Dal Makhani Recipe:
Rich and hearty Black lentils and kidney beans, slow cooked with Indian spices.
Those who are regular here might wonder what is with the traditional recipes these days. Well, it’s just a conscious attempt to document everything that’s been transferred from my mom or grandmothers over the years. Most of these famous recipes are like a staple across our homes but we really do not have a documents copy to pass on to the generations ahead, so I just decided to try and document as many of them as possible during the days.
This rich and hearty Dal(lentil) recipe that has already claimed its share of fame across the globe is essentially a Punjabi recipe. Like most Punjabi dishes this one’s also slow cooked with loads of love and excess of fresh homemade butter traditionally, however keeping in line with our modern day dilemmas of no time and no fat I had to make some essential adjustments, i.e. to cut down on both the cooking time and the quantity of cream & butter. Slow cooking by far would give you better flavour of lentils always, so do try it if you have the liberty of time. Well whatever method you use, do read on for the recipe of this dose of thick, creamy, aromatic delicious lentil in every bite.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 1 cup whole black lentil (Urad dal)
- 1/3 rd cup red kidney beans
- 1 half inch clove of ginger
- ½ tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 2 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 3-4 green chillies, slit and cut to long strips
- 3/4th cup tomato fresh puree (3 medium to large tomatoes freshly pureed)
- 1 black cardamom (badi Elaichi)
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, 1 inch long
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp red chilli pwd
- 1/4th tsp turmeric pwd
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp Cream
- Salt to taste
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander to garnish
- Soak the lentil and kidney beans overnight. Drain next day and pressure cook (preferably slow cook for hours until soft) with 3 cups of water, a little salt, the black cardamom and the clove of ginger. Cook to 7-8 whizzes on low flame or until the kidney beans are absolutely soft. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to release, discard the black cardamom and mash the lentils with a potato masher, and keep aside.
- Heat the butter and oil together in a deep pan or an Indian wok, add the cumin seed and fry until it crackles. Then add the green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and green chillies, lower the flame and fry for 30 secs.
- Add the chopped onions and fry till it turns golden brown. Then add the ginger and garlic paste, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and fry for a minute, still on low flame.
- Finally tip in the entire tomato puree and cover cook, stirring occasionally until oil separates. The add the entire cooked lentils and stir well to incorporate the spices, then add 2 cups of water cover with a lid let it simmer for 15-20 min. Remove the lid and stir in 1 tbsp cream and dress with salt to taste, cook for another 5 mins and remove from heat. Keep it covered until ready to serve. Garnish with coriander and the remaining cream and serve hot, with Nan (Indian bread).
Dos and Don’ts:
- Do adjust the amount of chillies to suit your taste.
- I have cut down on the amount of cream; traditionally it would call for atleast ½ cup of cream.
- Slow cooking the lentils would take atleast 4-6 hours, so do plan in accordingly.
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