Dal makhni is one of the most popular dal, almost always on the menu of a restaurant serving North Indian food. A regular dish made in my kitchen and is devoured each time it is made. It is also called langar waali dal as it is served in Gurudwaras or Sikh places of worship. It is also known as maa ki dal or kaali dal. There are many variations to the dish. Lentils or dal in general is commonly made in almost all parts of India on a daily basis.
Whole black dal/whole urad dal and rajma/kidney beans are the main ingredients used here, some recipes also call for chana dal.
Each time I make this dish we are in “dal heaven”, if that’s even a description. In short the most comforting dish which is easy to make and tastes even better the next day. Simmering the dal on low flame makes it even creamier and you can skip the addition of cream.
I make my own spice blend but you can always use the ready spice powder available at grocery stores.
9 hours, soaking and pressure cooking
- 1 cup whole black dal
- ¼ cup rajma or kidney beans
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 1” piece ginger, grated
- 1 cup tomato puree
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- For spice powder:
- ½ inch piece cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- ½ star anise
- 2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- For seasoning:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 12-14 ginger juliennes or thinly sliced ginger
- 1 tsp kasoori methi or dry fenugreek leaves
- 2 dry red chilies
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp cream, to garnish
Soak black dal and rajma for 8 hours and pressure cook until soft.
In a coffee grinder grind the spices to make a powder. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan and add cumin seeds.
Add chopped onion and grated ginger cook until light brown.
Add tomato puree, salt, turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala. Cook until the mixture is thick and all the water evaporates.
Now add the cooked dal mixture and stir well. Bring it to a boil.
Add the prepared spice powder and keep cooking on low-medium flame for 20-30 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
Prepare the seasoning using 2 tbsp butter and the ingredients mentioned. Add to the dal.
Garnish with cream and serve with naan or jeera/cumin seed rice.
You can add cream while the dal is being cooked as well add more for garnishing.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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