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Bowl of black lentils with a pad of butter
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Buttery Black Lentil Curry (Dal Makhani)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dal, lentils
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black lentils whole urad dal
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger finely grated
  • 1 tsp chopped green chili or more
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream if you want a richer version. I usually just use almond milk because it’s in my fridge
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 3 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Rinse the black lentils with cold water a couple times. Combine lentils, 4 cups water and 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Cook on high heat until the pressure builds, turn heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Don’t manually release the pressure. Wait at least 30 minutes to open the pressure cooker.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the cumin seeds. Cook about 10 seconds. Add onions and green chili. Stir. Let the onions cook until translucent.
  • Add the ginger. Stir. Let cook for about 20 seconds.
  • Add the cooked black lentils, milk, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and 2 cups water.
  • Let cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring often until the liquid thickens.
  • Turn off heat. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • Serve warm with rice or flat bread.

Notes

Kidney beans are commonly added to dal makahni so add about 1 cup of cooked kidney beans if you like. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook the lentils in a large pot. Just bring lentils and water (you will probably need a couple extra cups of water) to a boil, cover, turn heat to medium-low and cook. It will probably take about 45 minutes. If there is a bunch of extra liquid left in the lentils, it’s totally fine. Just add less water later.