Kali Dal

"🔥Kali Dal🔥Also known as Dal Makhani and usually laden with butter and cream, this version is lighter yet has all the flavor 🙌🏽💥"
-- @chiefspicemama

A Note from Feedfeed

A bowl of black lentil dal IS possible on a busy weeknight! This recipe also includes directions for stovetop cooking. Don’t forget to soak those lentils!

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Recipe Card


  • 1 cup urad dal (whole black lentils)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup tomato purée
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • salt, to taste


  • Step 1

    Soak 1 cup of whole black lentils for 6-12 hours. Drain and discard the soaking liquid.

  • Step 2

    Cover the lentils with water (about 3:1 water to lentils) and cook at high pressure (if using an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker) for 20 minutes or with the lid on for 1 hour in a regular pot, adding more water as necessary.

  • Step 3

    While the lentils soften, warm 1 tablespoon oil on medium high heat. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a minute. Add 1 small finely chopped onion and cook until softened (3-5 minutes).

  • Step 4

    Add 1 minced ginger and cook for a minute before adding garam masala and red chili powder (optional). Cook for a minute longer.

  • Step 5

    Add tomato purée and cook for 5-10 minutes until the oil starts to separate from the liquid. Transfer the spiced tomato masala to the cooked lentils and stir to combine.Add salt and allow everything to simmer for another 10-20 minutes adding more water as needed.

  • Step 6

    Add regular or vegan butter and stir to dissolve thoroughly. Adjust salt to taste. Top with a drizzle of plain yogurt, garam masala, chili powder and fresh cilantro and serve. Tastes even better the next day!