Dal Makhani

This so much more than just a lentil curry. It hails from the Punjab and was originally a royal dish. Nowadays it is popular all over India and it is easy to see why; for me it is classic comfort food. Don’t skimp on the cream as it absolutely defines the dish, making it rich and luxurious.


  • 35 min
  • Serves 4-6
  • Easy


Makhani Dal

400g brown lentils

Vegetable oil

2 onions, finely sliced

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Two thumb’s worth of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

150g butter

3 tbsp ground almonds

½ cup cream or coconut cream

1-2 tsp chilli powder, to taste

To serve

Fresh coriander

3 tbsp roast salted cashews, roughly chopped



In a large pan over a moderate heat, add several tablespoons of vegetable oil, followed by the onion. Fry gently for 5-8 minutes, until golden brown, then add the cumin seeds, garlic and ginger and continue to fry for several minutes until everything is starting to caramelise.


Add the tomatoes, cook for several more minutes, then add the lentils and 3 cups of water and bring up to a simmer. Leave to bubble away for about 10-15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and are starting to break down, then add the butter and the ground almonds. Continue to cook for several minutes until the mixture has thickened nicely. Adjust the seasoning, add as much chilli powder as you fancy, then stir in the cream.


Scatter the coriander and the cashews over the top, serve with rice and perhaps a bit of yoghurt on the side.