Peshwari (Punjabi) Dal Makhani


  • Medium – Pot (at least 4 qts/liter)
  • Large Sauté Pan (6 qts/liter) or Stock pot
  • Microplane
  • Sieve
  • Immersion Blender (speeds things up considerably)
  • A Sharp Knife 🙂



  • 5-6 Cups (1-1.5L) water
  • 1 Cup whole urad dal or black gram lentil
  • 1/3 Cup kidney beans (Rajma)
  • 1 Tbs ginger paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder


  • Red chili powder (according to taste)
  •  1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbs coriander powder
  • 2 Thai chili (seeded, if you would rather not pay for this later)
  • 3-4 Tbs. ghee or clarified butter or neutral oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (28oz) can tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs garlic paste
  • 1 Tbs ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs chopped coriander leaves (aka: cilantro)
  • Salt to taste (start with 2 tsp)


Day Before Cooking

  1. Wash and soak black urad (beans) and rajma (red kidney beans) overnight in an adequate amount of lukewarm water.
  2. In a food processor, blend the tomatoes, coriander powder, ginger and garlic pastes and Thai chili. Put in the fridge for later.

Day Of Cooking

  1. Cook the soaked dal and rajma in 5-6 cups of (fresh) water with salt, red chili powder, turmeric, and grated ginger until soft (~1hr)
  2. Remove the cooked beans to a seperate bowl.
    1. Reserve the water.
  3. In a large pan or wide pot, Heat oil or butter on med/high heat
  4. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick and  cloves, and chopped onions and cook until onions are light golden brown in color.
  5. Add tomato mix and sauté until the tomato mix starts to seperate (~10min).
  6. Add cooked dal and it’s water as needed (about a thick gravy consistency).
  7. Mix and mash well, reduce heat to med/low, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    • Immersion blender will cut time
  8. Stir in cream, masala and 1T of clarified butter and let it simmer on low for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat


  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with naan, paratha or basmati rice.

Goes great with naan chips and chunk of melted goat, or cream cheese in the middle: Indian Nachos Are GO.

– Love Jimi


  1. Black dal generally requires more salt so anticipate using more than usual (to taste, of course).
  2. Freezes very well, just heat and serve.
  3. Seriously, consider the Indian Nachos idea. It will blow your mind, chopped cilantro, red onions, and maybe a few thai chilis, if you’re feeling sassy.
  4. Dal is too small to work with mashers, either use backside of cooking spoon or just buy that damned immersion blender already.
  5. Ghee: most major grocers carry this now. It’s worth buying for the time savings, and it has the shelf life of uranium.


This is a very popular dish in Northern India.
I’ve seen it referred to as Peshwari (Pakistan) and Punjabi (Indian), both would have been in the very northern part of what was originally India (which Brittan divided when they left India; worth reading up on). I’m sure they probably argue about it whose is better, too.

Regardless, this dish is just an amazing creamy pile of comfort that you want to fill a tub with. Reminds me of Refried Beans.

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