Recipe: Navratra Dal Makhani

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It’s that time of the year when we celebrate ‘Navratras’. The nine days are about cleansing your body by fasting and eating right- mostly practiced in Northern India. But similar traditions are followed in various parts of our country. So after a week long fasting, on the eighth or the ninth- depending upon family traditions, you break the fast and the feast begins.

But whether or no you’re fasting, most Hindu households prefer to cook food without garlic and onions, which, let’s face it- is quite a task. Psst.In fact, for some of us, especially me, food without the strong aroma of garlic is, umm…unpalatable.

So on such day, when I got cooking my favoutire Dal Makhani, I decided to try it out without adding any garlic or onions. And, guess what? It was lip-smackingly delicious! And since that day, I have completely said good-bye to my onion-garlic Dal and prefer this version of the dish over that, any day.

Here’s the recipe I follow and you should too!


1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 thick cardamon
1 pack tomato puree
1 tbsp jeera
½ tsp clove finely grinded
1 tsp saunf powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 cup boiled urad(kali) dal
½ cup boiled kidney beans
chilli powder as per taste
salt as per taste

How -To

  1. In a kadai, add 1 tbsp oil. Once the oil is hot, add ginger and cardamon.
  2. When ginger changes colour, add tomato puree
  3. Let the puree cook properly on medium heat
  4. Once it boils and seems cooked, add all the masalas and cook
  5. Strain and separate lentil and kidney beans. Don’t throw away the water
  6. Add them to the gravy and stir
  7. Now add the water to the kadai and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium flame
  8. Once cooked, stir
  9. Transfer this into a boil and garnish with coriander leaves

P.S. : If Dal thickens, add a little milk and give it a boil before you serve.

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