This Dhaba Style Dal Makhani is made in the Instant Pot slow cook mode. The best Dal Makhani requires hours of simmering on the stove to get that special slow-cooked flavour and now the same can be achieved with the Instant Pot. The result is a restaurant-style dal makhani that you will make again and again.

image of creamy dal makhani


There is no better meal than creamy dal, ghee riceHomemade Restuarant Style Garlic and Coriander Naans and Nepali Style Cucumber Salad.  

Dal Makhani is a classic recipe from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. Dal means lentils and makhani means butter. It is quintessentially a Punjabi dish - rich with a thick base of warming onion and garlic. This is a whole urad dal recipe which also has red kidney beans.

The traditional recipe has cooked whole urad and a handful of cooked red kidney beans added to a gravy of onion and garlic, tomatoes and Indian spices. The dal is then simmered for hours and topped with either cream and/or butter.

However, if you do not have much time, you can make it and serve straight away as well. Just give the lentils a little longer in the pressure cooker.

image of dal makhani

Dal Makhani is:

✔️Creamy and silky



✔️Easily made vegan

✔️High in protein

✔️Tastes so good the next day as well - if not better! Seriously, make extra!!

Daal is comfort food in any South Asian household. I wasn't a big fan of dal when I was little - it was a chore and I had to eat it because my Mum said it was good for me. The one dal though that would light up my eyes EVERY TIME was Dal Makhani! I just loved it so much and still do to this day - I always eat one more roti than usual whenever it is made!

In our house, this rich and buttery version is only made for special occasions. Usually, we eat the vegan version - without cream, ghee, and butter.

Similiar dal recipes we love:

Mash Daal - a close cousin of Dal Makhani but low in calories

Dhaba-Style Dal Fry

Garlicky Moong Dal with Carrot Greens

image of creamy black lentil dal

Instant Pot Dal Makhani Slow Cooked

You can make the dal in the Instant Pot alone using the pressure cooker, but you won't achieve the same flavour that is required for a good dal makhani. You save time but compromise on flavour. However, the slow cook mode allows the dal to sloooowly and mimics the stovetop method without having to pressure cook the lentils first.

Just cook the dal using soaked lentils on saute mode and then turn on Slow Cook. Do this in the morning, and have perfect Dal Makhani cooking away ready for dinner. Go about your daily life without worrying about the dal sticking to the bottom of the pan, overflowing or have the smell linger in the house!

This is a great way of getting more use out of your precious Instant Pot!

Can I use raw beans for Instant Pot Slow Cooking?

Yes, you can. Clean and wash beans under running water and add in the pot. You have to increase the slow cook time up to 12-13 hours to cook though.

🌿Vegan Dal Makhani

You can easily make Dal Makhani vegan and still have the perfect butteriness. In fact, when we make it at home, this is our usual way. It is plant-based and much healthier.

→Take the ghee and butter out of the recipe.

→Use oil only at the beginning of the recipe.

→To get the creaminess without the ghee and butter, make sure that the urad dal has been very well pressure-cooked. These lentils are creamy in their own right when cooked for a long time.

→Or a great trick that I learnt from my Aunt (Mum's sister) is to blend some of the cooked dal using a hand blender and add it back into the pan - it will seriously thicken up and make the dal extra creamy - be careful to check that you don't accidentally grind up some of the whole spices!!!

→I would not recommend adding coconut cream as it will change the flavour and not give you authentic dal makhani.

Can I use canned/tinned beans?

I am not sure if black beans aka matpe beans or whole urad are available in cans yet? If yes, use it or you can use black beluga lentils and red kidney beans for both Instant pot and stovetop version.

Kasuri Methi

Kasuri Methi is made from dried fenugreek (methi) leaves and the best is cultivated from the Kastur region of Pakistan. It is used to enhance the flavour of South Asian dishes by crumbling and adding to the food. The secret "restaurant-style" flavour to many dishes comes from adding the Kasuri Methi.

Sometimes it is mistaken that Kasuri Methi is a substitute for fresh methi leaves. The taste profiles are very different so you cannot do a direct substitution in recipes. The species of methi that is used to make Kasuri methi is not the same as the fresh methi leaves.


