Dal Makhani | Restaurant Style | Recipe from the Oberoi Hotel

Makhani is the Punjabi word for “buttery”, and this sure lives up to its name of Buttery Lentils!

Dal Makhani from the Oberoi | Original Recipe | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

One thing always guaranteed to melt the heart of everyone at your table is Dal Makhani. Boy is it good! This is one of several versions of Dal Makhani in our recipe collection. Another favourite is Nilgiri Dal Makhani – I hope that you try it too.

Makhani is the Punjabi word for “buttery”, and this sure lives up to its name of Buttery Lentils! I had this in India at the Oberoi hotel in Bangalore and it was so very very good. Along with their dosa, it was one of my first great discoveries when I began travelling to India.

Asking the Chef for the recipe, he kindly typed it out for me. It caused much hilarity in the kitchens – I am not sure whether that was because I asked for the recipe or their difficulty in translating it into English and/or into servings for 6 people when they are used to cooking for 600.

Are you looking for Dal Makhani recipes? Why not try some others too. We recommend Nilgiri Dal Makhani, Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani and Ma di Dal (Kali Dal). You might be interested in reading Why Mah di Dal is not Dal Makhani.

Or perhaps you are looking for Punjabi recipes. Try Chana Masala, Quince Pickle, Potato and Eggplant Curry, and Baingan Bharta.

You might also browse all of our collection of Dal Makhani and similar recipes.  Our Punjabi recipes are here and our Indian recipes are here. Or find some inspiration in our Mid Winter recipes.

Dal Makhani Oberoi Style Recipe

Dal Makhani – Oberoi Style

This recipe has been copied reproduced many many times across the internet. This is the original one, given to me personally by the Chefs at the Oberoi in Bangalore.

150g whole urad dal (black lentils)
50g rajma (red kidney beans)
50g channa dal (Bengal gram dal)
10g ginger, peeled
2 – 3 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
salt to taste

for tadka
50g ghee
1 tspn cumin
2 – 3 garlic cloves
pinch asafoetida powder
100g pureed tomatoes
0.5 tspn or more chilli powder

to finish
100g butter
30 ml cream
0.5 tspn garam masala
0.5 tspn dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

Soak all of the lentils (urad, rajma and channa dal) in water for 6 hours, or preferably overnight. Wash four times, changing the water each time.

Chop the garlic, ginger and green chillies finely.

Boil all of the lentils with the ginger, garlic, green chillies and salt, and simmer until lentils are well cooked. Drain off excess water and mash the lentils lightly with the back of a ladle.

To make the tadka, heat the ghee or oil in a heavy pan until hot, and add the cumin seeds and stir until they crackle. Add the garlic and fry until beginning to colour. Add the asafoetida powder and tomato puree and stir for a minute allowing the puree to dry out a little. Stir in the chilli powder. Add to the cooked dal, mixing well. Bring the dal to the boil again, adding the butter and cream. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add the garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves, and adjust seasonings. YUM.

This recipe has been copied many times. See the original post here.

The Dried Fenugreek can be omitted if it is hard to get.
Dal Makhani Oberoi Style Recipe






120 thoughts on “Dal Makhani | Restaurant Style | Recipe from the Oberoi Hotel”

  1. Hi there, I would love to try this one day. I have most of these spices at home except asafoetida powder, can you tell me what is this? There is an Indian shop in Basel, maybe I can ask if they have it there. Thanks, Janet

    Hi Janet, it is a very common spice powder, so the shop is sure to have it. It is foul smelling and you only use it in very small quantities. It is often used to replace the taste of onions and garlic in dishes, especially among people who, for spiritual reasons, don’t eat onions or garlic. But it also adds a taste of its own, which is quite special, despite the smell when it is raw. It does need to be cooked, so always fry it off for a few seconds in a small amount of oil before adding to a dish. It is called hing in hindi, so if you see that in recipes, you now know what it is.

