What is the Dhaba Style Dal Makhani Recipe?

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Are you a fan of rich and flavorful Indian cuisine? Look no further! In this article, we will delve into the world of Dhaba style Dal MakhanThis classic dish has gained immense popularity for its delectable taste and creamy texture. If you’ve ever wondered what sets Dhaba style Dal Makhani apart from the regular version, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore the secrets behind this mouthwatering recipe, allowing you to recreate the magic in your own kitchen.

What is Dal Makhani?

Before we dive into the specifics of Dhaba style Dal Makhani, let’s understand the essence of this beloved dish. Dal Makhani is a traditional Indian lentil curry that originated in the Punjab region. It is made using a combination of whole black lentils (urad dal) and kidney beans (rajma), which are slow-cooked to perfection. The dish is known for its harmonious blend of aromatic spices, rich butter, and cream, resulting in a velvety smooth texture that tantalizes the taste buds.

What Makes Dhaba Style Dal Makhani Special?

Dhaba style Dal Makhani holds a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts. When you visit a Dhaba, a roadside eatery in India, you encounter a unique culinary experience. The charm lies not only in the rustic environment but also in the distinct flavors of their dishes. Dhaba style Dal Makhani is no exception. It stands out due to the traditional cooking techniques employed by Dhaba chefs and the specific ingredients they use to elevate the flavors.

Unlike the regular Dal Makhani, Dhaba style Dal Makhani is prepared on a slow flame for hours, allowing the lentils and beans to simmer and absorb the spices. This slow cooking process results in a deeper and more robust flavor profile. Additionally, Dhaba chefs infuse their expertise and passion into the dish, adding a touch of authenticity and love that makes all the difference.

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How to Prepare Dhaba Style Dal Makhani at Home

Now that we understand the essence of Dhaba style Dal Makhani, let’s embark on the journey of recreating this culinary masterpiece in our own kitchens. Follow these simple steps to achieve the authentic taste and texture that will transport you to a Dhaba in India:


  • 1 cup whole black lentils (urad dal)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight in separate bowls.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked lentils and beans with enough water to cover them. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 whistles or until they become soft and tender.
  3. In a separate pan, heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the finely chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute until the raw aroma disappears.
  5. Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.
  6. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Transfer the cooked lentils and beans into the pan with the tomato-spice mixture. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
  8. Add salt to taste and simmer the mixture on low heat for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  9. Stir in the fresh cream and cook for another 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with naan or rice.
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Follow these instructions, and you’ll have a steaming bowl of Dhaba style Dal Makhani ready to be savored!

FAQ about Dhaba Style Dal Makhani

Q: Can I make Dhaba style Dal Makhani vegan-friendly?

A: Absolutely! You can replace ghee with vegetable oil and use coconut cream instead of dairy cream. This modification will result in a delicious vegan version of Dhaba style Dal Makhan

Q: Can I adjust the spice levels of Dhaba style Dal Makhani?

A: Of course! Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of red chili powder according to your spice preference. You can also add a pinch of black pepper powder for an extra kick.

Q: Can I substitute the whole black lentils and kidney beans with other lentils?

A: While the traditional recipe calls for whole black lentils and kidney beans, you can experiment with other lentils such as yellow moong dal or red lentils (masoor dal). However, keep in mind that this may alter the taste and texture of the dish.

Q: How long does it take to cook Dhaba style Dal Makhani?

A: The cooking time varies depending on the desired consistency and texture. However, on average, it takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, including the soaking time for lentils and beans.


In conclusion, Dhaba style Dal Makhani is a culinary delight that captures the essence of traditional Indian flavors. The slow cooking process, aromatic spices, and the expertise of Dhaba chefs contribute to its unique taste and texture. By following our simple recipe, you can recreate the magic of Dhaba style Dal Makhani in the comfort of your own home. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your culinary skills, and indulge in this creamy and flavorful dish that will transport you to the vibrant streets of India.

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