Fridge - the dal keeps well in the fridge for about 4/5 days. Store away from dairy or sweet food as it has a strong aroma. It may need some water when reheating. Best reheated on the stove with a little sprinkle of garam masala to revive it

Freezer - dals freeze really well. Make a big batch and freeze in portions in freezer-friendly containers.

Ingredients for Dal Makhani


Whole urad dal - found in Indian grocery stores, online and in major British supermarkets.

Red Kidney Beans


Onion and Garlic Paste - get a smooth paste by using a high-speed blender or spice grinder. You won't get the correct consistency if you chop the onion

Green chilli and ginger - crushed. To save time, you can also crush the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger all together in one

Tomato - pureed tomatoes or use passata - again we want this is smooth as possible - no lumpy bits!


Red Chilli Powder

Ground Cumin and Coriander

Whole spices - dry or fresh bay leaves and cloves

Cumin seeds

Garam Masala - added after dal is cooked. If you're forgetful, add it when adding the other masalas - it won't make much of a difference

Dried Fenugreek - Kasuri methi - added at the end or add when adding the other masalas


Oil - use only oil if making vegan.

Ghee - optional

Butter - optional

Cream when serving - optional!

📝Instant Pot Slow Cook Method Step by Step + Video

Note- Follow these step-by-step pictures and watch a video. For exact measurements and full method see printed recipe card below.

First - Select SAUTE mode for 10 minutes and add oil (pic 1).

Second - Add ghee and let it heat (pic 2)

Third - Add bay leaf and cloves. (pic 3)

Fourth - Cumin seeds and let it splutter (pic 4)

Fifth - Add onion-garlic-ginger and chilli puree and saute until oil leaves the sides of the pan (pic 5)

Sixth - Tip in the tomato puree and cook until oil is visible at the surface (pic 6) 

Seventh - Add red chilli powder and ground cumin-coriander powder (pic 7)

Eighth - Add soaked beans (pic 8)

Ninth - Add water and salt (pic 9).

Tenth - Butter (pic 10)

Eleventh - Close the lid (pic 11)

Twelevth - Choose SLOW COOK mode and select +8 hours (pic 12)

Thirteenth - Daal is done (pic 13)

Fourteenth - Add garam masala and dry fenugreek leaves (pic 14). Add cream when serving.

Stovetop Method Step by Step + Video

Cook soaked beans in pan or stovetop pressure cooker with water and leave it aside.

One - Heat oil and ghee in a heavy-based pan or kadai. (pic 1)

Two - Add whole spices. (pic 2)

Third - Jeera and onion puree. (pic 3)

Four - Saute till oil is visible again. (pic 4)

Five - Ginger-chilli (pic 5)

Six - Tomato puree and cook further 4-5 minutes.

Seven - Red chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander. (pic 7)

Eight - Boiled beans and water (pic 8)

Nine - Butter and salt (pic 9)

Ten - Cover and cook another 40-45 minutes on very low heat (pic 10)

Eleven - Creamy and thick dal makhani ready (pic 11)

Twelve - kasoori methi and garam masala. Mix well, add cream when serving.

Other Beans Recipes

Red Kidney Bean & Sweetcorn Curry

Rajma Masala

Best Butternut squash and Cannellini Beans Soup

Vegan White Bean Bruschetta 

Gujarati Black Chickpea Curry

Low fat Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadilla 

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🖶 Recipe card

Dal makhani, Dhaba style Dal Makhani, Instant Pot Dal Makhani, restaurant-style daal makhani
Mains, side dish
Punjabi Indian
Instant Pot Slow Cook Dal Makhni | Instant Pot Dal Makhni | How to make Creamy Dal Makhanihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrMvfiyxw1cMake creamy and rich Punjabi restaurant style Dal Makhani in the Instant Pot.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrMvfiyxw1c2020-06-11
Yield: 4-6 SERVINGS


This dal makhani made in the Instant pot, but still retains the original taste.