    Sia told me (see a comment below) that it also aids in digesting food, especially legumes and lentils, acting as a natural way to digest heavier food items. That is why hing is often used in dals and potato dishes

  2. Love the picture! Dal Makhani looks delicious! And loved the postman story too 🙂

    Thanks, Vani. The postman, I have to tell you, now makes special, extra deliveries to my friends business, to make sure that he gets all of his mail quickly. How remarkable it is.

  3. Well, if that isn’t the most delicious dish of legumes – ever – I don’t know what is.

    Your postman story is delightful! Another example of changing behaviour through generosity. I’m sure he enjoys his working life just that bit more, these das.

    Hey, thanks, Lucy. Glad you love the postman story, isn’t it just remarkable what a bit of love and a lot of persistence can do. Have a great week.

  4. Heartwarming story about the postman. I usually give up after the first attempt if things dont look good!
    Delicious Dal Makhani, it does look straight out of a Delhi Hotel kitchen, but 150 gms of fat! Dont know if I am brave enough to attempt this one, will urge hubby to make it!

    I know, it has a lot of butter and cream, so it is definitely NOT an every day meal. But once in a while it is luxurious. Quite easy to make, really, and you can cut down on the butter and cream if you really must.

    Isn’t it amazing what a smile together with true respect for a person can accomplish.

  5. I love dahl and would like to make it, but for some reason I am intimidated. Slowly building up the courage though, this looks so flavorful and delicious.

    Oh bordeaux, they are so easy to make. Soak, boil, throw in some spices. Serve with rice. What could be easier? And such an endless variety to make. Do try soon.

  6. I love dal makhani but must admit I’m scared of the amount of cream and butter involved. Definitely a crowd pleaser though and one we make often when entertaining.

    It is rather intense in the fat department, but it is not an every day meal. And very delicious.

  7. dal makhni always tastes good,..whtever style it s prepared,,ths one surely rocks,.

    Hey thanks, notyet100. There are so many styles, but this one has a place in my heart.

  8. I was wondering how dal could possibly be made even tastier than it already is. Butter and cream, of course!

    Of course….

  9. Dal Makhni is one of my favorites. I’ve made a few versions and now I want to try yours.

    I hope you do Lucy. Let me know how it compares to your versions.

  10. that dal makhani is to die for 🙂
    and i just read ur reply to 1st comment about asafoetida/hing. it not just hides the raw smell of onion and garlic but it aids in digesting food. especially legumes and lentils belong to ‘vaayu’ food catagory and hing acts as a natural food source to digest those heavy food items. thats why we use hing when we cook dals, potato dishes.

    Hi Sia, thank you! I love the way that we just keep learning and discovering new things through this blogging stuff. I never knew this! Thanks again. I will update my reply to the first comment, too.

  11. I just discovered your site. Thanks so much for the wonderful story of the postman. It reminds me of a similar story told by Thich Nhat Hanh, about a woman who was disliked by the others in her office, until one of her co-workers decided to anonymously place a flower on her desk every day. Within a month, she had completely changed.
    I can’t wait to try your recipe … today, I believe.

    I love your story. Attention is a great medicine, even anonymous attention. Hope the dal was magnificent.

  12. Thank you aum and sia. I learn more everyday. My digestion is not that well, I certainly need to remember this.

    Now you know what to take. Turmeric and ginger are also good for digestion.

  13. Sia said it right. Best remedy for upset stomach is diluted buttermilk with asafoetida, pinch of salt, sugar and curry leaves. A good energy booster too.

    Oh I am going to have to remember this one. How does it taste? How does it smell? Do you just put the curry leaves in the milk, or heat them in ghee first?

  14. I just love this dal. Cooked this last Friday for a dinner party – sans cream – and it was a super hit as always. I have it on as Kali dal though and my recipe uses only ginger, garlic, tomato puree and chilli powder. Must try yours soon!

    Ah, Kali Dal, Maninas of Food Matters was asking what that was. Yours sounds so very easy and yummy too.

  15. Dal Makhani is one of my favourites. But have never made it. Gorgeous looking recipe, which I can totally imagine making. I’m not that experienced with urad dal. We have a bag in the cupboard, but they’re hulled – and so are white. Do I need the un-hulled to make this?

