Vegan Dal Makhni

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 27, 2011

We’ve had a few snags and set backs during Reno-cation week and things are going much slower than expected. We’re not too surprised though because this happens with every single reno project that we do! We’ve been going strong from about 9am until midnight most days this week and we still aren’t done yet.

After spending the entire day yesterday painting the trim and ceiling (oh wow, I almost wrote ‘sealing’, I must be tired!), today we begin painting the COLOUR (Hint: it’s BOLD!). We have been planning this colour since we moved into the house in 2008 and it is so exciting to finally see it coming to fruition!


We matched the dining room trim colour to the trim in the kitchen so it would flow nicely from one room to another. (The trim doesn’t look very nice in the picture above because it is next to harsh white primer!)

In the background of this photo you can see the kitchen trim + wainscoting. It is the same in the dining room. :)


I have a feeling it will all come together in the end…

Sort of like this delicious Dal Makhni dish that I made earlier this week, adapted from Vegan Yum Yum.



Vegan Dal Makhni

Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum.

Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 cup uncooked masoor dal (or French or green lentils- I used green)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1-inch piece cinnamon stick), or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (or 2 green cardamom pods), or to taste
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (I only used 1 tsp b/c I don’t care for ginger that much)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 and 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water, to thin out
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 2/3 cup water



1. Cook the lentils in 2 cups of water until tender, about 40 minutes. Bring lentils to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Add more water when necessary to avoid burning (I think I used 3 cups water over the course of cooking the green lentils). You can prepare the lentils the night or morning before to save time.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Now add in the spices (cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, and ground cloves) and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

3. Add in the minced ginger and garlic and stir well. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and salt, and cook until slightly reduced for about 5 more minutes.

4. Stir in the cooked lentils and additional 1/2 cup water, if needed, to thin out.

5. Make the cashew cream sauce by blending the cashews in a blender and then gradually adding the water to create a sauce. Stir this cream into the lentil mixture in the skillet, saving a little to add on top for serving. Makes two 1-cup servings.


First things first, cook the lentils. You can do this ahead of time of course.



I used ground spices which are never as good as using fresh, but I didn’t have the fresh spices on hand so I used what I had. You can always sub in fresh spices if you prefer (see recipe).


Sautee the onion for about 5 minutes and then add in the cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, and ground cloves.


Now add in the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes.


Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the cashew cream sauce by blending the cashews with water until smooth.


Stir in the cooked lentils.

IMG_1526 IMG_1527

Stir in the cashew cream sauce, reserving a bit for serving.


Cook for another few minutes and serve with a big hunk of bread!


The cashew sauce made this dish so creamy and rich…I loved it. It was a delicious meal…I only wish I had doubled the recipe!


Well, I have some BOLD and FUN colour to paint now and I’m very excited! This is the fun part. Smile 

After the wall colour is done, we have wainscoting to paint and then install. I’m not sure if we will finish today, but I really hope we can!

Do you have any funny (or disastrous) reno stories to share? Feel free to link to before and after pics if you have some too!

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I dont have any disaster pics on my blog but basically anything that has to do with home reno, furniture assembly, car seat installation, kids/baby furniture assembly (swing, crib, high chair, etc)…has nearly ended in divorce for us. I am smart enough to just do it MYSELF now, not even ASK for help. And if I am truly in over my head or it’s too heavy to manage for me, I call a handyman company. I’d rather not get a divorce over a high chair :)

Love the lentil dal recipe. I have been making tons of lentils lately. Sloppy joe lentils, salsa lentils, and also a curried ginger & raisin lentil dish with tomatoes. Similar to what you posted. I bet you’d like it :)

Have a great Sunday, Angela. And the pic of you eating pizza…you’re gorgeous!!!


Moni'sMeals February 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

What a great lentil recipe! My style for sure.

I have no reno stories because I have had no desire to have the mishaps or stress that come with them. :)

Love your pretty pic!


Katie February 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE dal!! I’ve never seen it with green lentils though. I like the mushiness of red lentils.


megan @ blackberries for jam February 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

After hearing so many disastrous renovation stories, I’m pretty sure I never want to undertake my own. My house will just have to suffice as it is!

I love anything incorporating cashew cream sauce. In fact, I could probably just eat it with a spoon!


Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

oh this looks delightful indeed!


Mel February 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Your reno is looking great! I can’t wait to see what color you chose. We are just finishing up our nightmare of a kitchen reno. When we bought our house in May, our kitchen had this hideous flowery and fruity wallpaper that I had said had to go! We started removing the wallpaper in sept with DIF. The wallpaper was not coming off well and taking pieces of the drywall with it, so we tried a steamer. The steamer worked wonders on 2 of our walls, however it wasn’t going to work on the 2 walls with cabinets. We brought in a contractor who redrywalled our walls for us. Last week, we primed and painted our walls yellow. The kitchen looks amazing now! We have had one last snag with the kitchen…we took 3 cabinets off the wall to make it easier to remove wallpaper and paint, however since it was redrywalled, one of the cabinets does not fit :( Now to brainstorm through this snag…. Here is a link to the album, i hope it works!

Your vegan dal makhni dish looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it.


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

wow it looks great! we have a ceiling in the living room that we might have to rip down. Im not looking forward to it!


