Restaurant style Dal Makhani, NO CREAM

I am serious – this really tastes like the dal makhani you get in restaurants and its lip-smacking even without the cream! I have perfected this recipe and sharing this special mix of ingredients with you. If you and your family enjoy this dish, don’t forget to leave a comment below. 🙂

dal makhani


A simple dish with a few spices, lots of ginger and tomato, and even without the cream, will take you straight to Punjab (or Punjabi restaurant 😛 whatever, you prefer). Complement it with home-made parathas, or rotis and a bowl of fresh, chopped salad or raita and you have a well-balanced meal.

Mungo beans or Black gram or Urad bean, like most beans are an IMPORTANT SOURCE of:

  • PROTEINS (especially for vegetarians)
  • FIBER (insoluble & soluble)  & have LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX 
  • IRON (especially for vegetarians)
  • ZINC

It is among the few beans that contain OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS. 


So, let’s check out the recipe…

dal makhani 2

Kasuri methi is the reason why restaurant food has a unique aroma. It is nothing but dried fenugreek leaves but imparts AMAZING flavor. I usually add it to some dals, chicken or vegetable gravies or biryanis, and my favorite missi roti. Any other ideas?


Did you know that it is best to soak and cook your beans rather than use canned beans? That way you don’t have to worry about salt, sugar or other preservative content of canned beans. How do you cook your beans?

Beans can be cooked within 20 minutes…read the steps in the GOOD TO KNOW section. There you will also learn why you shouldn’t add salt or soda to your beans, or why you shouldn’t discard water used for soaking or cooking of beans. Share your thoughts as well!


dal makhani (8) b


Per serving:
140 Calories | 7 g protein | 5 g Total Fat | 5 g Fiber | 2 g sugar
Restaurant style Dal Makhani
Serves 6
A lipsmacking and super nutritious whole urad dish that has good amount of protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. This dish is low in sugar and fat.
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 3/4 cup whole black gram (whole urad), soak for ~10 hours
  2. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  3. 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  4. 1.5 " ginger, chopped & mashed (or make fresh paste)
  5. 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  8. 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  9. 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  10. 1/2 tsp kasuri methi
  11. 1/2 tsp garam masala
  12. 1 tsp sugar
  13. 2 tbsp oil/ ghee
  14. salt to taste
  15. ghee or chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Rinse the whole black gram (urad bean). Soak with 1.5 cups water overnight or for 10-12 hours.
  2. Pressure cook it for 10 minutes on low heat after the first whistle in case of Indian pressure cooker or after the pressure regulator begins to rock in case of US pressure cooker. Turn off the heat and then let the pressure get released. It will take about 5 minutes or so.
  3. In the mean time, prepare the gravy. Chop the onion and garlic.
  4. Heat oil/ghee in a steel pot. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf after the ghee melts.
  5. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle a bit and then add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat till it becomes light brown.
  6. While the onion is cooking, puree the tomatoes, chop & mash the ginger or make fresh ginger paste.
  7. When the onion has turned light brown, add the tomato puree and saute till it darkens and thickens. Then add the dry ingredients and saute for a minute.
  8. While you wait till the pressure cooker cools down, prepare a fresh salad or raita with yogurt and vegetables. Make sure you include some vegetables with vitamin C to help absorption of iron from urad. Learn more about vitamin C rich foods in the GOOD TO KNOW section.
  9. If the pressure cooker has cooled off, transfer the black gram to the steel pot and mix well. Add 1 cup water, salt and mashed ginger and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
  10. All the flavors get infused into the dal and it becomes very aromatic.
  11. Serve with home-made / whole wheat parathas/ rotis and salad/raita.
  1. Sugar in this dish balances the tang of the tomatoes. Total amount of sugar per serving is very low.
  2. Since this dish has high fiber & other nutrients that white rice lacks, it seems like a good complement for the days you want to eat rice. Counteract the high glycemic load of rice by serving this dal with your favorite jeera rice!
  3. You can add some rajma (kidney beans) to the dish too, but I wanted to keep it simple.

9 thoughts on “Restaurant style Dal Makhani, NO CREAM

  1. Luke good!! I haven’t tried whole urad yet aga mandar la nahi avadat 🙂 i always make dal with Tur. Can i make this with Tur ? I will try .whats say?

    1. You can use this recipe for any other dals too, but whole urad is especially nutritious. Give it a try with whole urad and see if he likes it with this recipe 🙂 Serve with jeera rice or parathas or veg pulao…and he won’t complain! 😛

  2. Instead of Sugar, I won’t mind putting Honey.. .:-) and yes with Rajma, it becomes mah ki daal.. .recently cooked at home.. .similar receipe minum kasuri methi.. .:-(.. .but i let it cook on slow simmer for 2hrs.. .to get that creamy rich texture. ..

    1. Hi Girish, nice ideas! I need to keep my recipes quick in line with the goal of my blog & encourage people to cook at home when they have less time. Also, nutritionally, we need to keep cooking time short to prevent loss of nutrients from overcooking or long cooking times! 🙂

  3. Girish – just one more thing (pardon me- the nerdy nutritionist in me speaks) – sugar has earned a bad rep because of over-consumption in beverages like coke/ pepsi (other sodas) and desserts. Most foods have earned bad rep through over-consumption! 1 tsp of sugar in this dish contributes less than a gram per serving since the recipe is for 6 serves, which is quite minuscule. If someone likes this dish and makes it often, the myriad benefits of this dish can improve someone’s health to quite an extent. I hope I am able to train people to look at food differently! 🙂 Do share your feedback if you try out my recipe!

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