DAL MAKHANI (Spicy Black Lentils) 


  • 3⁄4 cup whole black lentils (urad)
  • 2 tablespoons dried kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1⁄2 cups fresh tomato puree
  • 3⁄4 cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • salt


Clean, wash and soak the whole black lentils and kidney beans overnight. Combine the lentils and beans with salt and 2 cups of water and cook for 45 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Whisk the beans into a mash.

Heat the butter in a pan and add the cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chilis, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, onions, ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the onions turn golden brown in color.  Add the chili powder, turmeric powder and tomato puree and cook over a medium heat until the oil separates from the tomato gravy.

Add the bean mixture, 3/4 cup of water and salt to taste. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Just before serving, add the cream and mix well.  Garnish with the cilantro and serve hot.

To prepare ahead:
The dal can be made the day before, but wait to add the cream on the night of your dinner party.


Gurpreet Singh Tikku, aka Mister Tikku, recommends serving Dal Mukhani as part of a typical Delhi dinner party