Mah Ki Dal

Maa ki dal aka kaali dal is a Punjabi dish made from whole black urad dal. A lot of recipes use the name interchangeably with dal makhani but I think they are two distinct recipes as maa ki dal doesn’t use cream whereas dal makhani certainly does.

Either way this is my take on maa ki dal and another outing for my new pressure cooker. Like any dal you can easily adjust the consistency to your preference and serve on its own like a soup or with rice, chapatti, naan etc.


200g whole black lentils/urad dal
1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 onion, chopped
250ml of passata
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of extra hot chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon of garam masala
800ml of water
Salt to taste
A few coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Wash the lentils well then soak for at least an hour and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle.
  4. Add the onions and fry until golden.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the passata and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Mix in the coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the dal, water and salt and pressure cook for 25 minutes then let the pressure reduce naturally.
  9. If you want a creamier consistency you can mash some of the dal against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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