Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dal Makhani or Maa Ki Dal (Creamy Black Lentils)

Dal Makhani is a very popular side dish in North India. The best Dal Makhani I have tasted in in Delhi. This is one dal that goes well with both rotis as well as rice. Its very easy to make this, but yes it takes long time on the gas stove, of course with minimum intervention from the cook, but it does take time to get the perfect taste. Hence best made on weekends.
Try making this at home its very simple and tasty.
Serves 3

Black Lentils or Whole Urdal dal – 150 gms
Rajma or Red kidney beans - 25 gms
Onion - 1 large - chopped finely
Tomato - 1 large - chopped finely
Ginger - 2 inch piece, cut into thin strips
Garlic - 4 flakes - chopped
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Nut meg or Jaiphal - 1/4 piece
Mace or outer cover of Nutmeg or Javithri - 1/4 piece
Cloves - 2
Star Anise - 1/2 ( Optional )
Dry Mango powder or Amchur - 1 tsp ( Optional)
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Green chilly -2 - finely chopped
Ghee - 2 tbsp for frying
Butter - 50 gms - for simmering
Cream - 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - finely chopped for garnishing

Soak the Black lentils and Red kidney beans in thrice the amount of water overnight. Now wash and drain, and then boil the Black lentils and Red kidney beans together in the cooker with enough water for about 30 minutes.
Dry grind Nutmeg, Cloves, Mace and Star Anise to a fine powder. Now mix red chilly powder, Amchur or mango powder, and Asafoetida and keep aside.
Now take a heavy bottomed pan, keep on low heat, add the ghee and fry the ginger, garlic, green chillies and onions till golden brown. Now add the tomatoes and fry till oil separates. Now add the prepared spice mixture or masala and fry for 1 minute. Now add the boiled black lentils and Red kidney beans and mix well. Add 1 tbsp cream , 1 cup water and all the butter, and cover and simmer for about 30 minutes and as long as 2-3 hours.
The longer it is simmered the tastier it gets as the dal absorbs the ghee, butter and cream.
In most 5 star restaurants the dal is allowed to simmer overnight.
Garnish with lots of cream and chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis or rice.

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