Mamma Spice's Dal Makhani (Black Dal)

October 05, 2020

Mamma Spice's Dal Makhani (Black Dal)

A true Mamma Spice favourite!

Traditionally, this recipe was made only on special occasions due to the extra time needed for soaking the beans and gathering together the ingredients.

Pick a day when you can really indulge yourself in the experience of cooking this authentic recipe from scratch. You won’t regret it.

Serves 4 

Cooking the dal 

  • 1 cup whole black urad lentils, soaked overnight 1⁄4 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 2 tbsp salt


  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • One large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, finely chopped 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water (or as required)
  • 2 tbsp fresh double cream
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

For the tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1⁄4 tsp asafoetida
  • 3⁄4 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder 1⁄4 tsp garam masala
Method: Strain and rinse the lentils and kidney beans. Place them in a large pot with five times the amount of water, bring to a boil and simmer until cooked (approximately 90 minutes).

They should be soft and breaking apart, so don’t be scared to overcook them.

Making the dal

Place a large pan on a medium heat and add the ghee. As it begins to melt, add the bay leaf, cumin, black cardamom and cloves. Sauté for just a few seconds.

Next, add the chopped onions and sauté until caramelised. Once onions are done,
add the ginger-garlic paste and chopped tomatoes, and cook till they are soft and mushy.

Then, add the turmeric, ground coriander and Kashmiri chilli powder, and cook for a further minute.

Now it’s time to add your cooked lentils and beans. Carefully tip them into the pan, adding extra water if the mixture is very thick.

Add the Kasoori Methi, some salt and leave to cook for about 15 minutes while you do the next step...


Heat the ghee in a small frying pan and once hot, add the rest of the ingredients. Let them sizzle for a few seconds before adding into the lentil mix.

Before serving, swirl the double cream on top and garnish with chopped coriander.

Tastes great with a garlic naan or roti.

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