Main Course

Dal Makhani

If you are on a diet or watching your butter intake, this is not the recipe for you. Makhani literally means buttery. If that scares you off, it should because I am not going to lie. There is a ton of butter and cream in this but that’s what makes it delicious. It’s the kind of dal that you find in restaurants or make on special occasions.

This is my husband’s recipe. My husband is actually a great cook and loves to make dal. Dal was a staple growing up in his family. It was the opposite in my family growing up. My dad loved his non-vegetarian food so my mom cooked it almost everyday. It is why I barely make dal at home. It is also why my husband volunteered to make it for me for my blog. His recipe is delicious. 

Couple notes about this recipe. First note, this recipe is pressure cooked in the instant pot and then switched over to the slow cook option. If you do not have instant pot, a regular pressure cooker will work but then you will have to switch over to low heat on the stove (go out and get the instant pot!). The second note, contrary to most recipes for dal makhani, you cannot slow cook it without boiling the beans. I repeat, do not slow cook without boiling. Why? Because red kidney beans are toxic and can cause severe nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting if they are undercooked. Slow cooking does not guarantee them being fully cooked. Under cooked beans can actually increase the toxicity.  You can find out more information here.

Now on to the recipe. Here is how I (oops, he) made it.

The kidney beans and whole urad dal were soaked in water overnight in a bowl. We suggest doing that even though you will pressure cook them and slow cook.

Add the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Then add water.


Give it a stir and then add red chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin seeds and tomato paste.

Give it a stir and then put the lid on your pressure cooker. If using the instant pot, set it on high pressure for 60 minutes with natural release. In a stovetop pressure cooker, cook it for 60 minutes after the first “whistle”.

Once the pressure has released from the pressure cooker, open the lid and press cancel on the instant pot. Add butter and heavy cream.


Press Slow Cook on the instant pot and set it for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once it is complete, add salt. We like to add salt at the end because sometimes the butter can contain lots of salt, depending on what brand you have.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with garlic naan.

Dal Makhani

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 3 hrs


  • 1/4 cup dry red kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup whole urad dal
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 small onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 heaping tsp tomato paste
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish



Take a bowl and add kidney beans and whole urad dal. Wash it a couple of times with cold water.


Add water to bowl. Water should be about 2 inches over dal/beans. Soak overnight or 8 hours.


Drain water from beans and add to instant pot.


Add tomatoes, onions, garlic and water to the instant pot. Give it a stir.


Now add all spices including tomato paste. Give it a stir.


Close lid on instant pot or stovetop pressure cooker.


Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, vent closed with a natural release. If using stovetop pressure cooker, cook for 60 minutes after 1 "whistle".


Once the pressure has released, open the lid.


Add butter and heavy cream.


With the lid off, set the instant pot to slow cook. Set it for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If using stovetop pressure cooker, put heat to low and cook with lid off for 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Stir every 30 minutes so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.


Once done, add salt to taste.


Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice and/or naan




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