    And I love the postman story. While we tend to be affronted by other’s rudeness, it’s usually happening because of “their” stuff. They are having a bad day, week, month, year. Your story shows what can happen when instead of taking another person’s grumpiness personally, we try to change it around. Lovely. And I bet it’s improved the postman’s day no end as well.

    Oh, Kathryn, make it. So easy really, and can be frozen before adding the butter and cream. Use the hulled version, I am sure it will be Ok. It may be lighter in colour, but will still taste amazing.

    Yep. Love and attention equals miracles.

  16. Just plain curry leaves, shredded. If you don’t like raw curry leaves, then slightly saute in very little oil, after spluttering a tsp of mustard seeds.

    We just had dal makhani for lunch, and it tastes amazing, J. Simple ingredients, fresh flavors. I halved the butter, omitted cream. Instead I whipped non-fat dry milk in 1/4 cup of curd, and added to the gravy. I have already made a double batch. Thank you for a delicious recipe.

    Yay, glad that you liked it. It does taste wonderful still without the cream, and replacing it with curd is such a wonderful idea.

    Ok, might have to give the curry leaf drink a try. I am a bit nervous about how it will taste.

  17. Dal Makhani is one of fave things to make – except I don’t make it often 🙂

    I don’t either. Although I don’t really know why. Except when I do make it, it is so wonderfully special.

  18. Great picture , capturing the essence of the dish.

    Go easy on the butter and cream and the same dish becomes Maa Ki Dal , a Dhaba favourite and the best loved dal in Punjab.

    Thank you Ramki. Thanks for explaining Maa Ki Dal too. Both are wonderful dishes.

  19. I was all set to make some [non-veg-based product-deleted by ed]-kidney bean chili when I came across your post. Now I can’t get the dal out of my mind. Since I have cream in the fridge, I just might succumb to the temptation!

    … and so much nicer to eat vegetarian. You will love it.

    I hope that you don’t mind that I deleted a word from your comment. This is a veggie blog – you probably didn’t realise if you were just browsing. I love that you came by and hope to see you again.

  20. I am sorrry I didn’t realize your blog was vegetarian. I will refrain from referring to non-veg words at your blog. Thank you for being very nice about it.

    No problem. Just like I don’t like having meat in my house, I prefer not to have it in my blog as well. But how were you to know? Hope you visit us again.

  21. Just shows how rewarding persistence & patience can be…what a heart-warming story. I loved it & love the very bookmarkable daal too. Cannot imagine getting an Oberoi recipe all the way from that far…thanks for he post. made my morning. xoxox

    I love that it is an oberoi recipe! Makes a good talking point over dinner.

  22. My daughter is a vegetrian, and loves Indian food, but I have been very slow to try and cook the cusine for her since 1) we have great resturants all around us, 2) I need to watch my fat intake ( past heart attack), and 3) my husband will not try spicy food at all. But her 18th birthday arrived this year on the same day as Thanksgiving which is a National Holiday in US . My Inlaws were all gathering for the day,a nd several of her cousins were coming from out of state. I promised her I would make her entree of her choice because I knew my Mother In law is not supportive of her dietary choices, and would not have anything on the menu for her. I knew she would not touch the traditional main course ( a dish that I will not mention here) that my mother in law was making.
    This is what she wanted. So I went on line and looked. Somehow I selected your recipe since it did not require a pressure cooker,and I am not scared off by the metric system (rare in the US) but I am glad I did. Several members of the family did try it and all seemed to enjoy it greatly. It really wasnt that hard make. I am going to keep it in the note book of recipes that I will make again (although will all that butter not that often)
    BTW Its always kinda interesting to shop at the local Indian grocery store as I am the only fair skin person with red hair there, and after my second or third trip the staff has gotten to know me as someone who is sort of trying to find my way in their cusine. They are very helpful, but I am sure I prove to be very amusing to the staff as well.

  23. I tried this daal today. Omitted the cream and the butter totally during cooking, using instead milk to thin out the daal. Finished the daal with a tbs of ghee. Absolutely awesome recipe. Thank you.

