Coming from South India and especially being brought up in a Telugu household, Dal or Pappu (cooked lentils) is a regular fare at our home. There would not be a single day Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) would not used in the cooking. The next predominantly used lentil is the Moong Dal (split green gram). However, in the North of India dal always doesn’t mean the same as it is in the South. A variety of pulses are used, to make Dal. Since we don’t always make these kind of lentils often, I quickly picked up this North Indian recipe of Dal Makhani when Lina posted about the curry challenge.
Dal Makhani literally means lentils cooked in butter. It has got to be one of the richest curries or gravies made using lentils. Interestingly for this recipe, two kinds of lentils are used. Whole Black Urad Dal (White Lentils with the skin) and the Rajma (Kidney Beans). I have adapted this recipe from here, after making modifications to suit our taste palate. This Dal recipe is simple - the only effort here is to soak both these lentils for about 8 hours/overnight and then making the dal itself is quite simple. Dal Makhani is quite flavorful and one can taste the butteriness (hah it’s a word I just invented) and creaminess of the lentils. Both these lentils have to be cooked until they are mushy and they naturally tend to give creaminess to the dal. Addition of fresh cream towards the end takes this dish a notch higher. Usually served with Pulav/Ghee rice, it tastes delightful. I hope Parul from Gharkepakwan and Sandhya from Indfused like this recipe 🙂
To make Dal Makhani
What I used –
- Whole Black Urad Dal, ¾th cup
- Rajma (Kidney Beans), ¼th cup
- Onion, 1 large
- Tomatoes, 2 medium
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
- Green Chillies, 1 or 2
- Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Butter, 1 tbsp
- Low Fat Fresh Cream, 5 tablespoon (+ extra to garnish)
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Red Chilli Powder, 5 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, ¾th tsp
- Salt, as required
- Water, as required
How I made –
1. Soak the urad dal and rajma for atleast 8hrs/overnight. Wash and drain off the water. Cook for 7-8 whistles in a pressure cooker until they are mushy. Set aside.
2. In a pan, heat butter. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add finely chopped onions along with chopped green chillies. Fry until translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 mins until the raw smell is gone.
3. Add finely chopped tomatoes. Add half of the turmeric powder and salt to cook the tomatoes. Cook on low flame until the tomatoes are mushy.
4. Add the cooked lentils along with the water and mix well. Add salt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
5. Cook the dal on low flame until it is thick for about 15-20mins. Check for salt and spiciness. Add fresh cream, mix well and remove from heat.
6. Serve hot with a topping of more butter or fresh cream. Goes well with Pulav/Ghee Rice/Plain Rice/Roti.
- Black Urad Dal and Rajma has to be soaked long enough to be cooked to a mush.
- Sometimes it can be hard to cook Rajma. If it’s not mushy, cook for another 3-4 whistles.
- Adjust spices as per preference.
- The longer the Dal cooks, the better it tastes.
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