Sultani Dal Recipe

Sultani Dal Recipe

Lucknow city is famous for its flavoursome and spicy food. Here is one special recipe from the kitchen of Nawabs a Shahi dal. Dal Sultani is a Nawabi Lentil recipe which is of Mughal origin and is famous for its distinctly aromatic and flavourful dishes. Use of Cream and aromatic spices make this dish truly Nawabi. The aroma coming out from this heavenly dish is so tantalizing, you can’t resist yourself taking it again and again. It goes well with both Rice/ Roti.

The speciality of this preparation is, the daal is smoked by coal on a betel leaf.

This dal is one of the staple foods prepared during the time of Mughal Empire. A king’s favourite!
Now, it is everyone’s favourite in my family and friends as well. I have learnt and got to know about this dish from Chef Sarash Goila at an event.

Sultani Dal Recipe


  • 1 cup husked, split pigeon peas (Arhar dal)
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ plain yoghurt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • A few sprigs of mint leaves finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp. milk

For tempering and smoke

  • 2 tbsp. clarified butter
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 2 betel leaf
  • 2 large piece of charcoal


  1. Wash dal and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain and put it into a large, heavy pan with salt, chilli powder and 3 cups of water.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat till dal are cooked and most of the water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk well to mash the dal completely or blend it into a blender to make a smooth paste.
  4. Place pan over a low medium heat, add clarified butter, cumin seeds, garlic, green chillies and onion, cook till the time onion becomes little pink, to this add the Dal and keep stirring continuously.
  5. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, whisk milk, cream and yoghurt until well combined.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the dal and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes and keep aside.
  7. Place the betel leaf on the surface of the dal and on to it put the cloves, cardamom, chopped betel leaf.
  8. Heat the charcoal directly over a strong flame till red-hot. Using tongs, place the charcoal on a betel leaf. Spoon 1 tsp. of clarified butter over the charcoal and immediately cover the pan with a lid.
  9. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Open the lid and remove and discard the charcoal and leaf.
  10. Place the pan over low heat and add the saffron mixture and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  11. Stir lightly and garnish with mint and coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice or Roti.

Sultani Dal Recipe

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