Dal Makhani in a silver bowl.

Eating Dal Makhani in South India might seem a strange thing to do. After all, it’s traditionally a North Indian recipe. But, just like the rest of the world, the best foods of a place tend to migrate.

You can’t visit a North Indian hotel or resort without South Indian Dosas on the breakfast menu. Everyone loves them.

The same is true for this luscious North Indian recipe. Its great taste appeal has helped it migrate south. We enjoyed eating Dal Makhani in South India when we stopped for lunch at Vythiri Village in Wayanad District.

The only difference is that we did not eat it with North Indian naan. We sopped up every morsel of this mouth-watering dish with layers and layers of South Indian flaky parathas.

We are very grateful to Chef Rahul Venugopal of Vythiri Village for sharing his recipe. Vythiri Village is a lovely resort in an area of Wayanad District famous for its waterfalls.

We only had time to stop here for a rest on our road trip. Hopefully, if you go, you’ll be able to stay longer. Either way, it’s so peaceful, it’s a hard place to leave. 


During this time of COVID-19, we are happy to offer our blog as a form of armchair travel. When it is safe to travel again, we sincerely hope you’ll venture forth and experience all these wonderful Faces, Places, and Plates for yourself! – Karen and Pauli-Ann

Dal Makhani Recipe

4 servings


½ cup whole urad (black gram whole)
¼ cup rajma (kidney beans)
1 Tablespoon chana dal (split bengal gram)
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
¼ cup ghee (divided)
4 cups water
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup diced shallots
1 diced green chilies
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
⅓ cup tomato paste
2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup cream plus more for the garnish
1 Tablespoons Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 teaspoon Garam masala
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoons finely cut coriander leaves


  1. Wash and soak the urad, rajma and chana dal overnight or at least 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the dal and place them in a pressure cooker or InstaPot with the garlic and ginger paste, chilli powder and half the ghee plus 4 cups of water.
  3. Cook until the dal is soft (about 3 to 4 whistles on the pressure cooker or when the “bean” cycle is done on the Instapot).
  4. Drain the dal into a sieve collecting the bean broth in a bowl below. Reserve both.
  5. Heat the remaining ghee in a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds and once they pop and splutter, add the chopped shallots, green chilies and chopped ginger cooking until the shallots become brown and caramelized.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the reserved dal and as much of the bean broth as needed to create your desired consistency. Mix well before adding the butter, cream, Kasoori Methi and Garam masala. Heat through and season with salt to taste.
  8. Garnish with fresh cream and chopped coriander leaves.



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