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Vegan Dal Makhani

Vegan Dal Makhani (Black Lentil Dal)

  • Author: Maša Ofei
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Lentil Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


This creamy vegan dal makhani, a traditional Indian dal, is an easy curry that the whole family will enjoy!


  • 1 cup dried black beluga beans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf (preferably the Indian variety)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (curry powder will also work)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes*
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • ⅓ cup red kidney beans (cooked, from a can)
  • ⅓ cup / 70g coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves, crushed (optional)
  • Salt, to taste

To serve: (optional)

  • Fresh red chillies
  • Coriander/cilantro
  • Basmati rice
  • Naan


  1. Soak the beluga lentils overnight and pick through and remove any little rocks.
  2. The next day, give them a good rinse and add 3 cups / 750ml of fresh water to the pot, and cook for around 25-30 minutes with the lid half on. (If using urad dal, cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.) Once cooked, drain them and set them aside. 
  3. In a deep bottomed saucepan on medium heat, add the oil, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cumin seeds. Cook while stirring for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add in the ground spices—turmeric, coriander, garam masala and cook for a further couple of minutes while stirring.
  5. Add in the onion and stir together, followed by the ginger and garlic. Cook further until the spices release a deep aroma, without burning.
  6. Add in the tomato puree and cayenne pepper and let it simmer for around 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the cooked lentils and beans with 1½ cups / 375ml of boiling water. Cook for around 30 minutes with the saucepan lid on. If it seems a little too loose or watery, remove the lid halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Once cooked, stir in the coconut cream/milk and fenugreek leaves (if using), cooking for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  9. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of coriander/cilantro, chillies, and a side of rice. Naan is also a perfect addition.


Tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes, passata, or canned tomatoes. Just puree them in a blender before using if they are chunky.

  • Diet: Vegan

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