Daal Makhani
Lintels or Dals, Punjabi cuisine


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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dal Makhani || Black Urad Dal || Crockpot Cooking

Dal Makhani is a traditional punjabi dish. This dal has whole black lentils cooked with butter and cream and simmered on low heat for that unique flavor. It tastes best with Tandoori Roti and Special Sooji Naan. Crockpot brings a special creamy texture in the dal.

This Sunday I got a message from a very dear friend that they wanted to visit us and I had plans of watching a movie with my husband which would end just 15 minutes before they were supposed to arrive. I did not want to miss the movie, so I decided to make the Dal Makhani in a crockpot and slow cook it for the duration of the movie. This way the dal makhani would be freshly made when my guests come and I wouldn’t have to miss the movie. it was the perfect plan!

So my slow cooker came to my rescue..haha!!! And I decided to make dal makhani and rice for dinner. Though I was trying to cook dal makhani for the first time in my crockpot, I remember once a chef from a famous hotel told me that this daal tastes best when cooked on slow fire for 4-5 hours, so I thought I’d give it a try.

My hubby really liked my idea as we were planning to watch a movie. My mom also tells me that when she was young  Dal makhani would be cooked really slowly overnight on the dying embers of the fire.

This method is what gives this lentil dish its soft creamy texture (and not by adding bucket loads of cream!). So my slow cooking test started …and believe me I never had such a creamy and tasty dal before, My friends were totally impressed with my slow cooking.

By simmering lentils on wood/coal fire for prolonged hours yields a creamy, thick and best tasting buttery dal. I added very little cream as compared to hotels, but still got the creamy texture everyone loves.


Recipe by Minal SharmaCourse: lintels or dals, Punjabi cuisine


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Lentils:

  • 100g dry udad  daal (whole black lentils)

  • 25g dry rajma (kidney beans)

  • Masala :

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped

  • 3cm piece ginger, crushed

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 3 fresh tomatoes, puréed

  • 2 green chillies, slit in ½

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

  • 1 tsp of garam masala

  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaf (kasoori methi)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1-2 tbsp butter

  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  • Clean, wash and soak the black lentils and kidney beans separately, overnight.
  • Drain and keep aside. Combine the two dhals and add 4-5 cups of water with a little salt and put into a slow cooker pot and cook on high for about 3-4 hr. and on low for about 4-5 hr. until they are cooked and soft. 
  • In a pan 
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crackle, add chopped onions and garlic.
  • Fry the onion until golden brown over a medium flame.Stir in the tomato purée, add the turmeric, chilli powder, ginger, green chillies and crushed coriander.
  • Cook for a few minutes so the onions and tomatoes melt together.
  • Add the cooked dhal and 1 cup of water and season with a little salt to taste.
  • Leave to simmer for 15 minutes until it is lovely and thick. (Take care as it may catch on the bottom of the pan.)
  • Stir in the butter, garam masala and fenugreek to make the dhal rich and delicious.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and serve.
  • Served with
  • Serve with plain basmati rice, tandoori roti and a good dollop of butter.


  • * you can use same recipe for fire cooking also.
  • * for fire cooking first soak and then  pressure cook daal for around 30-40 min or till done.
  • * After tempering cook daal on low heat for about 1 hr. or till it turn creamy .
  • * add 2 Tbsp cream at the end stir and serve hot .  

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