  24. I just loved to cook the Dal Makhni; and it was so easy to follow the method given by you. I do have my own recipe but i wanted to be sure that i cook it perfectly as it is after a long time that i am cooking ‘Dal -Makhni’.

    Thank you,


  25. could tell me the conversion to cups…. for the beans…etc

    Um, it is already in cups. Should be no problems for you. Its a very forgiving recipe, if you don’t have cup measures, just guess. No need for accuracy in this recipe.

  26. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made this tonight and it turned out very well. I did substitute organic french green lentils for the black dal and it was still great.

    I do have one question. When I went to simmer the dal with the final ingredients, I noticed that it turned out a bit thicker than yours and the ones I have had eating out. Is their a secret to keeping it a bit “wet”? Do you keep some of the water or add water?

    Thank you so much!

    Hi Matt, glad you liked it. No special trick – just leave enough water to make it the consistency that you like. Don’t drain it all off – leave some to mash the lentils into. And if it gets too thick still, just add a bit more.

  27. LOVE THIS DAAL! I make this almost everytime for dinner with friends, and have always gotten rave reviews! I make this in the crock pot, guess the increase in volume for the ingredients, and viola! a no hassle, yummy recipe ready with just 10 minutes of preparation, slow cooked for about 18 hours! Am making it today for my son’s international school dinner, hope everyone loves it! And yeah, love does conquer all. I try the-smile-a-day concept, and even if no one responds, it just makes me feel good!

  28. I was just curious if anyone out there knows where to find the brass (?) serving bowls that this dish is pictured in? I have been trying to find them for quite sometime without luck. So if anyone can point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated 🙂

    p.s. This dish is quite good !

    1. Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your comments – glad you liked the dish. It is one of my favs too. You can get the dishes at any good Indian food shop, I think. Otherwise maybe find a food blogger in India and arrange to have them send you some.

      I bought mine locally (in Australia), so they should be widely available.

      good luck.

  29. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Have tried it and it tastes lovely. I can’t seem to get the red colouring though – mine is more brownish – how do I get the colour right?

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. Hi Anya, glad that you liked it. The colour lightens up with the addition of the butter and cream. Also good quality tomato paste will add a touch of red to the brown.

      I am sure next time it will be fine. Always buy good quality beans and lentils, too.

  30. Hi. I found your recipe for Dal Makhani and it looks fantastic. However, I do not use cream and wonder if there might be a way of substituting buttermilk or yogurt, and still get a great tasting dal? I am an American learning Indian cooking.

    Thank you.

    1. Yes, use yoghurt, but don’t heat after adding the yoghurt or it will split. You can try buttermilk I am sure it will be fine.

  31. I cooked this today. I have always wanted to conquer the Dal Makhni, it is the most glamorous dal (have only had it in restaurants) and it tastes the best (closely contested by Gujrati Dal). Fortunate to have found your blog. It turned out very close to how I remember it tasted in several good restaurants in India, including Taj Lands End, Mumbai. I did not use any butter or cream, save some milk. And it still turned out very creamy and delicious. Thanks so much for posting this. And I cooked this in NYC, so there is no “can’t find ingredients” excuse for anyone in the US!

  32. Hi, I tried this recipe today. I added very little ghee and no cream and it was still delicious…Really nice recipe , this one is a keeper 🙂

  33. Great recipe of Daal Makhani. I loved the simplicity in your recipe writing.

    I tried your recipe and it was delicious. (didn’t use cream etc.. little butter and milk only)


  34. This is a fantastic recipe! The only thing I did different was to add a handful of finely chopped onions to the tadka. Thank you for sharing!

  35. Chick peas(or garbanzo beans) and gram lentils(chana dal) are 2 completely different things. Just thought I would let you know. For this recipe either one would probably do. Chana dal cooks faster than raw garbanza beans, however.

  36. Thanks, Rehana, yes I had figured that out along the way but I do so love making it with chickpeas. Thanks for your comment and I will update the post soon.

  37. Hi i tried your style of dal makhni and it was awesome i myself didnt believe it would turn so good..

    thanks and will try again…

  38. Just a quick note to say that, while I”m sure the low fat/no cream versions are fine for many, do “live a little” and try the full butter version sometimes too! There is absolutely nothing more delicious than a restaurant style, all out delicious Dal Makhani!

