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Poornima's (plant-based) Dal Makhni

When we interviewed Poornima for the Khhat (our monthly newsletter), this was the recipe that stood out as one that truly gave her joy and was reminiscent of the times she spent with her grandmother, observing her in the kitchen, listening in on the secrets of her celebrated recipes. This one comes right out of her little book of heirloom recipes, albeit with a twist to suit her now plant-based lifestyle.


Urad Dal (whole black lentils)

Rajma (red kidney beans)

Mustard oil

Kashmiri Red Chillies

Asofetida (Hing)

Green Chilly


  • Soak 3/4 c urad dal (whole black lentils) and 1/4 c rajma (kidney beans) overnight and rinse it properly the next morning.

  • Add soaked dal and rajma, mustard oil, red kashmiri mirch, hing, 3 cups water to cover the dal and cook for 5-6 whistles till the lentils are soft.

  • Remove the lid and let it cook on low heat while mashing the dal with the back ladle.

  • Add more water if it needs more cooking and then add a split green chilli.

For Tempering (Tadka):

Heat coconut oil and add 1 chopped onion, add ginger garlic paste and let it brown, add tomato puree (2-3 tomatoes) till it releases the oil.

  • Add the cooked lentils to this paste.

  • Let it simmer on low flame for 20-25 minutes.

  • Add coconut cream (because you know plant-based) once the consistency is thick enough but not too watery.

  • Add 1 tsp of kasturi methi and mix.

  • Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

Poornima is the founder of Third Roast, a specialty brand that makes plant-based products which are good for us, kind to the environment, and taste great. You can find her on instagram @espressozine, and buy her products from


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