Restaurant-style Dal Makhani, No Cream

Restaurant-style Dal Makhani, No Cream

This recipe is aligned with the objective of my blog to provide delicious recipes that are packed with nutrients and can be cooked in around 30 minutes. I try to transform restaurant style dishes that I enjoy and healthify them without compromising on the taste. This recipe brings out my experimentation with ingredients to replicate the taste I have savored in my home country.

This recipe also explains the nutritive value of this dish and also encouraging the consumption of beans in general for their myriad health benefits.


Ingredients for 6 servings:

3/4 cup whole black gram (whole urad), soak for ~10 hours
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, pureed
1.5 ” ginger, chopped & mashed (or make fresh paste)
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp kasuri methi
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil/ ghee
salt to taste
ghee or chopped cilantro for garnish



Rinse the whole black gram (urad bean). Soak with 1.5 cups water overnight or for 10-12 hours.
Pressure cook it for 10 minutes on low heat after the first whistle in case of Indian pressure cooker or after the pressure regulator begins to rock in case of US pressure cooker. Turn off the heat and then let the pressure get released. It will take about 5 minutes or so.
In the mean time, prepare the gravy. Chop the onion and garlic.
Heat oil/ghee in a steel pot. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf after the ghee melts.
Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle a bit and then add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat till it becomes light brown.
While the onion is cooking, puree the tomatoes, chop & mash the ginger or make fresh ginger paste.
When the onion has turned light brown, add the tomato puree and saute till it darkens and thickens. Then add the dry ingredients and saute for a minute.
While you wait till the pressure cooker cools down, prepare a fresh salad or raita with yogurt and vegetables. Make sure you include some vegetables with vitamin C to help absorption of iron from urad. Learn more about vitamin C rich foods in the GOOD TO KNOW section.
If the pressure cooker has cooled off, transfer the black gram to the steel pot and mix well. Add 1 cup water, salt and mashed ginger and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
All the flavors get infused into the dal and it becomes very aromatic.
Serve with home-made / whole wheat parathas/ rotis and salad/raita.


Sugar in this dish balances the tang of the tomatoes. Total amount of sugar per serving is very low.

Since this dish has high fiber & other nutrients that white rice lacks, it seems like a good complement for the days you want to eat rice. Counteract the high glycemic load of rice by serving this dal with your favorite jeera rice!

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