Dal Makhani

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , ,

When we visited London a few months ago, this amazing Indian restaurant had black dhal. The restaurant is called Dishoom and it is well worth the trip to London :)!  Anyway black dal one of my hubby's favorite Indian dishes to date & I had to try making it. Very excited with how it came out! Check it out below.


Time: 1 hour 


  • 1 cup black dhal 
  • 1/2 cup half & half or cream
  • 3.5 cups water  
  • 1 handful methi leaves (fenugreek) 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced  
  • 1 can tomato purée  
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  • 3-4 cloves freshly chopped garlic  
  • salt to taste  
  • 2-3 wiri wiri peppers (can use regular chili peppers as well) 


  1. Soak the dal overnight in water.
  2. In a large, deep pan, heat 1.5 tablespoons oil & cumin seeds. Wait about 30 seconds before adding in the diced onion. Add the tablespoon chopped garlic as well.
  3. Add all of the spices  & sauté for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Pour in the tomato purée & the peppers. Let the mixture come to a boil then add in the black dal & the methi leaves. Add in 3 cups of water. Add the cream or half & half. Add salt. 
  5. At this step you can cover it & let it simmer so the dal softens. This will most likely take 2-3 hours depending on how high you set the heat. I kept mine on medium low. Alternatively, you can put all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker for 18-20 minutes! Super quick way to make it. 
  6. Once the dal softens, test for salt, etc. Add spices as needed. 
  7. If you have a gas stove: In a metal (don't use plastic!) ladle, add 1/2 teaspoon oil, the freshly chopped garlic cloves, & another pinch of cumin seeds.  Hold the bottom of the ladle over one of the burners  & allow the garlic to brown. 
  8. Next, carefully move the ladle & submerge it into the dal. When you do this, have the lid for the pan handy so you can use it as a shield as the dal might splatter & it will be hot. This step isn't necessary but it adds a burst of flavor to the dish! 

Enjoy your Dal Makhani with naan, roti, or rice!