Lentils, Main Course

Dilli se Dal Makhni – Jeera Rice | Restaurant style Dal Makhni

Delhi brings back to me so many memories of food, friends and lots
of work and fun. I have travelled to the National Capital several times, and
although the nightlife isn’t considered safe even by the locals, I quite like
the home cooked food, and the street food of Delhi.

When Delhi was in turmoil in the mid Nineteenth Century,
just about every artiste was heading for the greener pastures. Poet Zauq,
however, wouldn’t give up the charmed streets of Delhi for all the wealth and
tranquility of LucknowHyderabad,RampurJaunpurFaizabadCalcutta,
or wherever his contemporaries sought refuge.


An intrinsic part of the charm of Delhi’s streets was its food. Every
devastation-and ruination-of the city triggered enforced migrations of its
princes and paupers, poets and prostitutes, philosophers and soldiers, artistes
and chefs to provincial capitals in search of safety. Some returned to the city
when normalcy was restored, others, it is said, stayed on to make invaluable
contributions to their adopted homelands. By the same token, those who returned
enriched the cultural and culinary traditions of the First City.The origins of the city are traced to mythological references recorded in the
epic Mahabharat. The townships mentioned are Indraprastha and Hastinapur. The
name Delhi derives from Dhillika. Scholars trace the city’s etymological roots
to Dehali – literally, the threshold. Nestling in the lap of the Aravalli,
Delhi indeed is the threshold for both, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, on the one
side, and the Thar, on the other. We believe that Delhi was also the threshold
of the Punjab to the North and Madhya Bharat to the South. Delhi’s culinary
uniqueness lies in the fact that food here cannot be branded as regional or
parochial, which is the case with most other Cuisine – Indian or
. The seat of Imperial
power has for centuries attracted the best maharaj,rikaabdaarhalwaibawarchi and chefs.
The rulers-emperors and the nobles, the viceroys and the sahib – provided
generous patronage and contributed the cultivation of fine taste. They also
displayed eclectic and sophisticated temprament.

Source : Delhi

Source – Google images

Parathewala Galli in Old Delhi is one of its kind, and the extensive parks and
open spaces that one sees, especially in South Delhi makes me yearn for that
space –both physically and metaphorically for the metropolis that I call home.
As a city-state, Delhi’s food map is also influenced by the neighbouring states
of Punjab, HP, Rajasthan and even UP. It’s a melting pot pourri of Mughal
culture, the Nizams, and the rulers who were part of the Delhi’s erstwhile


Source : Google Images

Chaats are quintessential to Delhi, and even the upmarket and
South Delhi babu log and locals swear by what is dished out at Old Delhi and
Chandni Chowk Areas. For more info, click here

For a lot of people I know, home cooked food in Delhi means Rajma-Chawal, to others its Paratha, to many others its Butter
Chicken, to a lot more its Chaat(Street Food) – so basically
playing on that ‘creative liberty’ as an author of this blog, I chose simple
home made stuff but a hearty combo that never fails to please me from the kitchens of
the most authentic hotel – ITC Maurya Sheraton : Dal Makhani – Jeera Rice. Way
back in 2008, when the husband took me on a whirlwind trip to Delhi, we dined
at ITC where I was blown away with the simple earthiness that this dish


As it’s a signature recipe that the hotel prides itself upon, no
coaxing could prevail upon the chef to reveal the secret of this
smooth-as-silk Dal Makhani, but a little help from a friend’s aunt
gave me what pretty much came close to the real Mc Coy..

And presenting Delhi to you, dear readers through the humble but
super delish combo. Don’t scrimp on the Makhan (or butter) –
its what makes this creamy dish worth the wait . We can count the calories some
other day


BM : 39 ~ Indian State : Delhi ~

Recipe : Restaurant Style Dal Makhni – Jeera Rice

Dish type : Main Course Combo, Indian

Spice Level : Medium

Accompaniment : Nan or Indian Flat bread. 

But when served as a combo, doesn’t need any accompaniment except
may be mango or lime pickle.


