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Indian Lentil Dish with aloo gobi and homemade naan.

Indian Lentil Dish - Dal Makhani Recipe

This recipe is for a simple, delicious Indian lentil dish called Dal Makhani. It's creamy, buttery, subtly spiced and absolutely gorgeous.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people (more if a side dish)


  • 1/2 cup Moong Dal yellow lentils - red would also work very well
  • 1/2 Can Chickpeas (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Onion
  • Fresh Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Ghee oil would be an acceptable alternative
  • Salt



  • FIrstly, if you're using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight.

Make your paste

  • Peel your garlic and ginger, then blend them together.

Ready your spices

  • Set aside 1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
  • Combine and set aside 1/2 tsp onion seeds and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
  • Combine and set aside 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp coriander powder.

Cook the dal

  • Finely dice your onion and add it to a pan with some ghee on low heat for 6-8 minutes. You want them caramelised and translucent. Season with a little salt.
  • Make a gap amongst the onion and make sure there's enough fat in the pan. Into that gap, add the mustard seeds first, then, 30 seconds or so later, the onion seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Allow a minute or so to cook through and then stir everything together. Add the turmeric and coriander.
  • Allow another minute to cook, then make another gap in the contents of the pan and add the ginger and garlic paste. Stir everything together.
  • After a final minute of cooking, add the lentils and (optionally) chickpeas. Stir everything together and submerge in hot water.
  • Once the sauce is simmering, allow it to cook for at least 30 minutes, but ideally several hours, allowing the lentils to break down and thicken the sauce, giving a creamy consistency. Keep an eye on the mix and top up the water if necessary.
  • Season with salt to taste, then add a good wedge of butter and stir in. You can optionally add a tablespoon or so of yogurt at this stage as well.

Plate up

  • Plate up and stir a dessertspoonful of yogurt across the top as a garnish.
  • Cut a small piece of butter and place in the middle, allowing it to melt out into the dal
Keyword Chana Dal, Chickpeas, Dal Makhani, Indian lentil Dish, Lentils, Moong Dal