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Dal Makhani (WF, GF, DF)

One of our favourite Indian curries.  It is tomato-based so not as rich as a creamy curry but still has a lovely flavour due to the particular choice of spices.  Make it as mild or hot as you like by varying the amount of chilli.


  • 200g urad dal (black lentils)
  • 30g red kidney beans
  • 5g salt (this can be reduced to suit your taste)
  • 10g cumin seeds
  • 10g coriander powder
  • 10g garam masala
  • 2.5g red chilli powder
  • 5g red paprika powder
  • 2g black pepper powder
  • 30g fresh ginger, chopped
  • 20g garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (with skin)
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 100ml cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)


  1. Wash the urad dal and kidney beans in cold water. Soak in a saucepan in enough water for 6 hours (overnight), drain then cover dal with fresh water.
  2. Add salt, chopped garlic and green chillies to dal, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour or until cooked.
  3. Uncover, and begin final phase of cooking by mashing the dal against the sides with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add half of the butter in the dal (if desired), then cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a saucepan or wok, add cumin seeds, chopped onion and ginger, fry gently until it turns brown. Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste (optional), red paprika, red chilli powder, black pepper and coriander powder. Add this mixture to dal and stir well.
  6. Add garam masala and fresh coriander leaves. Move to a serving dish, if desired garnish with the remaining butter and fresh cream and serve with rice and Indian breads.

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