Soaking time : 8 hours | Prep time : 30 mins | Cooking
: 20 mins | Serves : 4


(A) Dal Makhani Recipe

  • Whole
    black Urad dal (whole black lentil) – 1 cup
  • Rajma
    (or Kidney beans) – ¼ cup
  • Garlic
    – crushed – 4 large pods
  • Ginger
    – grated – 2 tsp
  • Homemade
    Tomato Puree – ¾ to 1 cup (I used approx 1 cup)
  • Kashmiri
    Red Chilli powder – 1 – 1.5 TBSP (adjust spice)
  • Oil
    – 3 TBSP
  • White
    Butter – 2 TBSP
  • Cream
    – for garnish (I didnt use)
  • Salt
    – to taste


1.    Wash and
soak the lentils overnight or minimum 8-10 hours

2.    Drain.
Change the water twice over and add 3-4 cups of water and pressure cook for
15-20 mins over medium flame, release the pressure and let it simmer for
further 5-10 mins on very low flame till most of the water evaporates, but
there is still some left.

3.    In a
large kadai, add oil. Saute ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Fry till the raw smell

4.    Add the
cooked lentils, salt and red chilli powder and simmer slowly for 10-15 mins
more. The more it cooks, the richer it gets.

5.    Now add
butter just before finishing.

 To serve : Add a dollop of cream and coriander leaves.Serve
hot with Roti / Nan / Kulcha . Tastes best with Jeera Rice


(B) Jeera Rice Recipe


  • Cooked
    rice – 2 cups, fluffed to separate the grains.
  • Oil
    – 3 TBSP
  • Jeera
    / Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Salt
    – to taste
  • Bay
    leaf – 1 no


1.    In a
large pan, heat oil. Add the bay leaf and cumin and sauté till cumin turns
slightly brown.

2.    Add the
salt and cooked rice and stir vigorously till a nice aroma arises.

3.    Transfer
to serving bowl.


If not using cooked rice : In a large pan, heat oil and season
with cumin and bay leaf, add soaked and drained raw rice, Fry for a min or two.
Then add salt and mix. Add slightly warm water in the ratio 1:2 (1 cup rice : 2
cups water) and cook covered till rice is done. Fluff with fork taking care not
to break the grains.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39

An InLinkz Link-up



  1. cookingwithsapana

    So rich and delicious dal Makhani and with Jeera rice it would do wonders….

  2. MySpicyKitchen

    This is such a comforting food. Love it.

  3. Varada's Kitchen

    Warm and comforting a treat on a rainy day

  4. Priya Suresh

    Both looks very comforting.. A prefect meal to enjoy without any guilt.

  5. such a warm comforting meal..

  6. vaishali sabnani

    Kalyani this is The Daal !!..The Bukhara Daal at Mauraya Sheraton..oh what a daal it is simply amazing ..and you have presented it so well just want to get in that screen to grab a bite..though I would prefer a crisp tandoori roti with a little butter!!…and I love those images..trust me this is the most famous of all the Paratha wala shops in this gali and mom and I have relished a meal here..what man!..ab toh Dilli jaana padega:))

  7. That is one classic combination. Both the dishes look amazing.

  8. delicious combo!!! so drooling here!!!

  9. Nalini's Kitchen

    Delicious looking combo,perfectly made and I am drooling ..

  10. Classic combo, Kalyani!

  11. Gayathri Kumar

    Fabulous virtual feast. Absolutely delicious combo…

  12. Mmmmm… I want to grab it off the screen Kalyani its awesome.Been ages since I have had dal makhani

  13. hahah..Vaishali's comments on all delhi posts are making me get so nostalgic for sure..:)…Kalyani, I am going to check out this recipe now..will be making it sometime soon..such a lovely combo!

  14. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    This is such a perfect recipe! So delicious and love it.

  15. Chef Mireille

    what a simple but homey combo

  16. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    Dal Makhni is one dish, that i haven't tried @ home, though i make jeera rice @ home often! This combo looks so homey and comforting!!!!

  17. Yummy combo of dishes.. Lovely..

  18. Suma Gandlur

    That's an irresistible combo.

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