Dal Makhani


This is the pic from the recipe that inspired me from An Edible Mosaic. The Guru’s Dal Makhani looks just like this. Mine did, too, when it was done, but my picture quality wasn’t the greatest!

Just like with my Mexican food posts, I have just one more Indian food dish that I want to share with you…for now.  🙂  I love these types of dishes during the colder months because they are comforting, hearty and warming.  It’s a bonus that this is a one pot meal that everyone will enjoy! (We’ll be moving on to more spring-tastic recipes next week…yay!)

I think my most favourite Indian food dish is Dal Makhani.  My most favourite Indian restaurant in the city is The Guru.  They make the best Dal Makhani.  I’ve been searching a long time for a great recipe for this dish.  Like always, I was looking for one that was practical by way of the ingredients used.

I finally found a great recipe online from An Edible Mosaic.  Check it out here: Dal Mkahani (Indian Butter Lentils).  I used this as something to go on.  As always, I tweaked it.  I used dried lentils but forgot to soak them!  I didn’t use dried kidney beans. My version is dairy free. And I didn’t have a couple of the spices that were called for in the recipe.  Ok… with that confessional in the clear… mine version turned out really well!!  See recipe below.

This recipe had the flavour and the rich texture as my Guru fav.  And… I was delighted to see the hubby and kiddies gobble it up.  That’s always a good sign! 😉

Dal Makhani

1 cup dried brown lentils

1/2 cup kidney beans from the can, rinsed and drained

8 cups vegetable stock

3 tbsp coconut butter

2 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane

1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 whole cloves

1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional – i left this out of mine knowing I was going to serve it to my kids…but if it was just me, I would have added this)

1.5 tbsp garam masala

3/4 tsp of each: cumin, chilli powder, paprika

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cup diced tomato, or can use 1 4oz (400mg) can of diced tomato

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 cup coconut milk


Add the dried lentils to a large pot with the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot then turn the heat down. Simmer 1 hour.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and sautee the onions until golden brown.  Then add the garlic and ginger and cook together for about a minute.

Add all the dried spices to the onion and cook over heat for about 30 seconds to release the flavours.

Once the lentils have cooked for about an hour, add the onion mixture, kidney beans, diced tomato and tomato paste.  Stir everything together to ensure well combined.

Simmer gently (without a lid) for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking/burning on the bottom of the pot.  Add water to mixture if you find it’s thickening.  The mixture should be a little soupy.

Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk.  Stir in well.

Serve over rice, quinoa, millet or with Naan bread.  This dish is even great on its own with out the grains!


Here’s my pic the day I made it… the picture really doesn’t do it justice. I couldn’t believe how much it resembled the Guru’s Dal. Thanks to An Edible Mosaic for the inspiration!



  1. Danielle Smith · March 25, 2014

    Thanks for sharing Laura….can’t wait to try….looks DELICIOUS!!! What kind of Naan bread did you use and is there a difference between coconut oil and coconut butter? I’ve purchased something labeled coconut oil but in a solid state it can spread like butter, if melted then of course it’s oil….is this what you used or is there something out there even more like butter?

    • Dr. Laura Imola, BSc, ND (Licensed) · March 26, 2014

      Hi Danielle, It IS delicious! 🙂 Coconut oil = coconut butter. Yes, the oil is solid at room temp. This makes it resemble butter, which is how it sometimes is referred to. I picked up a Naan bread from the grocery store that was made from whole wheat flour. For adventurous types, there are recipes for gluten free Naan: http://www.glutenfreegigi.com/gluten-free-naan-bread/

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