This Restaurant style Dal Makhani also known as Madras Lentils is a classic Punjabi recipe that is a healthy, protein-rich curry recipe made with whole urad dal and kidney beans, cooked in a spicy, flavorful onion-tomato gravy along with few spices in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. It is best enjoyed with steamed basmati rice or roti, naan.
The traditional recipe has pressure-cooked whole urad and a handful of cooked red kidney beans added to a gravy of onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and Indian spices. The dal is then simmered for hours or slow-cooked and topped with either cream and butter.
This Punjabi style dal makhani is usually served in Indian Restaurants as part of a buffet or can be ordered separately and usually served with jeera rice or Indian bread.
If you love Lentils & Beans and looking for more Instant Pot Indian Recipes? Then here are my 22+ Instant Pot lentils & Beans Recipes you must try.
What is Dal Makhani ?
Dal makhani or dal makhni (pronounced daal makh-nee, "buttery lentils") is a dish originating from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. The primary ingredients are whole black lentils (urad), red kidney beans (rajma), butter, and cream.
The dish gets its richness from the use of cream or butter, but it can also be prepared with yogurt, milk, or no dairy. - Source Wiki
Black Gram Lentil & Kidney Beans Health Benefits
Consuming black gram lentil/urad dal helps to reduce cholesterol and improves cardiovascular health. It is one of the healthy pulses for vegetarians as it boosts energy in the body and has rich iron content which fights several health issues.
Kidney beans are among the best sources of plant-based protein. They’re also rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fibers, which moderate blood sugar levels and promote colon health.
Can I make Dal Makhani without soaking lentils & beans in Instant pot?
Yes, you can, Soaking helps to cook these lentils faster and I personally recommend soaking the beans overnight.
If you do not have time to soak the beans & lentils, then increase the cooking time to 60 minutes.
Dal Makhani Ingredients
- black gram lentils (whole urad)
- red kidney beans (rajma)
- cumin (jeera) seeds
- ginger garlic paste
- lemon juice
- cilantro (coriander leaves)
How to Make Dal Makhani in Instant Pot
Soak black gram lentils (urad dal) and red kidney beans (rajma) for at least 4+ hours in hot water or overnight in 3 cups of water.
Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil to the POT. Once POT is hot add cumin seeds, bay leaf, let the cumin splutter.
Next add onions, ginger garlic paste, and saute until onions turn light brown for 3-4 minutes.
Add finely chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce, spices like red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Next add the black gram lentils, kidney beans, salt, and water for cooking. Mix well.
Deglaze the pot i.e., make sure there is no food particle sticking to the pot to avoid BURN alerts.
Furthermore, close the lid on the pot, and turn the pressure valve to the SEALING position. Set the pot to “BEAN/CHILI” Mode and set the timer to 30 minutes.
Once the pot beeps, do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE(NPR).
Remove lid away from you, Set the SAUTE mode. The dal and rajma should be completely cooked, mash the lentils with the back of a spoon for a creamier consistency.
Lastly, stir in garam masala, remaining butter, cream, and garnish with cilantro. Mix well. Simmer the curry for 2-3 minutes or until you get desired consistency.
Don't worry if the curry is liquid by consistency. It will thicken when cooled.
Instant Pot Restaurant Style Punjabi Dal Makhani (madras lentils) recipe is ready, serve hot with naan & jeera rice, steamed rice.
What to Serve with Madras Lentils?
This Dal Makhani/Madras Lentils recipe can be made vegan by
1. Replacing butter with vegan butter or oil.
2. Use cashew cream or coconut cream instead of heavy or fresh cream
Can I freeze Dal Makhani Curry?
YES!!!!!!! If you plan to freeze the gravy, skip adding cream and add them at last when you are ready to serve. Just add some fresh cilantro/coriander leaves before serving.
You can freeze this gravy in a freezer-safe container for 2 months. Just thaw over the countertop for 3-4 hours and then heat again in a pan or microwave and add cream before serving. This dal can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
Slow Cooker Dal Makhani
Follow the same steps and turn on SLOW COOK mode, select 8 hours, and leave it aside. Do this in the night, and you will have perfect Dal Makhani cooking away ready for lunch.
Can I make Dal Makhani with Rice in Pot-in-Pot Method (PIP)
This lentil curry takes at least 30 minutes to pressure cook so you can cook this beans curry along with only brown rice, using the Pot-in-Pot method, all in the same pot.
More Instant Pot Lentil Recipes
- Dal Tadka – Dal prepared with split pigeon peas lentils, assorted spices.
- Chana Dal - Dal prepared with split chickpeas lentils, assorted spices.
- Green Lentil Soup – lentil soup made with green lentils, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and Indian spices.
- Spinach Dal / Palak Dal – Dhal cooked with spinach leaves.
- Whole green moong dal– Dal cooked with whole mung beans.
- Panchmel dal – dal prepared with five varieties of lentils.
Instant Pot Dal Makhani/Madras Lentils Recipe
Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml
- 1 cup black gram lentils (whole urad)
- ¼ cup red kidney beans (rajma)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 large tomato diced or pureed(about 1.5 cups)
- 3 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoon cilantro (coriander leaves)
- ¼ cup cream or cashew cream or coconut cream
- 2-3 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
- Rinse and soak black gram lentils(urad dal) and red kidney beans(rajma) for at least 4+ hours in hot water or overnight in 3 cups of water.
Instant Pot Method:
- Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add oil in to the POT.Once POT is hot add cumin seeds ,bay leaf, let the cumin splutter.
- Next add onions ,ginger garlic paste and saute until onions turn light brown for 3-4 minutes.
- Next add finely chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce,dry spices like red chilli powder, turmeric powder ,coriander powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next add the black gram lentils ,kidney beans, salt and water for cooking.Mix well.Deglaze the pot ie make sure there is no food particle sticking to the pot to avoid BURN alerts.
- Close the lid on the pot, and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.Set the pot to “BEAN/CHILI” Mode and set timer to 30 minutes.
- Once the pot beeps,Do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE(NPR).
- Remove lid away from you, Set the SAUTE mode.The dal and rajma should be completely cooked ,Mash the lentils with the back of a spoon for a creamier consistency.
- Stir in garam masala, remaining butter ,cream and garnish with cilantro.Mix well.Simmer the curry for 2-3 minutes or until you get desired consistency .Dont worry if the curry is too liquid consistency.It will thicken when cooled.
- Instant Pot Restaurant Style Punjabi Dal Makhani recipe is ready, serve hot with naan & jeera rice ,steamed rice.