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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dahl Makhani- Creamy Indian Lentils

This creamy Indian lentil dish is absolutely irresistible. In fact, in my opinion, this is the best variety of dahl EVER! It’s creamy, slightly spicy, and full of flavor, and the ingredients are simple and accessible.

Just one small problem… the restaurant version can be extremely rich, creamy and buttery. I guess it’s not really a problem, but you definitely couldn’t eat it everyday… and dahl is actually supposed to be an Indian staple food. Well, let me tell you, if I ate this dahl everyday, I would be happy, but probably not so healthy.

So, in my version, I lightened it up so you actually can eat it everyday and not feel guilty at all. All of the great flavors are retained while keeping this lentil dish easy on the waistline.

Dahl Makhani
Makes about 6 cups

1 cup Black Lentils-Dry (about 4 cups cooked)
1 tsp Canola Oil
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Ginger, minced
2 Large Onions, small diced
2 Large Tomatoes, small diced
2 tbsp Chili powder (moderately spicy…adjust as desired)
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 can Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Full Cream Milk
2 tbsp Butter
6 Cloves Garlic, cut into quarters

Soak the lentils overnight, then cover with water and simmer for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and onions and cook until the onions are translucent. Stir in the tomatoes, chili, and tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the kidney beans, the cooked lentils, and the chicken stock. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Season with salt to taste.

In a separate pan, melt the butter with the garlic cloves. Cook the butter and garlic on a low heat until the butter just starts to brown. Then pour the garlic and butter into the lentil mixture and stir to combine.

Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. This lentil dish is great served with rice, flat bread or just eaten by itself! Enjoy!


  1. I jest learned how to make this the other day I love Indian food.

  2. This makes a really nice curry but it lacks the richness of a classic dahl makhani I think...