Dal Makhani (Spicy Black Lentils)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

I have had this recipe for some time now. I love this dal - it tastes soooo good. If you want to cut down on the calories, you can omit the cream - it will still taste very good.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Clean, wash and soak the whole black lentils and kidney beans overnight. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Combine the lentils and beans with salt and 2 cups of water and cook till the dals are overcooked. Whisk well till the mixture is almost mashed.
  3. Heat the butter in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
  4. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chillies, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, onions, ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the onions turn golden brown in color.
  5. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and tomato puree and cook over a medium flame till the oil separates from the tomato gravy.
  6. Add the dal mixture, water and salt if required and simmer for 10 t 15 minutes.
  7. Add the cream and mix well.
  8. Garnish with the cilantro and serve hot.
Most Helpful

Wow! Delicious recipe! I tried hard not to deviate but I was missing some things (like cinnamon sticks so used ground spice.) It still came out amazing. Thank you for sharing this.

Sarah S. February 05, 2016

Great recipe. Can't wait to make this for my family. More recipes like this will always be appreciated.

kbrapport February 22, 2015

Definitely delicious, tasty and warm. Like sldumont I used "ready to eat" beluga lentils, since "black" lentils are very difficult to find in the UK, and thus I skipped steps 1 and 2. Also our cumin seeds don't really "crackle" much, so I fried them for about 10 minutes and then gave up.<br/><br/>It's not clear to me what kind of "tomato puree" the recipe is using, because for us that's the concentrated stuff in tubes, so I added a liberal squirt of that and plenty of water. I like sldumont's idea of using coconut milk for a vegan version, I'll have to try that.<br/><br/>Inspired by a BBC recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/blackdal_89042) I added ground cumin and lemon juice (and also a little garam masala powder) when the onions were already brown, and it worked out even better!

Chris Wilson UK December 21, 2014