  39. OMG, I’ve just come on your blog! This is a gem 🙂 recipes are looking so goooooooood! and the pictures are beautiful!
    This dal makhani looks super yummy.

  40. Looks really delicious, will try this recipe next week.

    I stayed in the Oberoi in Lombok a few years and it was a fantastic experience.

    1. Hi ya esmeralda, Glad that you love it, its a winner this one. The copper pots are traditional Indian serving pots and available at your Indian stores.

  41. This was the best dal i’ve been able to make. I’m so glad I found your web site, Pongal tomorrow night!

  42. hey hi… loved ur post 🙂 been tryin to get my hands on some really del version of dal makhani nd find this funny quite yum..however i hav a doubt.. can we use white rajma instead of red kidney beans??

    1. Hi fatima, white rajma, which can be cannellini or berlotti beans, have very different tastes and textures when compared to rajma or red kidney beans. My suggestion is to stick with rajma.

      However, if you are in a mood for experimentation, you could make with the white rajma/cannellini (pure white, no red flicks on them) and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear.

      1. the white rajma i had did have red flicks on them, which was why i was doubtful of using them in the recipe! however the store where i had bought them from readily agreed to exchange it with red rajma and i finally made dal makhani 😀 it was delicious! 🙂

  43. I just made some Dal Makhani a week or so ago and was attempting replicating the taste for the Oberoi in Mumbai. Sad to say it came up short. I am most happy to find your recipe and would love to try this but am in the U.S. and not familiar with metric measurements. Do you have U.S replacements for measurements? Thank you kindly!

  44. Like many commenters, I was worried that this might be too buttery–like in mashed potatoes or on pancakes, where the butter is intentionally a dominant flavor–but I’m a sucker for weighted recipes so I decided to go for it and followed the recipe exactly–it was delicious. For anyone who is considering this recipe but shares my concern for over-buttering, don’t worry; the acidity from the tomato balances the unctuousness nicely, and the flavor of the butter blends subtly into the background; the lentils are even better the next day. Also, for reference, I used tomato paste (the kind that comes in little cans in American markets) rather than puree.

    1. What a great testimonial to this dish, Mike. So glad that you were brave enough to try it. Yes, the butter adds a creaminess but not a buttery flavour. Well articulated.

  45. Hello!
    Thank you for this recipe… midway I realised it was my favourite dal that’s served with the dosa at Maya Masala. I got a bit beside myself! So so so yummy! Many more Indian adventures to come 🙂 I love love love love dal!

  46. I know it’s years and years after you wrote this post, BUT I just had to say that I made this tonight and it was delicious. I didn’t have asofoetida, and I ended up with a mixture of red, green and du puy lentils, along with some chickpeas, and it was just wonderful. It tasted so much like the one from my favourite restaurant. Thank you!!!

    1. Leslie, it sounds delicious. If you dont have asofoetida, you can always add a little onion and garlic. So glad that you let me know how wonderful it was.

  47. Hi, thanks for the recipe – it looks great! I’m eager to try to replicate Dal Makhani I’ve eaten in Nepal. Just wondering if you chop the chillies before boiling them with the lentils etc, or if you put them in whole? And do you then mash them in or remove them? Probably a silly question -I’m assuming you chop and mash them – but don’t like taking risks when it comes to chillies! Thanks!

    1. Hi Dawn, you can do either, but if leaving whole they may be hard to find at the end of cooking. So yes, chop them finely with the garlic and ginger.

  48. first time here, what a lovely blog you have, I got attracted here because of your name :), very authentic blog just like your name, loved the block below the comment section, it makes me feel very homely, what a lovely story about the post man :), thanks for sharing this recipe from oberoi, I come from Bangalore, I must have gone only twice!, Once in a while I think we can make with cream and indulge in the pure Hotel style right ?!, And a little something about hing, I used to drink Hing with a 1/4 tsp of Ghee in a glass of hot water everyday in the evening during my postpartum period when I was in pathya diet!, I still do sometimes when I feel uncomfortable or when I have bloating feeling in my tummy twice or thrice and it helps, or as suganya says

  49. Thanks for posting this! I’m excited to try it tomorrow. Just a quick clarification – the second time you bring the dal to boil, do you add the butter and cream before boiling or after?


