Shahi Dal, as the name advocates, is creamy, aromatic and rich urad dal stew cooked with milk, ghee and fistful of almonds. The split black lentils are soaked overnight and rubbed between the figures to gently scrub off the dark outer covering from the dal. Then the favorite kitchen aid pressure cooker takes its routine place over the gas stove, in which lentil along with other dairy accompaniments are cooked under pressure until al dente. While the pressure cooker exhales like a steam engine releasing the moisture, tadka for the dal is prepared by sweating onions and tomato. At last the tadka and the dal are incorporated into one sizzling, bubbling plat du jour called as Shahi Dal.
- 1/2 cup urad dal (split black lentils)
- 8 blanched almonds (badam), cut into halves
- 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 2 cardamom pods crushed
- salt to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 medium size ripe tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (see recipe here)
- To make Shahi Dal, first clean, wash and soak the urad dal in enough water for 6 hours or overnight.
- Combine the urad dal, turmeric powder, cardamom pods, a tablespoon of ghee, milk, salt and 1/2 cup of water in a pressure cooker, mix well to combine and pressure cook for 2 whistles over medium heat or till urad dal gets cooked. Make sure urad dal does not get over cooked and turn mushy. Allow the steam of pressure cooker to escape naturally before opening the lid.
- Gently whisk the dal with the spoon to thicken it.
- Next heat the remaining ghee in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onions, garlic ginger paste and sauté on a medium flame till onion turns soft and light brown in color.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and garam masala, mix well and cook on a medium flame till tomato pieces are soft and mushy, while stirring occasionally.
- Once the oil starts separating from the masala, add the whisked dal, stir to combine.
- Taste the dal and adjust the salt accordingly. Let the dal simmer over low heat for few minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Garnish Shahi Dal with blanched almond slices and coriander leaves. Serve hot with jeera rice or chapati.
The “Shahi Dal” is part of an endeavor to create a collection of recipes of Indian Cuisine in collaboration with a few bloggers who share the same passion of cooking. Here is the Pinterest Board collection of recipes.
You can read more traditional Awadhi Recipes by #thekitchendivas:
Awadhi Arbi ka Qorma by Saffron Trail ()
by Sinamon Tales (http://sinamontales.wordpress.com)
by Archana’ Kitchen (http://www.archanaskitchen.com)