Moth makhani

Known as matki in Maharashtra, the lentil variety used in this dish is best understood as moth (sounds as in ‘moat’ but with a heavy accent on ‘t’ and not the same as the insect moth) beans or dew beans. Matki is mostly steamed or sprouted and used in salads and snacks. However, I use it mostly to make it in a gravy similar to rajma (kidney beans). Matki has a creamy texture and cooks quickly which makes it ideal for dal maakhani, but without the makkhan or butter.

Roast the beans till slightly warm. Soak for an hour and boil under pressure till very soft. I gave it 5 whistles and cooked in sim for 15 minutes. The beans is cooked when the skin should burst open on cooking, and the beans should become really tender.

Recipe: Moth maakhani | Moth beans cooked to a creamy gravy

Matki | Moth beans – 1 and 1/2 cups.
Tomato puree – 2 and 1/2 cups (blanch, remove skin and puree the tomatoes)
Onions chopped fine – 1 big (optional)
Ginger – 1tsp. grated or julienned
Garlic – 1 tsp. grated (optional)
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
Cashew / Magaz (Melon seeds) thick paste – 2 tbsp.
Oil – 2 tbsp.

Temper the dal with jeera as I did but it tastes and smells better when you add some curry leaves, dry red chillies and ginger sticks with the jeera. My kids were already singing for their supper so I just had to leave out these!

Roast beans till warm. Soak for an hour. Discard water and cook under pressure in fresh water for five whistles. Reduce fire to sim and cook further upto 15 minutes. Set the cooker aside to cool naturally.
Heat oil in a heavy wok or kadhai. Add garlic, ginger and onions, and fry till onions turn light brown.
Add the tomato puree and fry stirring occasionally till juices dry.
Add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder powders and mix.
Add the cooked beans along with liquid if any.
Add the melon seeds-cashew paste and mix well. You can avoid this and the dal will still be creamy, but this paste helps round off any sharpness.
Add hot water to thin to a flowing custard consistency. Bring to a boil and remove from fire.
Heat a teaspoon of oil, crackle jeera, dry red chillies and curry leaves (optional). Pour over the dal.
Garnish with roughly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.

Note – The number of tomatoes depend on how thick or thin you would like the gravy to be and on how sour they are. If the tomatoes are very sour, reduce the quantity and slightly increase the melon seeds-cashew paste. If less sour,  balance with a pinch of amchoor (dry mango powder) or anardana powder (dry pomegranate powder).


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • n c parmar

    excellent new way to make dal makhni, hope to see more new dishes, keep it up

  • Sunshinemom

    Evolving Tastes, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it:)

  • evolvingtastes

    Tried this recently and it was super delicious. Also a great change from the usual goda masala/usal masala type maharashtrian preparations that I use for matki. The cashews add SUCH a creamy touch! Thanks a lot, I hope to make it again while good tomatoes are around.

  • Arundathi

    matki is my new favorite dal! btw, thanks for stopping by and enquiring abt me – we were away on holiday and recently got back. i’m still recovering! 😀

  • Aparna

    This way of cooking moth is new to me. Moth and makhni, lovely.
    I don’t use cream in gravy dishes and use whipped thick yogurt instead.

  • Sunshinemom

    Vaidehi – I love the Maharashtrian Usal too! In fact I am going to look into your blog for the typical recipe:) Thanks for considering me for the rocking girl award! I am inspired to create some vegan punk rock now:)

    Vani – I think if you would really like to keep the fat quotient minimum and the rich taste make it a totally magaz(melon seeds) paste!

    Sagari – Thanks! It tastes delish too;)

    Sharmila – I am ‘Confuscious’ now!

  • Sharmila

    Matki looks great .. I thought they were called that after sprouting .. thanks for the info. And congrats on your century! 🙂

  • Sagari

    looks delecious

  • Vaidehi


    Visit my blog there is somthing special for you 🙂

    click here

    Marathi blog about Maharashtrian / Indian food,recipe & delicacies

  • Vani

    Looks yum! Love the idea of using cashew paste instead of cream. Gives it the same richness without the fat (nope, am not a vegan!)

  • Vaidehi

    nice recipe … I usually make it with Maharashtrian Masala, and yours is a nice way to prepare Matki.. i will surely try this recipe… thanks for sharing.. 🙂

  • Sunshinemom

    Bhags – Do! It’s good:)

    JZ – Thanks! Its easy dear:)

    Cham – Yes, I was looking for the word chirru payir!

    Jayasree – Glad you like it:) Do try it – it is very pleasant!

    Rachel – Thank U so much, you’re a dear!

    Satya – Thanks! I will update that here:) I hope you found it interesting enough to try;)

    Priyanka – Thanks!

  • notyet100


  • satya

    Makhani with matki….very interesting…I usually make usal using goda masala….btw, matki is called dew beans in english.

  • Rachel

    Congrst on reaching this milestone…love ur keep it going 🙂

  • jayasree

    Loved your makhani as an alternative to the urad one. Let me try to get the chinna payar at my near by store.

  • Cham

    Never cooked with chirru payir 🙂 Love the makhani , got to get a packet soon 🙂

  • JZ @ Tasty treats

    it looks delicous SSM! i really dont know how to make tasty dishes with legumes and pulses…urs look droolworthy!! 🙂

  • bhags

    Matki usal was fav bhaji in the tiffin…..’Moth bean’ is the closet i know for its english name.

    But this version of cooking matki gives it a new look….wud try this for sure

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