Nutritional Facts of Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani
Click here to view Dal Makhani recipe

How many calories does one serving of Dal Makhani have?

One  serving of Dal Makhani gives 278 calories. Out of which carbohydrates comprise 96 calories, proteins account for 34 calories and remaining calories come from fat which is 152 calories.  One  serving of Dal Makhani provides about 14 percent of the total daily calorie requirement of a standard adult diet of 2,000 calories.

Click here to view. dal makhani recipeDal Makhani or maa di dal, as it is popularly known in the Punjab, with its smooth velvety texture and lovely flavour is a delicacy that is very much a dish of the Punjab. Enjoy our Dal Makhani recipe with step by step photos and video.

Every Punjabi restaurant, roadside eating place and food stall vendor makes the claim that Punjabi Dal Makhani is a delicacy that they alone can make to perfection. This my own tested recipe dare I claim it as the best?



Dal Makhani is traditionally cooked on a low flame overnight and allowed to thicken. Using a pressure cooker helps cook the dal in a jiffy. Serve hot with naans.

 Whole Wheat Coriander and Sesame Seeds Naan
 Whole Wheat Coriander and Sesame Seeds Naan

Is Dal Makhani healthy?

Yes, this is healthy if you are fit and have no diseases. But restrictions apply to many.

Let's understand the Ingredients.

What's good.

1. Urad Dal : 1 cup of cooked urad dal gives 69.30% of folic acid of your daily requirement of folate.  The folic acid in urad dal helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, especially red blood cells. Being rich in Phosphorus it works with Calcium to build our bones, high in fibre and good for heart, good for lowering cholesterol and good for diabetes. See here for 10 super benefits of urad dal

2. Onions : Yes, its a great antioxidant. The phytochemical present in onions along with their Vitamin C help boost your immunity. The chromium in onions help regulate your blood pressure. The sulphur in the onion which brings you tears is actually good for your eyes. Raw onions keep your heart healthy and see here for total benefits of onions

3. Rajma : One cup of cooked kidney beans has 26.2% of your daily Magnesium requirements. Rajma is a complex carb and rich in Fibre which helps in Lowering Cholesterol levels. Rajma is rich in Potassium which is critical for those with High Blood Pressure as it lessens the impact of sodium. Eating rajma is good for diabetics due to high fiber in it. See here for 10 health benefits of rajma and why you should eat it.

4. Butter : Butter contains 80% fats and it comprises of many types of fatty acids. Butter has short chain fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids which are broken down and absorbed into the body directly and go straight to the liver and get converted to fuel to be used by the muscles. Due to this anti-inflammatory effect, it is said to have a positive effect in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Recent research shows that small amounts of butter has positive effects on heart health. So diabetics too can have small quantity of butter and balance it with other types of fats they consume. A tbsp. of butter fulfils 8% of your days requirement of vitamin A. This Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which is essential for glowing skin health and immune function. We suggest you read about butter the super food

5. Tomatoes : Tomatoes are extremely rich source of Lycopene. Tomatoes are a powerful antioxidant, super rich in Vitamin C, good for heart. Tomatoes are a Pregnant women's friend and are rich in Folate or Folic Acid which helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, especially red blood cells. Read about 13 amazing benefits of tomatoes.   

6.Coriander (kothmir, dhania) : Coriander is a fresh herb often used as a flavour enhancer in Indian cooking. It is mainly used as a garnish. This is the best way to use it - no cooking. This preserves its vitamin C content which helps to build our immunity and bring that sparkle to the skin. The antioxidants vitamin Avitamin C and the quercetin present in coriander works towards strengthening our immune system. Coriander is a fairly good source of iron and folate – the 2 nutrient which help in the production and maintenance of red blood cells in our blood. Good for reducing cholesterol and good for diabetics. Read 9 benefits of coriander to understand details. 

