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Vegan dal makhani in a brown bowl.
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Dal Makhani

This vegan dal makhani is rich, buttery and divine! It's loaded with flavor from a perfect blend of spices, with a creamy and luxurious texture. You'll definitely come back for seconds.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian-Inspired
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 293kcal


  • ¾ cup Whole Urad Dal (150g)
  • 3 cups Water (720ml) For Soaking
  • 4 cups Water (960ml) For Cooking
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 15 ounce Can Red Kidney Beans or 1 and ½ cups
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter (45g)
  • 1 Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, Finely Grated
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
  • 2 Green Chilis Seeded and Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 14 ounces Canned Crushed Tomatoes (400g) or Passata
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
  • 1 cup Water (240ml)
  • cup Coconut Cream (80ml) Canned, Unsweetened
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter (30g)


  • Coconut Cream Drizzled
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • Basmati Rice
  • Vegan Naan


  • Rinse the whole urad dal lentils under running water. Then soak them in 3 cups of water overnight.
  • Then drain the water from the soaked urad dal and rinse them under running water.
  • Add the urad dal to a pot with 4 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for an hour until the urad dal is soft. You should be able to easily mash it between your fingers.
  • Add kidney beans and mix them in.
  • Turn off the heat and roughly mash the urad dal and red kidney beans with a potato masher, making sure to leave some urad dal and kidney beans partially intact. Set aside.
  • Add vegan butter and finely grated onion to a separate pot on medium heat and sauté until the onion is soft.
  • Add crushed garlic, minced ginger, chopped green chili, garam masala, cumin, ground coriander and smoked paprika and sauté for a minute or two to toast the spices.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, a bay leaf, salt, black pepper, liquid smoke and light brown sugar and mix in. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked urad dal and 1 cup of water and mix together.
  • Bring to a simmer then reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking as it thickens.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add coconut cream and vegan butter and mix in well.
  • Turn off the heat and let the dal rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Serve topped with a swirl of coconut cream and fresh chopped cilantro, with sides of basmati rice and vegan naan.


  1. Urad dal - should be whole urad dal. They are also known as whole black lentils or black gram. They are not the same as black beluga lentils.
  2. Coconut cream - should be canned and unsweetened. You can also use full fat, canned, unsweetened coconut milk or our vegan heavy cream substitute instead.
  3. Keep an eye on it as it cooks. This dal makhani thickens quite a lot so if you're not keeping an eye on it and giving it a stir now and again, then it can stick to the bottom and burn.
  4. Storing: Keep it stored in a covered container in the fridge for 4-5 days. It can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat. If it's too thick then add a little water to it while reheating.
  5. Freezing: It also freezes very well for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely and then portion and freeze it in freezer safe containers. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat as usual.
  6. Nutritional information excludes rice and naan. 


Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 705mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg