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Dal Makhani

13 Nov

Dal Makhani.

Dal makhani is the famous Punjabi dal made of whole urad / black lentils. Black lentils are traditionally cooked on a slow fire for a long period of time until the urad turns soft and creamy. Here, whole urad is soaked overnight and pressure cooked till soft. It is then tempered and cooked along with other spices. Dal makhani is generally topped with cream.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Dal Makhani.


Whole Urad / Black Lentils 1 1/4 Cups
Red Kidney Beans 1/4 Cup
Onion 1 Small
Tomato 1
Green Chiles 2
Ginger 2 inch Piece
Garlic 2 cloves
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp (optional)
Fresh Light Cream 2 tbsps
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch (optional)
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste
Ghee or Butter 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Soak whole urad and kidney beans in around 4 cups of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Pressure cook the soaked urad and kidney bens in 3 3/4 cups of water for 3 whistles.

Remove stems, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop tomato.
Peel and julienne half of the ginger for garnish.
Peel and mince the ginger and garlic.
Clean, wash and finely chop cilantro.

Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and asafoetida (if using).
Then stir in chopped onion and fry till translucent.
Now add green chiles, ginger, garlic and salt.
Fry for a minute, add tomato and cilantro.
Stir in coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala (if using).
Cook for few seconds and remove from heat.

Combine the above tempering with pressure cooked urad and kidney beans.
Adjust the consistency of this dal with quarter cup or more of water if required at this point.
Pressure cook the tempered dal for one more whistle or cook covered on low heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
Finally add the light cream to the dal and cook for another minute or two.
Garnish with fresh cream, cilantro or ginger julienne and serve dal makhani hot with roti or naan.
Notes:Make sure whole urad / black lentils are thoroughly cooked and buttery before removing the dal makhani from heat.

Suggestions:If the dal makhani is too thin, simmer for 5 – 10 more minutes for the sauce to thicken.
Variations: Pureed tomatoes can be added in place of chopped tomatoes. Few tablespoons of chana dal can also be added to dals during soaking time. Well whisked yogurt is sometimes added for the creamy texture. All the tempering ingredients can also be added to the soaked dals before pressure cooking the dals.
Other Names:Dal Makhani, Maa ki Dal, Kali Dal.