Dal Makhani is a traditional Indian curry dish with lentils. Try this easy and delicious veganized version! It’s so rich and creamy!
As you can probably guess from the large number of curry recipes on my blog: I love Indian food! Especially in the colder months, I can’t get enough of it.
Luckily, we go to our favorite Indian restaurant with friends every Sunday! Almost all of us (looking at you Julia) eat Dal Makhani, a creamy dish with lentils. Only the level of spiciness differs from person to person (I’m working my way up there, though). Anyway, they always make a vegan version for us (<3) but during the lockdown, I had to make my own Dal Makhani at home to keep the tradition of Dal-Makhani-Sunday alive.
I want to note that this is not a traditional Dal Makhani! It’s just my turn on it, but it’s really, really good! In a traditional Dal Makhani, you’ll find black lentils (urad beans) and kidney beans but I used some canned brown lentils because they are more easily available and it is way faster to cook that way.
As for the spices, I used garam masala and salt. If you want to make it more authentic, there are Dal Makhani Masala spice blends out there. They often include coriander, ginger, dried mango powder, red chili, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, asafoetida,… Or you can just experiment with different spices!
I had the lentil curry with basmati rice and homemade Naan and sprinkled everything with fresh cilantro. It’s such a great combo!
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I hope you enjoy this vegan Dal Makhani as much as I do! Let me know if you give it a try!
Vegan Dal Makhani
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 15 oz canned brown lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala + more to taste
- 5 cherry tomatoes quartered
- Heat a large pot over medium to high heat, add the oil, diced onion, minced garlic, and whole cumin seeds. Let it cook until soft.
- Then add the canned brown lentils including the brine/water from the can. Add a cup of water, salt, and garam masala. Put the lid on the pot and let it cook for at least 20 minutes.
- Use an immulsion blender and blend some of the curry to make it creamier.
- Then add the quartered cherry tomatoes and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. At this point, you can also add more salt or garam masala to taste.
- The lentil curry is best served with basmati rice and homemade naan. Enjoy!