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This is a spicy vegan friendly dal recipe and very addictive with naan.

Chefs Tip:
1.  Wash the legumes really well.
2.  Use Kashmiri Chili.  Makes a world of difference.
3.  Still often during that last part of the cook.  The lentils sink and will burn.
4.  During your tasting if you feel it’s tasting too much like cinnamon, just take it out. 
5.  Take your time and enjoy the process.  

Dal Makhani
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Dal Makhani

Vegan Friendly Lentil Dish
Prep Time8 hours
Cook Time3 hours
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: legume, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 3 People



  • 1 Cup Panchmel Dal (Mixed Lentils)
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Kidney Beans Optional
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda Optional
  • 1/2 Lemon Juice Optional
  • 1 Whole Black Cardamom


  • 1.5 tbsp Avocado Oil Optional: Coconut or other neutral oil
  • 1 1.5" Cinnamon Stick Don't over do it
  • 4 Cardamon Pods Seeds Only
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing) Very Optional: I call it Ass-A-Foetida cause it sure smells like it.


  • 1 Medium Red Onion Finely Diced
  • 1 Inch Ginger Grated or Minced
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg Optional
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chili
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 10 oz Crushed Tomatoes

Tadka (Optional Topping)

  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Ghee or Vegan Butter
  • 1 inch Ginger Cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) Crushed
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1.5 tsp Kashmiri Chili


  • 1 Cup Full fat coconut milk
  • Cilantro Chopped for Garnish
  • Lemon Juice Optional
  • 1 Serrano pepper Cut in half with seeds


Preparing Legumes (Overnight 8 hours +)

  • Rinse several times under water several times till clear water.
  • In a bowl cover with water plus a couple of inches more. Add baking soda, lemon juice and soak overnight.

Cooking Legumes (90 min +)

  • In a saucepan cover legumes, turmeric, serrano pepper cut in half lengthwise and black cardamom with 2 inches of water above the beans and add sea salt. Bring to a boil skimming off foam as it boils for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a light simmer for 90 minutes. NOTE: Stir occasionally, you don't want the beans to burn to the bottom. Also, keep adding water to make sure the beans are always underwater. You will need to do this several times.

Prep your Spices and Aromatics while your cooking your Legumes

  • Drain water from the lentils into an extra bowl, keep this don't dump it down the sink like a newbie. You will need this later as a thickening agent.
  • Discard the black cardamom.
  • Mash all the legumes with fork or hand masher.

Cook your spices and aromatics

  • In a heavy pot add Ghee and heat to medium-high. Once the oil is heated add Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Stir till mixed for a minute or two and has a nice sizzle.
  • Add your onions with a pinch of sea salt. Stirring occasionally till onions are brown, 5 + minutes. Add in a few splashes of water towards the end scrapping fond and to prevent onions from burning.
  • Add garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently. Add tomato paste, nutmeg, coriander, red chile powder, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently for 60 to 90 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices, and cook until broken down and softened.
  • Add the mashed legumes and mix well.

Simmer & Wait (1 hour +) Stir often!

  • Bring to a mild boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Stir often like every 10-15 minutes for at least 60 minutes or more making it creamer. During simmering add the reserved water, as needed.
  • Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.


  • Add coconut milk and stir in and cook 10 min more.
  • Add lemon juice if you want some acid.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.


  • Heat the Ghee or vegan butter on medium in a frying pan. Once melted, add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Crush Fenugreek Leaves with your hands into the dal, and add the garam masala and red chile powder. Cook for another 30 seconds, swirling the pan frequently. Pour the tadka over the dal and serve.
  • Add Cilantro as garnish


Leftovers can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. Before serving, defrost at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.