Next level dhal makhani served in a wok

Next level dhal makhani

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(6 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 2 hrs plus at least 12 hrs soaking

More effort

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side

Make no excuses for how rich this delicious black dhal is  – the buttery lentil dish is meant to be enjoyed as a comforting celebration dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Egg-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Nut-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal487
  • fat29g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre6g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.9g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 200g whole urad dhal (also called urad beans, urid dhal or black lentils)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, ⅓ finely sliced, ⅓ grated, ⅓ cut into fine matchsticks



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 green chillies, 1 whole, 1 chopped



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 100g butter



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

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 100g tomato purée
  • 400g can kidney beans, undrained
    Kidney beans scattered on a white surface

    Kidney beans

    kid-nee beenz

    Native to the Americas, kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very…

  • ¼ tsp garam marsala
  • 50ml double cream


  1. Tip the dhal into a sieve and rinse under cold water several times until the water runs clear. Put in a large bowl or pot and cover in double their volume of warm water. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and leave to soak at room temperature for at least 12 hrs.

  2. Drain the dhal (but don’t rinse), tip into a pan and cover with 1.5 litres water. Add the sliced ginger, whole chilli and turmeric, then bring to the boil, skim off any scum that rises to the top and reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for 1 hr until very tender, or cook in a pressure cooker for 20 mins. Remove the ginger and chilli.

  3. Heat the butter in a separate pan over a medium-high heat until it has foamed up and turned nut-brown. Pour half into a small container and set aside. Return the pan and remaining butter to the heat and add the cumin seeds, fenugreek leaves, ground coriander, garlic, grated ginger and tomato purée and cook for 2 mins more. Stir the spice mixture into the cooked dhal, then add the kidney beans along with the liquid from the can and season generously with salt. 

  4. Roughly mash the dhal mixture with a potato masher until some of the pulses are crushed. Cook, stirring, over a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the dhal is thick and creamy. Stir through most of the reserved brown butter, the garam marsala and half the cream. Tip the dhal into a serving dish and drizzle over the remaining cream and brown butter. Scatter over the chopped chilli and ginger matchsticks and serve.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
17th Mar, 2020
I made this with black lentils and didn't have much success - there was far too much water that I had to drain away after the hour cooking time was up. This meant the flavours were diluted, and the result didn't justify the long prep time. I lifted this up at the end with extra lemon and fresh coriander.
27th Feb, 2020
Really disappointed. I could barely taste any of the spices in this dish.
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
4th Mar, 2020
Hi Emma, I'm so sorry to hear this. Please rest assured this recipe has been tested extensively in our test kitchen and home kitchens and I've made it personally several times. Can I ask if you simmered the lentils covered or uncovered? as it needs to be uncovered. Also, the dhal needs seasoning generously at the end. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me. All the best, Barney
C Holl
22nd Feb, 2020
This was so disappointing. Don’t know what we did wrong, but we spent a lot to make sure we got the right ingredients, including ordering urid dhal on-line, and following the recipe precisely, but it turned out nothing like the picture! The lentils disappeared or and we just had a runny sauce that looked nice, but was a bit flavourless. So disappointed.
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
24th Feb, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear this. This recipe was tested extensively with great results so I would really like to get to the bottom of what went wrong. Maybe you didn't cook the lentils fast enough so the liquid didn't evaporate quick enough? I'm going to cook this recipe again on Wednesday but in the meantime if you email me on we can discuss it further. I promise we'll get to the bottom of this. All the best, Barney
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?