Dal Makhani is the hearty, creamy, mildly flavored whole urad dal stew, it is the most common lentil dish cooked across the Northern province of India. Over the years Dal Makhani has become an inseparable part of Indian Cuisine, in the far west countries in midst of hot dogs and pancakes this brown lentil curry is recognized as the flag bearer of the curry nation. The dark brown thick curry is loaded with tons of fresh cream and butter to provide a superficial smooth texture, making it appealing for the commercial viability of the restaurant menus. But in reality, Dal Makhani has much more depth and flavors then being tagged as the no substance dull curry.
The story of my encounter with Dal Makhani is no different from any other, honestly, there are no remarkable imprints of Dal Makhani in my food memoirs of childhood. In our Kumaoni household, it was considered a fancy Punjabi delicacy prepared rarely once in a blue moon in the honor of some exquisite guests. Or one of my aunt, mother’s sister settled in Delhi, would take pride in cooking and serving Dal Makhani, whenever we visit her over the holidays. But her Dal Makhani has also not left much of a long lasting tales in my taste buds.
Then marriage into the Sikh family presented a whole new perspective about Dal Makhani, the balance of spices, the creamy texture of the dish is achieved by simmering the dal over low flame. The glass full of full fat milk is added to the simmering dal along with sweet and sharp smelling grated ginger and garlic, then the dal is cooked till it reaches the thick consistency. A teaspoon of homemade coriander powder and a dash of garam masala sizzled with hot ghee provides the required taste profile to the dal. The recipe as said is simple and no store bought packaged products are used to make it flavorsome, few basic everyday Indian kitchen essentials are enough to stir up a delicious Dhaba style Dal Makhani at home.
- 1 Cup Whole black urad dal
- ¼ Cup red kidney beans
- ¼ Cup Bengal gram chana dal
- 1 medium size onion, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, roughly smashed
- 1 Cup full fat milk
- 1 tsp mustard oil
- Salt as per taste
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ghee
- A pinch of asafoetida
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- To make Dal Makhani, first clean, rinse, soak urad dal and red kidney beans together for 6 hours or overnight in water. Soak chana dal for 1 hour in water. Once soaked drain all the lentils in a colander.
- Next in a pressure cooker add the drained lentils along with chopped onion, chilli, grated ginger, garlic, salt, chilli powder and mustard oil. Stir to combine. Add one cup of water and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Put the weight on of pressure cooker.
- Let the lentils cook in pressure cooker over medium heat for 2 – 3 whistles. Turn off the heat. Once the steam releases naturally from the pressure cooker, open the pressure cooker and add milk. Stir to combine, once again close the pressure cooker, put the weight on and cook the lentil over medium heat.
- Usually if lentils are well soaked then cooking will not take more than 3 – 4 whistles after adding milk but it may vary depending on the quality of the lentils. Once lentils are cooked, turn off the heat. Let the steam release naturally from the pressure cooker. Open the lid and gently whisk the lentils using back of the ladle.
- To temper the dal, heat ghee in a small pan over low heat, once it starts fuming add garam masala asafoetida and coriander powder. Stir to combine and turn off the heat. Pour this hot tempering over the dal. Mix nicely to evenly combine the tempering in the dal.
- Now let the dal simmer over low heat for few minutes to get the desired consistency, if the dal seems too thick add little milk, mix and simmer for few minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer the Dal Makhani to a serving bowl. Garnish with a tbsp of fresh milk cream (malai) if you prefer.
- Serve Dal Makhani hot with Naan.
|The “Dal Makhani” is part of an endeavor to create a collection of traditional Indian Cuisine Recipes in collaboration with few other food bloggers who share the same passion of cooking. Here is the Pinterest Board collection of recipes.You can read more traditional Punjabi Cuisine Recipes by #thekitchendivas:Dhabewali Dal by Saffron Trail ( )|