By Sam | 3 May, 2020


Thanks in part to a renowned group of restaurants and their championing of this dish, the Dal Makhani holds something of a cult status in London. And rightfully so. In a category with such breadth of competition, this rich and sumptuous dal feels like something quite in its own league. 

Typically reserved for celebratory occasions, likely due to the copious amounts of cream and butter, not to mention the several hours of cooking time, this is a dish that is undeniably opulent and more-than-worthy of your attention. We have added the caramel-sweet notes of black garlic to this black dal which works not only in colour scheme but really boosts the creamy, comforting moreishness of the dish. 

Whilst the cooking time in this recipe is lengthy, the process is a largely hands-off one and the results will be a restaurant-quality dal you will clamour for whether as a main course, a side dish or perhaps just the occasional stolen-spoonful when no one is looking! 

  • Author: Sam



300g Urad Dal,

1 Large Onion, finely diced

10 Black Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Red Chilli, finely diced

30g Ginger, finely diced

40g Tomato Concentrate,

75g Butter,

75ml Double Cream,

1 tsp. Chilli Powder,

1 tsp. Ground Coriander,

1 tsp. Ground Cumin,

1 tsp. Fenugreek Seeds, ground

2 tsp. Garam Masala,

4 Cardamom Pods, bruised 

Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper


Groundnut Oil or Ghee


Coriander, a few leaves





  1. Using a sieve, rinse the dal under cold water until the water runs clear. About 2 minutes.
  2. Add the dal into a large saucepan and cover with 4 litres of cold water. Then, add the cardamom pods to the pan and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook the dal for 2-3 hours until the dal is completely cooked through, skimming off any impurities now and again. The Dal Grains need to be completely soft, with the black skins coming away from the white grain. Whilst the dal is cooking, you will likely need to top up with hot water.
  3. Place a large pan over a medium heat with a lug of groundnut oil or ghee. Add in the onion, ginger and chilli into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to colour. Next, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. 
  4. Add the ground spices into the pan and cook off for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

TIP – You may want to add another splash of oil or ghee to the pan to help the spices cook if the pan seems too dry. 

  1. Add the tomato concentrate into the pan and cook off for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Drain the cooked dal and add to the pan with the onions. Top up with enough fresh water to cover the dal by at least 1cm. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for a further hour until thick and creamy. Make sure to stir the dal occasionally to prevent anything catching. You may need to add more water to the pan during the cooking if the liquid levels get too low. 
  3. Put the butter and cream to the pan and stir in until the butter is melted. Cook for a further 15 minutes. You may need to add more water to the pan during the cooking if the liquid levels get too low. Serve your dal makhani immediately with roti.  


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