Dal Bukhara A Simple, Yet Delicious Meal 

Dal Bukhara
Image credits: Frederic Du pont via Unsplash

Dal Bukharais a deliciously smooth textured lentil dish that restaurants like the famous Bukhara in ITC Maurya Delhi is most-popular for. To get this mouthwatering dish, you don’t need to go all the way to Delhi. Instead, make it from the comfort of your home, no matter where in the world you are. 

We love restaurant-style dishes and we love to copy them too. So, if you’re looking to make an A-list meal and impress your family and friends, go ahead and try theDal Bukhara. 

What is Dal Bukhara? 

Dal bukharais a lentil dish, made smooth and velvety and bursting with flavor. It is delicate yet impactful and your tummy and tastebuds will thank you for the treat. Dal is a staple in India and some regions prefer different methods of dal like dal bukharain Northern India  and dal tadka, a Punjabi favorite.

The dal bukhara recipe is one derived from the ever-popular Bukhara restaurant.  Bukhara has mastered a one-of-a-kind way to make this version of dal that everyone loves. 

Possible health benefits eating dal bukhara

Dal bukhara is a rich source of protein which is needed for cell repair and muscle function. Dal also has a good amount of fiber which will help add to your daily intake of fiber.Dal may help to improve blood circulation and promote cardiovascular health. 

Another thing about eating dal and dal bukhara is the spices that help with some antibacterial properties. It may also aid digestion, reduce inflammation and improve absorption. 

Using an instant pot 

There are many perks to using an instant pot for cooking dal and other Indus dishes

Instant pots are probably one of the best inventions since sliced bread. It doesn’t require supervision and you can simply set and forget. The different timers for different foods to cook is what makes it something special. Food can be cooked perfectly when cooked in an instant pot. 

How To Make Dal Bukhara At Home

Dal bukharais rich and creamy, it is also surprisingly easy to make, despite it only using minimum ingredients and playing on the fact that less is definitely more. Slow cooking over a prolonged time are one of the reasons this dal turns out so creamy. 

Now it’s your turn to make the best dal bukharafrom scratch with this simple recipe. 


  • 1.5 cups of whole urad dal (or black gram dal)
  • 250g tomatoes or three large tomatoes
  • 1 inch of ginger 
  •  4 to 5 garlic cloves 

Note: The garlic and the ginger must be finely crushed using a mortar and pestle) 

  • ½ garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (kashmiri)
  • 100g butter 
  • 4 tablespoons of whipping cream or 8 tablespoons low fat cream
  • 4 cups of water (water in which the lentils had cooked)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of water 
  • Ginger (garnish optional) in julienne
  • Butter or cream (garnish optional)
  • Salt to taste

Serving suggestions: Serve your dal bukhara with jeera rice, flat bread or roti. 

Give it a charcoal flair 

For that charcoal flavor you often get with dal dishes, a method called dhangar is used to create it naturally without adding artificial flavors. The dhangar method is optional and you may skip this part if you wish. To incorporate the charcoal smokey flavor, use coal safe for cooking. 

Heat a piece of charcoal and allow it to burn red. Heat the charcoal in a pot or heatproof dish. Use tongs to handle the coal.

Use a steel bowl and place it over the cooked dal. Place the red hot coal into the steel bowl, pour oil over it and then cover the cooker lid. 

The steam coming from the coal will flavor the dal with the smokey flavor. 


  • Soak the lentils overnight insufficient water 
  • Drain the soaked lentil water and add 3 or 4 litres into a pressure cooker 
  • Cook the lentils for around 20 minutes 
  • Use a blender to make a tomato pure, using the tomatoes, garlic and ginger 
  • After allowing the pressure cooker to settle, open the lid
  • Next, add the tomato paste that you made in the blender to the pressure cooker mix of dal
  • Now add the salt, chilli powder, butter and cream and 1 cup of water 
  • Mix well and allow the mixture to cook over low heat in the pressure cooker without the lid (for about an hour)
  • Stir the mixture continuously, preventing it from sticking to the base and sides
  • Allow the lentils to cook until it thickens and once it’s thicker, add salt and chilli as needed to taste
  • Add garam masala (if you don’t have, you can leave this out)
  • Dot the lentils with butter 
  • Add the ginger to garnish 

Nutritional Information Estimates

  • Calories 325kcal
  • Fat 15g
  • Cholesterol 32mg
  • Sodium 406mg 
  • Potassium 670mg
  • Carbohydrates 40g
  • Sugar 3g
  • Fibre 19g
  • Protein 16g

Time to cook and prepare

Prepping time 8 hours 

Cooking time 2hours  

Complete-time 10 hours 

Dal bukhara is suitable for vegetarians and could be modified for vegans when substituting the cream for tofu (pureed) or cashew cream. Butter can be substituted with coconut butter or vegan butter. Furthermore, you can use oil instead of ghee. 

Quick Tips  to making Dal Bukhara

Tip #1 – Soak the lentils overnight or at least for six hours to make sure it softens. 

Tip #2 – Use a generous amount of butter and cream because it helps create that rich, creamy flavor that you’d find in a restaurant-style version. 

Tip #3 – When using your instant pot, you’ll use less dishes with a one pot cooking solution. Less mess and less fuss. 

Tip #4 – An instant pot is safe to use, which adds peace of mind. 


How can I make my dal bukhara thick?

The longer you cook it, the thicker the dal becomes. So, if you need to cook it for longer than one hour, then try 1.5 hours.

How long should I soak the dal bukhara?

You can soak the dal lentils overnight or for six or seven hours before you start cooking it.

What goes well with dal bukhara?

People enjoy dal bukhara with rice, roti or naan bread.

Conclusion to Making Dal Bukhara

Even though dal bukharais not as big and complicated as some of the other dal recipes, this one, while simple, still has everything you need for an A-list dish. Now that you know how to make dal bukhara, you can simply go ahead and try this one for yourself. 

Have you made this version of dal before? If yes, share your experience.