Daal, Desserts, Indian, Soups, Vegetarian Foods

Refined Daal Makhani

Daal Makhani originated in the Punjab region of India. A staple of the North Indian diet according to first hand anecdotes, Daal Makhani, consists of lentils and cream (daal = lentils ; makhani = cream).

I stumbled upon Daal Makhani recipes by performing a google search of “Urad Daal” black daal. I’ve had this bag of urad daal in my pantry since I made haleem back in 2013. Recently I’ve attempted to convert to a vegetarian diet and saw this as a great opportunity to utilize those daal. Browsing through the cabinets, I came across that bag of black daal I used to make haleem quite some time back and wondered what type of rich recipes this lentil has to offer. It turns out Urad Daal is commonly used in Daal Makhani and having never experienced the taste I decided to give it a try applying my own techniques and taste palette.

Daal Makhani


1 cup Urad Daal (Black Lentils)

1 cup Chana Daal (Chick peas)

2 inch ginger root

4 garlic cloves

1 large onion chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp garam masala

1 tbs cumin seeds (you really want this taste to come out)

1 tbs tahini paste

1/2 cup baby carrots or 1 large carrot

1 tomato

1/4 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt

Salt as necessary



Clean and soak Urad Daal 

Ensure you have semi-tender chana daal or chana daal in a can

In a large frying pan add ~2 tbs of Flax Seed oil (I prefer to use flax seed oil to olive oil for the added nutty flavor)

When oil heats add the spices and let simmer;

tacit knowledge pointer* I add some water once onion has caramelized so spices can continue breaking down without burning  

Add the rinsed daal to the pot along with 2 times the quantity of water

At this time at the tomato and carrots

Let this boil for about 20 – 30 minutes checking taste (make sure salt is sufficient & cumin and chili is present)

At this time, remove the tomato and carrots and mash them with a mortal and pestle

Add the mashed tomato and carrots to the daal – this will work to thicken the daal 

Let cook for another 5 minutes

Add the tahini paste – stir in, let simmer for a minute

Add the yogurt paste –  stir in, let simmer for a minute of two

Turn flame off

Serve with warm naan!