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Kaali Daal (black lentils) - Daal Makkhani

User Rating 3 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Another popular North Indian dish, Kaali Daal is also known as Ma Ki Daal (mom's lentils) since it is wholesome and delicious! Another popular name for it is Daal Makkhani. Serve Kaali Daal/ Daal Makkhani with a vegetable side dish and Naans (tandoor baked flatbread) or Butter Chicken and Naans.


  • 1 cup split urad daal (black lentils)
  • 2 large onions sliced thin
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinchof asafetida
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped into cubes
  • 2" piece of ginger jullienned
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup thickened/ double/ heavy cream, whisked
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 tbsps ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  • Soak the Urad Daal (black lentils) in a bowl of water, overnight if possible.
  • Boil the soaked lentils with 3 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, green chillies, asafetida and salt to taste till they are very tender.
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the other onion till soft. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin and red chilli powders and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the boiled lentils and enough water to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Turn off the fire.
  • In another small pan, heat the ghee and when hot add the cumin seeds and cook till they stop spluttering.
  • Pour this into the lentils (it will all sizzle) and mix well.
  • Serve hot with a vegetable side dish and Naans (tandoor-baked leavened Indian flatbread) or Butter Chicken and Naans.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Maa ki dal from Punjab, Member manjarichowdhury

Punjabi Maa ki dal has 2 tablespoon of 'rajma (red kidney) added with every 1 cup of whole urad daal and cooking it purely in ghee and not oil gives the best results. Also Pureed tomato made fresh at home give the best taste. useful hint In case one does want healthy option one can use oil and leave out the ghee and use milk reduced and kept in the refrigerator the previous day instead of the cream. Soaking the rajma and urad dal for over 24 hours makes cooking easy.

14 out of 15 people found this helpful.

See all 6 reviews

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