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Indian Dal Nirvana (Dal Makhani)

Serve with basmati or naan flatbread.
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 4


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 6 ounces canned crushed tomato (or tomato puree, but not tomato paste)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  • In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils open and are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot.
  • Stir the lentils around in the pot mashing some of them against the pot to break open. Add the crushed tomato, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, water, butter, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 1 hour until the dal is thick. Make sure to check the pot periodically to make sure the water does not cook out.
  • Stir in cream, garnish with minced cilantro.
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