    1. Hi Sanjay, I am excited that you are trying it! Add the butter and cream at any point in bringing it back to the boil, but don’t allow it to boil strongly. Keep it on simmer for that last period. It is important to use a good cream at this point (ie not a low fat cream). It’s the butterfat content that keeps it from splitting.

  50. Hi, I tried this recipe yesterday and it was very very dry (not ‘soupy’ like your picture). I guess I cooked it too long? What liquid can I add now (to the leftovers) that won’t dilute it’s flavour? I’m not sure if I should add water, or cream, or maybe more tomato puree – or all of the above? Thanks for any tips!

    1. Hi Faye, you can certainly try it, and it would be delicious. As Urad adds a certain creamy silkiness to the dal you would be missing that, but it would still be great. If you can find some Urad one day, perhaps in an Indian shop, make it again and compare.

  51. I assume that by chili powder you mean cayenne pepper powder and not the southwestern spice blend used to make Texas Chile.

    1. I will leave you to guess the answer, Steve. Good luck.

      if you are unsure, take dried red chillies, roast them briefly on a hot pan without oil, then grind. Beware of the aroma, it will make your eyes and nose water.

      1. The reason I posted this “question” is that I have seen comments many Americans screw up Indian recipes because they have no idea that the powder of a hot pepper is chili powder. The oregano flavor really screws up Indian dishes (whereas the garlic and cumin in this spice blend merely skew the recipe).

  52. Thanks Steve. It is hard when you are cooking different cuisines to work out what some of the ingredients are in your country. Indian is particularly hard, i am still learning after over a decade of cooking Indian.

  53. Try dal makhni @ HALDIRAM’s( delhi ). My all time favourite…..one of the best I’ve ever had. Must try once in a life time.

  54. I do not think there is any word like Makhani in Hindi. Thats a word of Punjabi. Its’ a Punjabi dish.

    Great recipie thoug… i tried..


  55. This looks so delicious and just how i remeber it from My favorite Indian restaurant! It has enticed me to try it 🙂 as I have never cooked beans nor lentils before I have to ask how long do I cook the lentils for them to be “well cooked”? -Thanks

    1. Hi Pia, there is no definitive answer to your questions – beans can vary considerably in the amount of time they take, depending on type, quality and the age of them. They may take an hour, even more. These will probably take around 1.5 hours, but best to cook for 30 mins then check every 15 mins after that. Don’t let them boil dry either.

  56. Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

  57. Glard to have bumped into this site! My Mauritian friend bought me an imported ready made dal makhani (we are students) and it was delicious. The shop does not seem to stock it anymore and was getting desperate but thank goodness I bumped into this. My mum used to make something similar but with coconut but will definitely try this one. Thanks a mil….

  58. My home is smelling wonderful right now as the dal makhani is simmering away! Having no butter or cream in my pantry right now, I must say this dish is tasting absolutely divine!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    I never dared to try this recipe after having a disastrous experience before 3 years…but now I have the courage to make this for our next dinner party…it’s a must try dish!

  59. Great recipe! Just tried it. Though it made me wonder if you would have an equally amazing paneer makhni recipe… I tried your blog’s search engine, couldn’t find it. Would be kind if you could share it here.

  60. u have tried daal makhni with Dosa? next time try it with butter naan 🙂 you will love it. Butter naan recipe you can get from google as well 🙂 enjoy .

  61. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in
    Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing

    1. I didnt know that anyone uses IE anymore 🙂

      I cant easily test it on IE as my computer runs FF and Safari, both of which are OK with this site. When I am on a Windows machine again, I will have a look.


  62. Hey! Thanks so much for this recipe. Have used this as my base recipe every time I make Dal makhani :-)! I experimented around, and figured out that substituting methi seeds with kasuri methi adds an even richer flavor to the gravy. Thank you once again for this! Happy blogging!

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s