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Dal Makhani Recipe, Punjabi Dal Makhani Healthier Version

Praneetha A Goutham
A perfect recipe of dal makhani which is filled with all the right flavours, healthier than the regular version, yet giving you the amazingly delicious restaurant style taste.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 9 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 10 hrs
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Punjabi
Servings 4


To Pressure Cook

  • 3/4 cup urad beans (black gram)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 3 cups water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 nos. bay leaf
  • 1 no. black cardamom
  • 3 to 4 nos. green cardamom
  • 3 to 4 nos. cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick

To Temper

  • 2 tablespoons butter - low fat, unsalted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 inch fresh ginger - , finely chopped
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic - , finely chopped
  • 2 nos. onions - , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons red chilly powder
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1.5 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1/4 cup milk - whole or skimmed
  • water - , as required
  • salt - , to taste

To Garnish (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons cashew paste
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh coriander leaves - , finely chopped


  • Soak urad beans and kidney beans in enough water such that they are well immersed. Leave this for 7 to 8 hours or overnight such that the beans swell up´well.
  • Transfer the soaked beans to a pressure cooker along with 3 cups water and all the other ingredients given under 'To Pressure Cook'. Pressure cook this up to 5 or 6 whistles. The beans should have been cooked very well, so that they are soft when pressed. Once done, set this aside for the pressure to release.
  • Now heat a deep heavy bottomed pan / kadai, add butter and let it melt. Next, add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add finely chopped ginger and garlic until they are brown. Be careful not to burn them. Now add chopped onions and saute until they turn translucent.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add coriander powder (dhania powder) and red chilly powder and saute for a few minutes until the raw smell goes. Now add tomato puree, stir well and let this cook until it gets thick and starts to release fat from the butter.
  • Meanwhile, gently mash the cooked beans (not completely) and pour all the ingredients in the pressure cooker to the pan. Keep the heat in LOW. Mix everything thoroughly and add some more salt as per taste. If you are using salted butter, mind the quantity of extra salt.
  • Add some water if dal makhani is too thick. Add garam masala and crushed kasuri methi and stir well. Let this simmer in LOW HEAT for about 40 minutes. Make sure to stir it often so that it does not get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Gradually dal makhani starts to thicken and reduce in quantity.
  • Once it has been simmered well, pour milk and stir well. Simmer the mixture again for about 10 minutes. If you find your dal makhani to be too thick even after adding milk, you can add some water and simmer for few more minutes. Do not use excess amount of milk as this will decrease the flavour of dal makhani.
  • Garnish with cashew paste or fresh cream (if you wish to) and coriander leaves. This step is optional though. Serve with any flatbread of your choice like roti, naan, kulcha, phulka or with rice and enjoy.


  1. Some families prepare dal makhani only with urad bean. But, I have always had with both urad and rajma and I prefer this version.
  2. I have used low fat butter and milk. You can use as per your convenience.
  3. There is no difference in taste even if you use after using milk. But if you wish to, you can use fresh cream.
  4. Garnishing with cashew paste is totally optional. On days when I am cooking dal makhani generally, I do not use it. Here I have  used to show an alternative to cream, if you wish to garnish. Again, you can still use cream, if you wish to.
  5. This quantity of dal makhani makes 4 to 5 servings. Do not worry if you have leftovers, refrigerate and heat it again with some water when required. Do not add milk when you are reheating, as more the milk, lesser the flavour of dal makhani. Dal makhani tastes all´the more delicious the next day.
  6. Use almond milk for a vegan version. Or you may skip adding milk, if you do not like to. It still tastes great. But make sure you mash some cooked dal as this will make the gravy creamier.
  7. And finally, remember to cook this in low flame for at least 40 minutes in total. More the cooking time, more delicious would your dal makhani turn out to be.
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