Dhal Makani Recipe

Dhal Makani is a rich creamy gravy based vegetarian dish comprising of black lentils, chickpeas and red kidney beans. It is a unique savoury dish flavoured with Indian spices and fresh ingredients. This dish can be served as part of the main course or as a side accompaniment.


  • 50g canned red kidney beans
  • 50g canned chickpeas
  • 150g black lentils (urad dhal)
  • 5  garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 100g tomato puree
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded
  • 2 red dried chillies
  • 2 onions, grated
  • ¼ tomato, chopped
  • 40ml fresh cream
  • 100g  margarine
  • 50g pure butter or ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½  teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon  turmeric powder
  • 3ml garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 cups boiling water


  1. Thoroughly wash the black lentils until the water turns a clear colour. Soak the lentils overnight.
  2. Boil the lentils for approximately 3 ½ to 4 hours until soft and set aside with the water still retained.
  3. Blend together the chickpea and red kidney beans in a blender until a smooth even texture is achieved.
  4. Stir in the onions, green chilli, chopped tomato and 3 garlic cloves. Blend the mixture well and keep aside.
  5. In a pot, heat the butter or ghee. Add in the cumin seeds and allow the mixture to fry.
  6. Stir in the turmeric powder, garam masala, asafoetida and chilli powder. Mix well.
  7. Add in the remainder of the chopped cloves of garlic and allow the mixture to simmer for a few seconds.
  8. Stir in the chickpea mixture and tomato puree. Allow the mixture to cook until it turns a brown colour.
  9. At this stage, the chickpea mixture would appear to separate from the melted butter.
  10. Add in 2 cups of water as well as the boiled black lentils. Allow the dhal to simmer.
  11. When the dhal begins to reach boiling point, reduce the heat to a medium setting. Cook the dhal for a further 5 minutes.
  12. Add in the margarine and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  13. If the dhal appears to be too thick, a little water can be added at this stage. The dhal should possess a red to a black colour.
  14. Add salt to taste. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  15. Stir in the fresh cream and simmer for a few minutes.
  16. Remove the dhal from the stove top.
  17. Dhal makani is best served hot with the accompaniment of rice or Indian breads.
  18. Optional: freshly chopped coriander can be sprinkled over the dhal for garnishing.