Dal Makhani (Indian Black Lentils)

December 28, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

On my honeymoon in Northern India, I ate a few versions of this dish, none more delicious than the one at the Oberoi Hotel in Jaipur. Dark, thick, creamy and enriched at the end with a buttery spiced tarka, this is some serious soul food, perfect for cold, snowy evenings. —gluttonforlife

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup split urad dal (black lentils)
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 green chiles, slit (like jalapeño or serrano)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine)
  • 2" pieces ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whisked to thicken slightly
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  1. You can soak the lentils overnight in a bowl of water to speed cooking, but this step is not absolutely necessary.
  2. Boil lentils with 3 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, green chiles, asafoetida and salt to taste until they are very tender. (If you did not soak, they may require additional water.)
  3. In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the other onion until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin and cayenne, and fry for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the boiled lentils and enough water to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  5. In another small pan, melt the ghee, add the cumin seeds and fry until they stop sputtering. Pour this into the lentils (it will sizzle) and mix well.
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1 Review

MuddyPants March 17, 2016
This was a little blander than I expected, but pleasant enough.