Vegan Dhal Makhani

Vegan Dhal Makhani

At WearActive, Lentils are our favourite legumes and legumes are non negotiable in plant-based nutrition. There could be worse nutritional dependencies! This Dhal Makhani is made with black lentils and kidney beans, a spicy garam masala tomato base and additional vegan butter and plant based cream. Traditionally it's often very heavy in dairy, which could be delicious at the moment of tasting, but would leave you feeling very heavy afterwards. So we kept this vegan Dahl version a little lighter. When it comes to garam masala, a typical spice mixture of cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom, we prefer taking them in their original shape, as a whole spice compared to the powder. Whole spices can then be dry fried quickly in a pan, ground spices should not be added to a hot pan, as they burn quickly. Once you have dry fried, then you can grind your own garam masala mix.

Grab an Indian Potato Bread and enjoy! We hope this becomes part of your Indian essential curries when you are entertaining or just cooking for one.

Vegan Dhal Makhani
Vegan Dhal Makhani

Vegan Dhal Makhani

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 45 minutes

  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup tinned kidney beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp oil, such as rapeseed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 pods of cardamom
  • 2 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 1.5 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup soy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Rinse the black lentils and bring them to boil with 3 cups of water and a tsp of turmeric. Reduce the heat and let them simmer until softened, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the garam masala spices: cinnamon, bay leaf, gloves and cardamom and dry fry to give them more intensity.
  3. Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger.
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet and let the cumin seeds crackle for one minute. Then add your garam masala spice mixture.
  5. Add onion, garlic and ginger and fry until translucent.
  6. Add the tomato puree, as well as water, cooked lentils and stir to combine.
  7. Finally add the ground spices like cinnamon, fenugreek powder, salt as well as vegan butter and soy creme.
  8. Let it all simmer for at least 15 minutes and add lemon juice to taste.
  9. This can also be made the day before to intensify the flavours

We like to serve it with Indian Potato Bread, freshly sliced onion and some fresh coriander.

Indian Potato Bread
Indian Potato Bread

Please contact us if you enjoyed making this lighter Dahl Makhani recipe and keep checking our blog page for new stories and recipes from Croatia and Austria. If you love Indian recipes, maybe you should also try our Coconut Turmeric Dhal or our Baked Gobi Manchurian

Happy Cooking!