7. Benefits of Cumin Seeds ( jeera) : The most common benefit of jeera known to many is to soothe the stomach, intestine and the entire digestive tract. Cumin seeds are apparently a very good source of iron. A tbsp. of cumin seeds can fulfil nearly 20% of days iron requirement. Even small quantity of cumin seeds has huge amounts of calcium – a bone supporting mineral. They aid is digestion, weight loss and help reduce inflammation. See detailed benefits of cumin seeds, jeera

8. Green Chillies : Antioxidant vitamin C in green chillies protects the body from effects of harmful free radicals and prevents stress. It is probably the high fiber which helps in controlling blood sugar levels. This it is a welcome addition to a diabetic diet. Suffering from anaemia? Add green chillies to your list of iron rich foods too. For complete details see benefits of green chilli

9. Benefits of Cinnamon, dalchini, cinnamon powder : Cinnamon with its antioxidant power has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and thus reduce the risk of various chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc. Cinnamon since ages has been known to be beneficial for diabetics. Diabetes is a disease which occurs due to insulin resistance. Intake of cinnamon is said to reduce this resistance and instead improve insulin sensitivity in cells thereby helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels. cinnamon helps to reduce the blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and thus prevents clot formation. See detailed benefits of cinnamon.

10. Benefits of Cardamom, Elaichi : Cardamom has essential oil which is known to be effective is killing bacteria. This antimicrobial power of cardamom helps in relieving some stomach rpoblems like stomachache, cramps, flatulence etc. The sweet yet strong aroma of cardamom makes it perfect to control Halitosis (bad breath). The mineral manganese in cardamom may help in the lower blood sugar levels and good for diabetics. See detailed benefits of cardamom.

11. Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : Turmeric helps in digestion of food thus helping to overcome indigestion. Haldi may help in reducing the growth of fat cells in the body. Turmeric, being rich in iron, is highly valuable in the treatment of anaemia and both the root as well as the powder should be a regular part of an anaemic diet. One of the health benefits of turmeric is it’s anti-inflammatory property due to the active compound, Curcumin, which helps to relieve inflammation of the joints and thus is a ladder to relieve pain related to arthritis. The curcumin in haldi also helps to ward of the bacteria’s causing cold, cough and throat irritation.  Turmeric benefits in diabetes management by lowering blood glucose levels. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are useful in the treatment of diabetes patients.  It is known to be a good brain food and keep diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay. See here for detailed turmeric benefits

12. Fresh Cream : 1 tbsp of fresh cream (15 gm) provides around 18 calories, out of which 16 calories result from saturated fat. Till late, saturated fat was always looked upon as that evil fat which would lead to high cholesterol levels and strokes. Offhand, studies have revealed no such association. So, the next question that arises is “Are saturated fats healthy then?” What’s more important is to look at your diet in totality. Till no furnished evidence is available on this subject, you can add about a tsp of fresh cream once in a while to your meals to enhance the taste. Try and not to add it in bulk frequently. This holds true for a healthy individual or for those suffering from diabetes, heart problem etc. 

Yet looking for a more healthier option? Then, rely on more healthier type of saturated fats which contain MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which is the real buzz currently. Coconut, coconut meat and coconut milk are the perfect example of this.

What's the problem?

Lots of butter and cream is used in this recipe.

Can diabetics, heart patients and over weight individuals have Dal Makhani ?

No, as the fat content in this recipe is high. There is a lot of fresh cream and butter in this recipe. 

Can healthy individuals have Dal Makhani?

Yes. NOTE that butter and cream are healthy fats so don't worry about it. Also pair the dal makhani with some healthy whole wheat coriander and sesame seeds naan

What is a healthier option to Dal Makhani?

Yes, we have the low calorie dal makhani recipe which has no butter and cream in it. 

Low Calorie Dal Makhani
Low Calorie Dal Makhani

8 Pointers to get healthy on a Indian diet

1. Eat healthy and say yes to good home cooked food. Prefer whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, barley and healthy flours like bajra flour, jowar flour, quinoa flour, wheat flour etc. rather than refined ones like maida. Have healthy Indian fats like ghee, coconut, coconut oil in your diet.

