LuAnn's Dal Makhani (Rich Lentil Sauce/Curry) :rectnt *PIC*

LuAnn's Dal Makhani (Rich Lentil Sauce/Curry)

This delicious Punjabi (northern Indian) dish is one of our favorite menu items when visiting an Indian restaurant - though we must always remember to request that it be seasoned mildly, since it can be very hot! Wishing to be able to make it at home, I developed this recipe, loosely based on the source noted below. The list of spices is long, but all of them (except the mango powder), are staples in my kitchen. (Knowing I wanted to make this dish for Sonya while visiting Pennsylvania, I brought the necessary spices from home when I came).

Dal Makhani is served with cooked aromatic rice, such as jasmine. I prefer to use BROWN (whole grain) jasmine or basmati rice when available.

Serves 2 to 4


3 Tablespoons dry (uncooked) red kidney beans*
1/2 cup dry (uncooked) black lentils **
1 Tablespoon olive oil (or butter for non-vegans)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds***
1 small to medium sweet onion, chopped chopped
2 green chilies, chopped (or to taste)****
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dry mango powder*****
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger paste
Salt to taste
1 cup water
1 cup cashew cream (or fresh cream for non-vegans)******
2 bay leaves
Fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish


Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight.
Cook/pressure cook the lentils and beans until they are soft, then set aside. (See my note for substituting canned beans).
Heat the oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the cumin seeds, then stir for about 10 seconds or until aromatic.
Add the onions and green chilies, if using, then saute until the onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garam masala, dry mango powder (or lemon/lime juice), turmeric, chili powder and coriander, then continue sauteing for another minute or two.
Add the tomato and ginger paste, then saute for a final minute or two, until the tomatoes give up their juices.
Add the cooked, drained red kidney beans, then mash slightly.
Add the cooked, drained black lentils.
Stir in the cream, water and bay leaves, then cook until the mixture just comes to a boil; reduce the heat to low and cook gently for a few minutes to help develop the flavor.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serve hot over cooked rice.
Garnish with cilantro.

*Or half of a 15-ounce can of red kidney beans (rajma), rinsed and drained
**Black lentils (black urad whole dhal) can be hard to find, though they are easily obtainable on the internet. In lieu of cooking dry lentils, substitute a 15-ounce can of black lentils, rinsed and drained. (I actually make this often enough that I ordered a CASE of 12 cans of black lentils at a reasonable price from Amazon. However, I also have the dried black lentils to use when I have enough time to cook them "from scratch".)
***Or, substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, adding along with the other ground spices after the onions are sauteed.
****I omit the chilies, due to my husband's aversion to spicy foods; however, if you like "hot", add chilies, to taste.
*****Dry mango powder (amchoor chana) is added for a bit of tartness; since I do not have this as a staple in my kitchen, I substitute lemon or lime juice.
******I substitute cashew cream (made by blending 1/4 cup soaked raw cashews with enough water to obtain desired "richness" - I use about 1 cup - until smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender, you may want to strain the "cream" through cheesecloth.)

Source: Loosely adapted by LuAnn from (Photo from the blog Kitchen Gypsies, chosen because it looks the most like my finished dish).


Delicious Black Bean Burritos
Albondigas Soup *PIC*
Asian Brown Sugar Salmon :rectnt
Asian Chicken Rolls With Tangy Plum Sauce
Baba Ghanovj :rectnt
Beef Stir-Fry :rectnt
Beef with Broccoli :rectnt
Cashew Chicken :rectnt
Chicken Cacciatore :rectnt
Chicken Marsala :rectnt
Chicken Scampi :rectnt
Chicken Scampi :rectnt
Chile Relleños - Mini-Casseroles :rectnt
Chili Beef Quesadillas :rectnt *PIC*
Chinese - Beef Stir-Fry :rectnt
Chinese - Beef with Broccoli :rectnt
Chinese - Green Pepper Steak :rectnt
Chinese - Pork Lo Mein :rectnt
Chinese Chicken Balls With Sweet and Sour Sauce
Chinese Ginger and Peach Chicken
Chinese Hot & Sour Soup :rectnt
Chinese Salad Dressing :rectnt
Chinese Steamed Buns *PIC*
Crab Enchiladas :rectnt
Enchilada Stacks
Filipino Pork and Shrimp Pancit :rectnt
Fried Potato Curry with Fennel :rectnt
Fried Rice :rectnt
Gingered Pork and Asparagus :rectnt
Greek Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves) :rectnt
Hot and Spicy Stir-fry Beef :rectnt
HOW TO: Cook Potstickers :vid
Irish - Pot O'Gold Potato Soup
Italian - Spinach and Eggplant Lasagna
Japanese Happy-Happy Sauce
Japanese Steak and Shrimp Sauce
Japanese Sweet Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce :rectnt
Kung Pao Chicken :rectnt
Larry's Cheese Enchiladas :rectnt
Lentil and Rice Pottage (aka Esau's Pottage or Mujadarrah) :rectnt
LuAnn's Dal Makhani (Rich Lentil Sauce/Curry) :rectnt *PIC*
Mamá's Chicken Cacciatore :rectnt
Mexican 'Micro-Ondas' Casserole
Mexican - Cheesy Beef Casserole
Mexican - Chicken Tortilla Soup
Mexican - David's Casserole :rectnt *PIC*
Mexican - Quick n' E-Z Horchata
Mexican - Slow Cooker Chicken w/Black Beans :rectnt
Mexican - Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas :rectnt
Mexican - Velveeta Pepper Jack Enchiladas :rectnt *PIC*
Mexican Beef and Bean Tortilla Bake :rectnt
Mexican Green Corn Tamale Casserole :rectnt
Mexican Pajas
Mexican Tamales :rectnt :recrev
Mongolian - Mongolian Beef :rectnt
Moo Shu Pork With Mandarin Pancakes :rectnt *LINK* *PIC*
Moroccan Spicy Chickpea Soup :rectnt
Olive Garden Pollo Limone :rectnt
Orange Chocolate Baklava
Pad Thai Noodles :rectnt
Palmiers - Balearic Style :rectnt
Roast Pork Lo Mein :rectnt
Sesame Balls (Jean Doi)
Skinnytaste's Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas :rectnt
Spinach Cream Enchiladas :rectnt
Stir Fry Cashew Chicken :rectnt
Stir-Fried Beef and Noodles :rectnt
Sweet and Sour Pork
Tex-Mex Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas :rectnt *PIC*
Timothy’s Enchiladas :rectnt *PIC*
Tom Yum Goong (Thai hot and sour shrimp soup)
Vietnamese Pho
Wonton Wrappers :rectnt