Dal makhani

Dal makhani

This is one of my favourite curries – it’s deceptively substantial for a vegetarian dish, and delicious hot or cold. I often make it by throwing all of the ingredients into the slow cooker at the start of the day, so I come home to a delicious creamy dinner. Serve with basmati rice.

Each serving provides 555 kcal, 14g protein, 34g carbohydrates (of which 9g sugars), 37.5g fat (of which 25g saturates), 13.5g fibre and 2.1g salt.



  1. Put the onion, garlic and ginger paste, curry powder, cayenne or chilli (if using) with half the butter in a frying pan over a low-medium heat. Cook until the onions soften.

  2. Pour in the coconut milk and tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the beans, lentils and remaining butter. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to cool completely; the flavours will continue to cook and develop as it cools.

  4. To serve, heat through thoroughly and serve with rice. If you like, scatter over some fresh coriander.

Recipe Tips

I sometimes add frozen spinach or kale for an extra bit of goodness; it’s virtually undetectable if you’re trying to feed fussy palates.

The kidney beans can be swapped for black beans, borlotti beans or aduki beans, and the brown lentils for green ones or gungo peas, depending on what you have in the cupboard.

If you’re short on coconut milk, use semi-skimmed or full-fat milk with a tablespoon of sugar and an extra tablespoon of oil instead.

In March 2022 this recipe was costed at an average of £4.44 (including rice) when checking prices at four UK supermarkets. This recipe is designed to be made in conjunction with a low-cost store-cupboard, for more details click here to see how our budget recipes were costed.