2. Opt out of junk food, packaged food, deep fried foods. Prefer steamed snacks and other non-fried snacks. Check out some Healthy Indian Snacks. Remember to eat small frequent meals through the day as that will keep you always full and prevent your blood sugar from dropping. By starving your body through some diet, will not help you one bit. In fact, dieting will make you binge on 2 to 3 meals which is not good.

3. Have 4 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 3 servings of fruit is a must. Follow the logic of a vegetable in each main meal of the day and a fruit in-between meals. Check out a few Healthy Indian Soups and Healthy Indian Salads  recipes using this food group.           

4. Cut down on sugar and salt in your diet and pick honey ( very small amounts) or dates to sweeten your food. Slowly cut the sugar habit as this is not going to happen over night. Sugar  is also called white poison. It is a simple carbohydrate with zero nutritional value. On intake, sugar will cause inflammation of the body which will last for many hours. It will spike your blood sugar level and shut down the fat burning process. This also causes high blood sugar levels in your body. The development of prediabetes comes from uncontrolled eating sugar and refined food products for many years and the classic symptom is if you have excess belly fat. This leads to diabetes and further onwards to heart attack, high blood pressure, strokes, impotence and kidney damage. 

Salt and blood pressure. Apart from stress and obesity, one of the main reasons for high blood pressure is excessive sodium and salt intake. Most people find it difficult to limit the amount of salt in their cooking, thinking it will affect the taste of their favourite dishes. 

This is not true. Bajra and jowar are rich in potassium and critical for those with High Blood Pressure as it lessens the impact of sodium. Eating more Potassium Rich Foods will remove more sodium from your body through urine. So include the basic bajra roti and jowar roti in your daily diet to have with Lower Blood Pressure Subzis Recipes

5. Befriend a few healthy seeds and nuts like chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts and almonds. 

6.  Sprouts are called ‘living food’. They are high is most nutrients and easy to digest as well. Let them feature in your meals at least thrice a week. Also Read : All Benefits about Sprouts

7.  Exercise 45 minutes every day. No excuse. You can walk fast, run, do weights, play your favourite sport or go to the gym.

8.  Sleep early and get up early. Get your body into rhythm and it will function best. Sleep helps your body to recover.

 Dal Makhani is high in

1. Folic Acid : Folic acid is an essential vitamin required throughout pregnancy.

2. Vitamin C :  Vitamin C is a great defence against coughs and colds.

3. Phosphorous Phosphorous works closely with calcium to build bones. 

4. Vitamin B1 : Vitamin B1 protects nerves, helps in carbohydrate metabolism, prevents heart diseases and helps produce red blood cells. 

Note : a recipe is deemed high in a Vitamin or mineral if it meets 20% and above the recommended daily allowance based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

How to burn 278 calories that come from one serving of Dal Makhani?

Walking (6 kmph) = 1 hr 23 mins

Running (11 kmph) = 28 mins

Cycling (30 kmph) = 37 mins       

Swimming (2 kmph) = 48 mins

Note: These values are approximate and calorie burning differs in each individual.

Value per per serving% Daily Values
Energy278 cal14%
Protein8.4 g15%
Carbohydrates24 g8%
Fiber6.9 g28%
Fat16.9 g26%
Cholesterol22.5 mg6%
VITAMINS
Vitamin A878 mcg18%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.3 mg30%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.1 mg9%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.8 mg7%
Vitamin C27.8 mg70%
Vitamin E0.2 mg1%
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)143.4 mcg72%
MINERALS
Calcium108.5 mg18%
Iron2.3 mg11%
Magnesium66.1 mg19%
Phosphorus139.1 mg23%
Sodium97.9 mg5%
Potassium492.8 mg10%
Zinc1.1 mg11%
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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