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What’s your favourite Indian food?

Anyone who has stepped into an Indian restaurant anywhere is world will be familiar with mah daal or daal makhani as it’s commonly called. It’s on offer in more or less all Indian restaurants overseas and in most restaurants in northern India. And it’s not a surprise that this daal is so popular. It’s a beautiful combination of flavours and textures and is commonly served on special occasions and weddings in Punjab. A simpler version of this dish is also served in the Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) all over the world and for routine consumption at home. I will share the simpler version in a future blog post.

I don’t think I have come across anyone who doesn’t like this dish.

This recipe comes from one of my favourite cousins.  Serve with parathas and pulao for a delicious meal. So I hope you will give it a try!

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Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories/Serving 275kcal


  • 1 cup black mah daal see the picture above
  • 1/4 cup red kidney beans rajma
  • 2 onions medium size: 2-3 inches in diameter, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes medium size, 2-3 inches, puréed
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida hing
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala search for recipe in the blog
  • 1 1/2 coriander powder
  • 1 tsp degi mirch can use red chilli powder instead
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cream full fat
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee clarified butter
  • Salt according to taste
  • Handful of fresh green coriander leaves stems removed and leaves finely chopped


  • Making Daal
  • Wash the kidney beans and lentils and soak in five cups of warm water for half an hour.
  • Strain the lentil and kidney beans and keep the water aside for later use.
  • Heat half of the mustard oil, add hing once the mustard oil is smoking.
  • Add the lentils and kidney beans to the oil straight after. Stir the lentils and kidney beans for one minute and add the strained water. Add half of the salt now.
  • Close the pressure cooker and give three pressures on high heat. After this turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Take the pressure cooker off the heat and let it cool down before opening. Add the milk and tamarind paste.
  • Put the pressure cooker back on low heat for half hour (do not close the liand keep on stirring from time to time to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Making Tadka

  • Add the remaining mustard oil in a shallow pan and heat it until it smokes(2-3 minutes). Remove the pan from the burner and let the oil cool.
  • Once the oil is cool, put the pan back on the medium heat and add cumin. Once the cumin seeds start sputtering, add ginger and garlic. Stir it for 1/2 minute and then add onions. Keep on stirring for 5-6 minutes till onions are light brown and translucent. Alternate between low and medium heat.
  • Turn the heat to high and add tomato purée. Stir for 2-3 minutes until then the mixture is slightly dry.
  • Turn the heat to low and keep on stirring the mixture on until the oil leaves the mixture. Add the remaining salt, cream and half of red chilli powder. Keep stirring until the cream separates into oil. Now the tadka is ready.
  • Add the tadka mixture to the lentils in the pressure cooker. Add the remaining chill powder and ghee. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  • 1Take the pressure cooker off the heat. Once it cools down, open the lid and add garam masala and coriander powder.
  • 1Simmer again on low heat for 15 minutes. Keep on stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or chapatis.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Incredible.kitchen or tag #myincrediblekitchen!



7 Replies to “Delicious Daal Makhani”

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This seems amazing. I love daal makhani. Havent come.across quite this kind of complex recipe. Will try!

  2. Thank you for the recipe. A couple of questions. What would be the best way to cook it properly if you don’t have a pressure cooker? Also, some ingredients are not listed in English, wouldn’t know where to look for them in a London supermarket.

    Would be great to have an entry about where to buy the best Indian spices and other cooking ingredients in London.

    1. Hey Svetlana, You can try Plentiful Foods Indian Spice Ltd in Drumond street near the British library in London. I looked through the recipe and all the ingredients have the English names.. is there any in particular you were looking for?

      It’s tricky if you don’t have a pressure cooker. I will recommend investing in one if you are planning on cooking more lentils as it cuts down the cooking time so much. But if pressure cookers are not your thing, then you can buy a slow cooker. You can leave the lentils to cook overnight and the results are delicious. There are few lentils which you can cook without either but even then it takes a long long time to cook them.

      Hope this helps!
      Cumin kitchen

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