1 cup = 250ml
  • 200g black beans - 1 cup -whole urad
  • 2 tbsp. red kidney beans
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1-2 bar leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 cup onion and garlic puree (see notes below)
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-green chilli paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree (see notes below)
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder (see notes below)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin and coriander
  • 25g butter any
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. dry fenugreek leaves - kasoori methi
  • 50ml cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Instant pot
  • Spatula
  • Heavy based pan
  • Stovetop Pressure cooker


  1. Clean, wash and soak both beans together in plenty of water for 10-12 hours. 
  2. Once soaked discard the water.
  3. Arrange the inner pot of Instant pot and select the SAUTE mode for 10 minutes.
  4. Add oil and ghee, once the HOT sign appears, add bay leaf and cloves.
  5. Add cumin seeds and once start spluttering add onion puree.
  6. Keep stirring until water evaporates, add ginger and chilli paste. 
  7. Cook till oil separates.
  8. Add tomato puree and cook again till oil separates.
  9. Now tip in red chilli, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.
  10. Add soaked beans and 3 cups of water.
  11. Shut the pot with the lid.
  12. Cancel SAUTE mode and select SLOW COOK.
  13. Select 8 hours and leave it aside.
  14. After 8 hours, the daal must be done.
  15. Add garam masala and kasoori methi.
  16. Mix well add cream and serve hot.
  1. Cook soaked beans in a pressure cooker or pan until well done.
  2. Heat oil and ghee in kadai or pan on medium heat.
  3. Add bay leaf and cloves. Then add cumin seeds.
  4. Once splutter add the onion puree and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add ginger and chilli puree, cook till oil separates from the mixture.
  6. Add tomato puree, 


We have used 1 big white onion and 4-5 garlic cloves to make a fine puree.
We have used canned tomatoes to make a puree. You may use fresh tomatoes.
If using Kashmiri red chilli powder you may increase the quantity of it.
If cloves not available use cinnamon bark.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.
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Tag @jcookingodyssey on instagram and hashtag it #jcookingodyssey
Created using The Recipes Generator

Note- this recipe originally posted on 13th February 2010, since we have updated the post with newer images and content.


  1. Hi! The yogurt heart looks so cute, I love this daal too, liked ur low fat version. have a hearty valentine's..

  2. A healthier way to enjoy the creamy bean soup!

  3. Color and profume... It's very good and i'm happy for visit you!
    Ciao Ciao. Deborah

  4. Another great recipe from Jagruti for My Legume Love Affair #20. Your Black Eyed Pea Soup is already of my list of dishes to make soon.

  5. Nice...healthy and yummm! Cute lil heart too... :)

  6. wow, nice way for decorating the creamy bean soup.The soup looks so delicious..

  7. Dear Jagruti
    I feel good that you visited my blog and thank you so much for your appreciation.
    You have so many nice dishes and very innovative too. It will be some time before I try any of your dishes, I dont have proper arrangement to cook here in Milano and surviving on bread :-(
    Let me cook your dishes and eat virtually for the time being :-).
    Let me see what all you have been cooking, that will be a good time pass
    Have a nice sunday

  8. lovely and healthy dal makhni makes me drool.

  9. Wow! looks yummy..healthy too..Happy V day dear:-)

  10. hearty Dal Jag. How did you celebrate?

  11. Jagruti,

    Dal Makhani looks perfect, love the heart too.

  12. Protein packed daal makhani...looks fantastic..Happy V day dear, love the heart over the dal...beautiful..thanks for sending to my event..

  13. The heart made with yogurt - heart healthy! Delicious dhal!

  14. Looks so Creamy...Nice combo of spices!!
    Happy V Day ..Njoy

  15. Wow, this is looking awesome! I'm sure it tastes good too...can I have a plate??? :D

    Happy Valentines my friend!

  16. Good one for the heart and looks good too.

  17. Thatz so sweet....love your low-fat version of dhal mahkani...it does look rich and creamy too...I am definitely going to try this one..Happy Valentines Day dear :)

  18. Perfect for an romantic dinner. love it.

  19. Looks so creamy and delicious...

  20. Hi Jagruti
    Accept award from my blog.

  21. Hi Jagruti

    A Heart shaped picture in the daal looks wonderful. Happy Valentines Day!!!!

