthy dal makhani recipe with no compromise on the taste.

HOW TO SERVE?

To have the best experience, serve it hot. It tastes best with any kind of Indian bread – chapati, paratha, naan, tandoori roti, missi roti. We also love it with aalu paratha. You can try that. It tastes delicious.

We also serve it with some jeera rice or simple steamed rice. For the salad, we like it with some pickled onion. Or if you don’t have that, serve it with some onion and sliced cucumber.

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make Dhaba-style dal makhani at home. Enjoy it over lunch or some weekend brunch. Make it for your friends over any house party or cook it for any celebration at home. It will be a show-stopper. Don’t believe me, TRY IT.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

MORE MAIN COURSE RECIPES:

  1. Leftover Rajma Wrap
  2. Authentic Punjabi Rajma Masala
  3. Leftover Dal Makhani Wrap

Happy Cooking.

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Dhaba Style Dal Makhani

Creamy. Flavourful. Drool-Worthy.

Servings

3

Prep Time

10 min

Cook Time

3 hour

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Urad Dal (whole)
  • 1/2 cup Rajma/Kidney Bean
  • 4 Tomato medium
  • 4-6 clove Garlic peeled
  • 2-Inch Piece Ginger
  • 20-30 g Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing) powdered
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 pinch Turmeric Powder
  • 7 cup Water or as needed
  • 2 tsp Dhania Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin crushed or powdered
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Fresh Milk Cream

Steps

Pre-Soak

  1. Wash urad dal and rajma with water 2 to 3 times. Rub them between your palms while washing. That way, it gives a nice color to the dal. 
  2. Soak with 4 cups of water. Cover and let it rest overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.

Pressure Cook

  1. Add dal in the pressure cooker along with the water in which it was soaked.
    Don't discard the water since it contains the nice color of dal.
  2. Add around 1 Tsp of salt. Close and cook. After 1 whistle, lower the flame and let it cook for 40 to 50 minutes till they become soft and mushy.
    In Instant Pot, pressure cook for 50 minutes.

Tempering

  1. Blend tomato, garlic, and ginger together. 
  2. In a pan, add butter and let it melt. 
    DO NOT brown the butter. Keep the flame on medium-low.
  3. Add hing/asafoetida and saute for a few seconds. Be careful. It burns fast.
  4. Add the tomato, ginger, garlic paste. Mix.
  5. Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder. Mix. Cover & Cook. Cook till all the moisture is evaporated and it starts releasing oil. 
    Keep stirring in between.
  6. Add cooked dal and rajma. Mix.
  7. Add 3 cups of water, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, garam masala. Mix and let it come to a boil. Cook for around 15 minutes on medium-high flame.
  8. Add milk cream. Mix everything. Cover and cook on low flame now for 1.5 to 2 hrs.
  9. Keep stirring in between since dals settle at the bottom and might burn.
  10. After 1.5 - 2 hrs, it will look creamy and thick. Switch off the flame and serve hot.
    It tastes best the other day. If it gets thicker on cooling, reheat and add water/milk as needed. Cook for a few minutes.
  11. Serve with rice, roti, paratha, and some pickled onions. Yum. Enjoy :)
frequently asked questions

FAQs

What is the difference between dal makhani and dal bukhara?
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The cooking preparation of both dals is almost the same. Both are slow-cooked. The only main difference is the dal used to make these recipes. Dal Bukhara is made only with urad dal (whole) while dal makhani is made of urad dal (whole) and rajma (kidney beans). Both if these deals taste very delicious.


Is dal makhani fattening?
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I would say that anything can make you fat if you eat an excess of it. Eat moderately and have a balanced life. Although dal makhani is made of butter and fresh cream, it is eaten rarely on some special occasion or once in a while. So, do not worry about calories. Enjoy your happy meal. Moreover, it is such a delicious recipe that it would be bad to keep yourself away from it.


Can we eat dal makhani at night?
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It is a little heavy for the stomach. If you plan to have it over dinner, keep a gap of at least 2 – 3 hrs between your meal and bedtime. It takes some time to get digested.


What is best to eat with dal makhani?
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Dal Makhani goes very well roti/chapati, paratha, naan, tandoori roti, or any other Indian bread too. It tastes so good with aalu paratha as well. You must try that. You can also serve it with jeera rice or plain steamed rice. For salads, serve it with some pickled onion.


Can we make vegan dal makhani?
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Yes. Totally. Replace milk cream or butter with cashew cream or coconut milk. It tastes equally good. It is difficult to tell if it is vegan or not. These days, we even have options for plant-based butter. You can try that too but make sure to buy a good brand with fewer ingredients and additives.


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