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Dal Bukhara Recipe

By Anjana Chaturvedi @maayeka

Dal Bukhara- Whole black lentils cooked in a creamy tomato and butter sauce.

Dal Bukhara is a very popular and loved recipe from Punjabi cuisine. It is made with whole black lentils, tomato puree, few basic spices and lots of butter and cream. Dal Bukhara is an Iconic dish from the Bukhara restaurant of Delhi’s ITC Maurya Hotel . It is slow cooked overnight on charcoal fire to get that viscous texture, creamy taste and smoky flavor. It is a very easy recipe using very minimum ingredients but need love and patience to make this simple yet so flavourful dal.

Traditionally dal bukhara is cooked in tandoor on slow heat overnight but you can also make it using a slow cooker or pressure cooker  but do put dhungar in it for the awesome smoky flavor. After pressure cooking the daal , at least simmer it for an hour after adding spices,tomato puree and butter .

It is quite creamy and rich because of the amount of cream and butter added in it but don’t reduce the quantity if you want the real taste of this daal. The only dry spices added in it are salt, chili powder and little garam masala . Turmeric , kasoori methi are not added in it.

Difference between Dal Makhni and Dal Bukhara

The main difference is that in dal makhani along with whole urad ,rajma and some time chana dal is also added but for making dal bukhara only whole urad daal is used.

The smoky flavor is must in daal bukhara and for dal makhani it is totally optional.

Dal bukhara is more creamy , heavy and rich as compared to dal makhni

To make dal makhni we have to make make tomato and onion fry masala to add in it but for making ITC Style dal  tomato puree and cream is directly added in the boiling dal , no need to fry and make tomato onion masala for this daal.

Only few spices are added in dal bukhara as compared to dal makhani.

You can also check these recipes-

Dal -Bukhara

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Dal Bukhara

Dal Bukhara- Whole black lentils cooked in a creamy tomato and butter sauce Course Dinner Recipes, Main Course, party menuCuisine North Indian Cuisine, Punjabi CuisineKeyword daal recipe, dal bukhara, makhni daal, no onion garlic recipe, punjabi urad daal, sabut urad dal, urad daal Prep Time 10 minutes minutesCook Time 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes Servings 6 people Author Anjana Chaturvedi


  • 1.5 Cup Sabut Urad Daal/ whole black lentil
  • 1.5 tsp Red Chilli powder / Laal mirch powder
  • 1 tsp Degi Mirch/ Kashmiri chili powder
  • 125 gms Butter, Unsalted / Makkhan
  • 150 gm fresh cream
  • 1 cup Thick Tomato puree 250 gm
  • 4 tsp Ginger paste/ Adrak ka paste
  • to taste Salt / Namak
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 charcoal


  • Wash and soak daal for overnight .
  • Next morning rub it well and discard all the water and then again wash with fresh water 2-3 times.
  • Add 6 cups of water and cook in a pot on slow flame for minimum an hour
  • If using a pressure cooker then add only 3 cups of water and 1 tbsp. of butter and pressure cook for at least 10 whistles on medium heat then lower the heat and pressure cook for 6-7 whistles on low heat or cook till it become soft.
  • OR use a slow cooker and cook it on low overnight
  • Cooking time also depends on the quality of your dal as old stocked dal takes longer to cook.
  • Traditionally in the restaurant it is cooked overnight in a tandoor.
  • Cook till the grain of lentil split and daal become soft and mashed.
  • Stir and mash the daal with a ladle.
  • Add tomato puree, salt, ginger paste , red chili powder, degi mirch,butter and mix.
  • ( Use readymade tomato puree for a nice bright color or grind 250 gm fresh tomatoes to make a paste )
  • Add hot water to adjust the consistency if needed , it should be of medium thick consistency.
  • Cook on low heat for an hour till daal become thick and creamy.
  • Add cream and further cook it for another 15 minutes approx. keep stirring the daal in between else it may stick and burn at the bottom.
  • Dhungar- heat a piece of charcoal or a earthen diya on direct flame.
  • Use a small steel katori or make small bowl using aluminum foil Or use a cabbage piece and put it over the daal and then put the burning coal over it.
  • Pour a tsp of ghee on the coal and immediately cover the pan with a lid for around 30- 40 sec only.
  • The daal will absorb all the smoky flavor of charcoal.
  • Remove the charcoal piece and the aluminum foil and discard.
  • Add some garam masala and stir to mix
  • Delicious daal bukhara is ready to serve.
  • While serving garnish with ginger juliennes and some cream swirls.
  • Enjoy it with naan, paratha or jeera rice.


You can adjust the thickness of this dal as per your preference, if serving with rice make it slight thin and if want to serve with naan or paratha make it thicker.

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