  22. Dal Makhani looks perfect!!!!!!
    Will soon give a try....

  23. looks nice and creamy,loved the heart too...happy valentines day ..

  24. Slurrrrrp! It's my favorite! Droolz! I have some roti so give the bowl!

  25. Healthy dish and lovely photo, thanks for sharing...

  26. came here through pari's ... glad i did!. Found so many of my favs!. The creamy heart on the dal makhni looks adorable.
    stop by at my blog sometime!

  27. wow!xllnt pic!luved ur version...

  28. healthy recipe and beautiful yogurt heart and curry looks so yummy...
    happy v-day

  29. Have never tried black dal...this one looks yummy!!!

  30. Yes, low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt make great substitutes. Its hard to eat fatty dal often even if it maa ki dal. Thanks for stopping by. Glad to have found yours.

  31. wow jagruti dal makhani luks very tempting...loved ur healthy version without butter...heart luks very cute

  32. Happy valentines day the urad dhal looks tasty creamy and delicious.Healthy too.

  33. Wonderful prepration in a healthier way.

  34. Liked your No Ghee version of Makhani, will give it a try soon !

  35. yummy :) Happy Valentine's day dear

  36. Hiii.. yummy!, and looks sooo rich and tempting!!.. cute shape!, how did you draw it perfectly!!???.. nice!.. Happy Valentines Day!

  37. yoghurt is a nice substitute for cream/butter indeed!!! romantic and delicious dal makhni :) !!! lovely!!!

  38. Lovely presentation n a wonderful recipe . Love the cream heart !!

  39. Wow Fantabulous...Spicy makhani goes well with rice n roti's..Loved the presentation...

  40. This is so yummy.n healthy too! U rock! Happy V Day Dearie!! m sure u had a fantastic Valentines Day!

  41. oh that's adorable with the heart!

  42. one of my fav dal recipes and the heart makes it all the more special.

  43. Healthy winter dish...dal makhani goes well with bajri ka rotla / roti's.I use home made yogurt....to bring creamy teaxture....Loved the presentation...x

  44. loved the idea of heart for decor....I love one day old daal makhani with hot rice with ghee.. my punjabi take on the comfort food.
    Love Ash.

  45. Whenever I enter a restaurant where waiters already knows me well, Dal Makhni is one item which will be on my table without ordering. Lol. This is such a recipe. And yes, pictures saying all. Wow.

    1. Thanks Payal, daal makhani is most ordered dish in Indian restaurants.

  46. Loved your low fat version of daal mahkani. The beautifully presented and plated simple yet elegant daal looks rich and creamy.I am definitely going to try this way.
    Beautiful pics.

  47. I cannot get my eyes off that perfect color of your dal makhani! Fabulous photos as always too. Such a nice hearty dal that goes with rice and roti both. Great share Jagruti!

  48. No one can stop have Dal Makhani. Your dal makhani looks so scrumptious and lip smacking.

  49. Dal Makhani and Jeera rice or Gralic naan. What could be more satisfying than that. Your amazing photos make it even more tempting. Another great recipe on your blog.

  50. Fabulous! Feeling hungry after seeing the pictures. This is one of my fav and this one looks so good The color, texture... everything is just perfect!

  51. When I was growing up this was not a common dal ever made at home. However, my dad's friend is a Hindu Punjabi and going to their home over the weekend meant that we would get to enjoy this creamy and yummy Makhani dal. Served with little thick hot rotis and butter over it. Love the clicks.

  52. Dal makhani looks fabulous! Such a healthy and comfort food and goes well with steamed rice and chapati.

  53. Loved your low fat version of dal makhani. Dal makhani is one of the dish which is must when we dine in restaurants. This looks so fantastic. Beautiful color, perfect thickness & texture of dal looks fabulous. Love to eat it with tandoori roti. YUMM

  54. We punjabis love our dal makhani and make it almost every fortnight. This one in instant pot looks so rich and creamy.

  55. Dal Makhani looks so creamy and delicious...This is such a comfort food...Loving to the hilt!!


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