Dal Makhani literally means buttery lentils.
I did my spring-cleaning and cleared almost all the clutter from every nook and corner of our home, before my parents arrived. However, some ingredients from the pantry were begging to be cleared off. One among those was a cup of black urad dal bottled up, may be for years now after sunnundalu preparation.
Nupur's dal makhani seemed a nice way to use up that left over urad dal, to check one of the recipes from my 'bookmarked' folder and also to participate in this month's 'Blog bites - What's lurking in the kitchen'.
Dal makhani, one of the delectable sidedishes from the Punjab region of India also happens to be one of my favorite ones. However, I usually reserve this rich and creamy dish to those occasions when I dine out. To watch oodles of butter and cream going into a dish while cooking, (however favorite that may be) would give me a heart attack. Keeping apart my reservations, those butter and cream lend the flavor and richness to the dish and protein packed dal makhani happens to be one of the popular and standard items on Indian restaurant menus, here in this country.
Preparing dal makhani is a simple task and even a novice cook can master it. Urad dal with the black husk (not the skinned* ones), rajma, chana / garbanzo beans are soaked and cooked till they attain a creamier texture. Also in go the spices, butter and cream resulting in a palate pleasing dal.
This was a decent recipe that contained less amounts of butter & cream.
Black uraddal (uraddal with skin) - 1/2 cup
Rajma / kidney beans - 1/2 cup
Chanadal - 1/4 cup
Tomato puree / tomato paste - 2 cups
Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
Butter 1 -2 Tbsp
Ginger paste / finely minced ginger - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp (or as needed)
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For tadka: 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, 8-10 fenugreek seeds
(I doubled the recipe to serve us twice, about 10 - 12 servings to serve with rotis. I omitted the garlic from the original recipe, used about 12 oz tomato paste, homemade garam masala and about 3 tsp of chili powder in the doubled recipe.)
1. Soak overnight (or as needed) the red kidney beans, black urad dal and chana dal. Throw away the soaked water and wash the legumes thoroughly. (Freeze the legumes, if using later.) Pressure cook them together and mash coarsely.
2. Heat the oil and add the minced ginger. When it starts to brown, add cumin seeds, asafoetida and the fenugreek seeds. When cumin starts to splutter, add the tomato puree. Cook the mixture for about ten minutes or till the tomato appears cooked, stirring often.
3. Add the cooked legumes and salt to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. If it appears too thick, add a few Tbsp of water.
4. Stir in red chilli powder, garam masala, heavy cream and 1 tbsp. butter. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and turn off the heat.
Our dal makhani was served with rotis, along with onion slices and lemon wedges.
* Skinned - Skin/husk removed
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