Ari @ ThE DiVa DiSh February 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

That looks delicious! Keep up the good work in the renovation :)


Hannah February 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Ah, I think hiccups are the name of the game when it comes to renovations! Well done to you for keeping your spirits up.

Meanwhile I’m in awe of the cashew cream in dal idea! Magnificent!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Another fab recipe! Good luck with the rennovations.


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Love the looks of this recipe! I’ve just started getting into using more Indian/middle eastern spices, so I’m excited to try this! Do you have any suggestions for how to make a nut-free version of the cashew cream??


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Im not sure….Id say avocado puree but it would probably change the taste?


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I think it would still taste great with the dish though! Thanks for the idea! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

np! let me know if you do try it…i’d be interested if it works!


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm

That looks so good!

My disaster story: I decided to pain over my bright yellow room without priming first. Yeah. Not so good.


One Healthy Apple February 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I squirm just a little bit every time I hear about renovations. It took us 6 months to have our house painted. My dad did it for us and he’s a professional, but the timeline and constant dirt and dust made me nuts!

Thank you for the recipe- it looks amazing!


Namaste Gurl February 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Mmmm, looks super yummy indeed! I love me some lentils anytime. And did I hear cashew sauce? I’m ALL over this yummy, vegan recipe!


Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine February 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

The recipe looks fantastic! I made some vegan dal makhani earlier this week…but yours looks way better! I love using cashew cream in Indian recipes- I make Palak “paneer” (with tofu) and use cashew cream in the spinach and it is the bomb dot com!


Jolene ( February 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Oh. My. Gosh. Our renos were a NIGHTMARE!!!! We bought a house that had a hoarder living in it, and the house stunk, and was NASTY!!!! We gutted it down to the core, and did new ceilings, floors, dry-wall, bathroom, kitchen … everything!!!

You HAVE to see the pics!! The difference is crazy – especially the nasty bathroom and kitchen!


Amy at TheSceneFromMe February 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Oh I can’t wait to see what bold color you picked for your walls. I love colored walls. My kitchen is orange, basement bar is red, bedroom is red and orange, guest bathroom orange and so on. All different shades too. I think it makes a room so cheerful.
Props to you for choosing such great colors!


[email protected] February 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

What a simple and healthy idea~It looks delicious. Is Indian food your favorite, Angela? :P Just wondering since you seem to re-create them often. Of course, they’re very vegan-izable too.


Andrea from chocolateandoranges February 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Going to have to try this one- I like that it uses already cooked lentils rather than cooking them as part of the recipe – so I can make them ahead or (gasp) use canned lentils in a pinch :)


Charlie February 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm

This dish looks so good! The cashew sauce must be amazing!


Amanda February 28, 2011 at 12:49 am

That looks tasty!!! Mmmm.

My boyfriend and I were painting my bedroom, we underestimated how much furniture I had… fun fun! We painted hard all day (with the air conditioner off!). I was beat and we decided to finish the next day. He called me at 9am the next morning! All excited to finish painting….. yeah…. he’s one of THOSE people. He’s too cute : ) *as a side note: I’m a night owl and not a morning person*


Cameo February 28, 2011 at 7:52 am

I am so glad I found your blog…though I should have found it sooner because I think I follow you on twitter…oops. Wow, what amazing recipes! I am adding you to my subscriptions right now!


Tiainspace February 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

Yum! Since spending a month in India last fall, I have been getting some overwhelming cravings for Indian food. I dream about some of the things I ate there. It was like vegetarian heaven (or, for me, plead-mild-ignorance-of-gee vegan-heaven). There were so many choices. Dal was definitely a delicious standard. mmmmm!

I’ve got to say I’m envious. I love doing the home reno thing, but with a brand new house, there is little work to be done. I suppose I should count my blessings :)


kell February 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

sounds like you guys are both going to need a vacation after your ‘staycation’ :)
…but if your decorating is anything like your food, im guessing it is going to be perfect and well worth it!!


Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner February 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

What an amazing recipe Angela!!!! :D You always make the best foods!!! And have the BEST BLOG! :D


Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey February 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I am sold on anything involving lentils and Indian food. I wish I had cashews!


Karen March 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi Angela!! LOOOONG time enjoyer/reader of your site, first time writer! :) Just a quick question and I hope not a too-duplicated one – what do you think about taking an immersion blender to this amazing concoction – I love my soups creamy so it occurred to me! :) Keep on with the glowing and all the wonderfulness you do!


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hey Karen!

Thanks so much! I haven’t used an immersion blender before but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work? Goodluck!


Karen March 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Hey darlin, thank you! :) I shall and I absolutely will let you know – I’ve had pretty good success with using the blender with my own “made-up” lentil soups, so I’m sure THIS one’ll be spectacular – I’ll try hard to get on it tomorrow perhaps! Some veg/vegan I am – I still can’t past my childhood texture issues with whole legumes…sheesh – LOL… ;) And sorry I’m “late” – I didn’t get the alert when there’s a reply so I didn’t know you’d come ’round, eek!


Shady November 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I love this recipe and was struck by the urge to cook it but couldn’t find it. Used recipage and searched by lentils, tomatoes and cashews and looked under tall your entrees and it wasn’t there. Finally did a site search and on the last page of results this gem of a recipe was finally, finally, finally found. My way of pointing out that your recipage may need some updating/reorganization and I need to use my book marks more efficiently.


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