Dal Makhani, Kaal Dal or Maa ki Dal

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Dal Makhani, Kaal Dal or Maa ki Dal


Cooking Time

Preparation Time :10 Min

Cook Time : 1 Hr 0 Min

Total Time : 1 Hr 10 Min


Serves : 4
  • 1 cup black urad dal, soaked for an hour

  • 6 cups water

  • 4 cloves garlic chopped fine

  • 1 small piece ginger julienned

  • Salt for taste

  • 1 onion sliced

  • 1 Tomato chopped

  • 2 green chillies

  • 1-inch cinnamon

  • 2 black cardamoms

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • For the tadka or tempering:

  • 2 Tbsp ghee

  • 4 cloves

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • For garnishing:

  • Coriander, chopped

  • 1 green chilli, split

  • 1 tbsp cream

  • 1 tbsp butter


  • In a cooker (I cook in slow cooker) add the washed and soaked dal with 6 cups of water. Add the rest of the ingredients; onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, green chillies and chilli powder. Let it cook for 5 to 6 hours and if it is still not nice and creamy then add a little more water and let it cook. You can cook it in the pressure cooker which is faster. But you will not get the traditional mom-cooked taste.
  • Stir it nicely in between so that the dal gets crushed and gets a creamy consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl. I use the rice cooker which automatically changes to keep warm mode when the water has evaporated, so I don’t need to worry about it getting overcooked or burnt.
  • For the tadka: Tadka for this dal is optional. Most restaurants don’t temper the dal. I temper it as my mom did it the traditional way. In a small tempering pan add ghee, once hot add the cumin seeds and then the cloves. The cloves give off a heady aroma when put in scalding ghee.
  • Add ½ a tsp of red chilli as it gives it a nice spicy tinge. Pour over the hot dal and garnish with coriander leaves, green chillies with generous blobs of fresh cream and butter. Add a little milk if you want to reduce the amount of cream and butter. Serve piping hot. Scoop the dal with a bite of tandoori roti, naan, pulka or even have it mixed with rice!
  • Let me share a little secret…Daal makhani always tastes better the next day. So the next morning, my mom used to make hot Puris for breakfast and serve them with the leftover cold dal and achar or pickle...amazingly yummy. Do try it and share your experience with me.