Today I felt like having some comfort food, a staple dish in every Kashmiri home, especially in the colder months- daal makhani (black lentil curry), which reminds me of my mom. I used to love eating this (with boiled eggs!) after coming home from a long day at school & work. Passing along the tradition to my kids, and now you all through this recipe! Note: I don’t show the boiled eggs here because my daughter is allergic.

A single pat of butter is placed on top of the daal as a finishing touch, which was a trick passed down to my mom from her mom. The word “Makhan” literally translates butter. I LOVE BUTTER. Little known fact about me 🙂



2 cups Black lentils
4 cups water
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Coriander, ground
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Thadka (oil seasoning)
3 tsp Unsalted Butter, cold
1 tbsp Black seeds (Kolonji/nigella)
2 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin


  1. Add the water, lentils, garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt to a pot, stir and boil on medium heat on stove. Leave uncovered and stir occasionally.
  2. Cook lentils until soft, approximately 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the thadka (which is the flavourful oil seasoning for daals)
  4. In a large pan on medium heat on stove, add in the cold butter. Allow to melt.
  5. Add in the thinly sliced garlic cloves and watch closely-once they are light golden add in the black seeds and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Once the daal is done, take the thadka (oil seasoning) and carefully pour on top of the daal.
  8. Top with cilantro and one pat of butter and serve with warm naan!

Want to make this daal in the instant pot? HERE’S HOW:

Instant Pot: Add the water, lentils, garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt to a pot, stir and close lid of instant pot. Seal the sent. Select the ‘Multigrain’ button which automates to 40 minutes or so. Continue on with the recipe.

TIP: if there is too much water, just boil it off (sautee button on instant pot). If daal is too dry, add more water. ENJOY!


I hope you’ll try this recipe out and let me know how it turns out! It As always, let me know if you try out this recipe by tagging me @kashmirifoodie #kashmirifoodie, I would love to see your beautifully delicious creations!



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