Moong dhal makhani served in bowls

Moong dhal makhani

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 4

This dhal from Lucknow 49 uses mung beans cooked in milk, and is gently spiced and comforting. Serve as a main or side dish – it's a great veggie partner to an Indian feast 

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal398
  • fat33g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre1g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 100g whole moong (mung) beans
  • 250ml whole milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 20g sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 125g unsalted butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½-1 tsp deggi mirch (Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • ½ small bunch coriander, chopped, to serve


  1. Wash the mung beans thoroughly under cold water, and repeat two-three times until the water runs clear when drained. Put the beans in a small saucepan with 200ml water and 200ml milk and bring to the boil. Let it boil vigorously for 5 mins before reducing to a low heat. Simmer for 30-45 mins half-covered with a lid. Check the mung beans after 30 mins. When they are cooked, they should be soft enough to smash with the back of a spoon.

  2. In a separate frying pan, heat the sunflower oil and butter. Once warmed through and the butter has melted, add the tomato purée and chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it). Cook for 5 mins on a low heat before adding this paste to the bean pan.

  3. Increase the heat of the saucepan to medium, add salt to taste, and reduce, uncovered, if you need to. The consistency should be slightly thinner than a custard. At this point, add the remaining 50ml milk, and stir well. Cover with a lid, and cook on a low heat for 30 mins, adding a splash of water during cooking if it gets too thick. Check for seasoning, before serving topped with the coriander.

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Comments, questions and tips

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22nd May, 2020
Wow. Great recipe. I followed it to the letter and made a great dhal. However: 1. I was hesitant to add 125g of butter, so I used 90g instead. Still, it tasted great. Next time, I'll try 75g then 50g, and see if there's any appreciable difference. 2. 100g of moong beans is enough for 2, but not 4. I think the author has used the same trick candy manufacturers use: decrease the portion size to lower calories per serving. LOL. With 135g of fat, it will be a heavy, rich and high-calorie dish. All in all, this is fit to be a royal dish from Lucknow. It is simple, with few ingredients, but elegant, and finger-licking good.
16th Aug, 2019
Rich taste. I didn’t have any Kashmiri curry powder so I used 3/4tsp paprika plus 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. I will definitely keep this recipe and use again .
Cheeky43's picture
2nd May, 2020
Hi, did you have as a side dish or main? Do you think if meat was added it would still taste nice? Was it served with rice? Sorry for so many questions, many thanks in advance.
20th May, 2020
No, don't add meat; it would destroy the dish. It can be served as a side dish WITH a main meat dish. Try it as a side dish of some rice topped with this dal.
16th Aug, 2019
Rich taste. I didn’t have Kashmiri curry powder so I used 3/4tsp paprika plus 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Will definitely keep this recipe to try again.
28th Nov, 2019
Can I substitute the mung beans with anything else?
lulu_grimes's picture
2nd Dec, 2019
You could use other types of lentil but the texture won't be the same. I use this recipe as a base for other lentils and have even made it with black beans like a chilli. Choose whole lentils rather than split lentils if you can, if you can only get split lentils then just bear in mind that the texture will be mushier. It will still taste good! I hope this helps.
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