Monday, January 30, 2012

Dal Makhani ~ An Indian Classic

Of all the North Indian and Frontier West cuisines, Dal Makhani is one of my many favorites. The warmth of this dish easily spells comfort and is my go-to dish if we are out for dinner at any Indian restaurant. Dal is Lentils and Makhani comes from the hindi word Maakhan which is Butter, hence a buttery version of Dal. Many a times, I wondered if I could re-create the flavors in my home kitchen with minimum fat and added flavor. The creamy taste of the Tomato rich Dal & Kidney Beans dipped in pillow soft Naan is something I yearn when I crave for restaurant kind of Khana.

Dal Makhani uses Skinned Split or Whole Urad Dal as one of its primary components. This pulse is a new entrant in my kitchen. I must confess though I had eaten this dish at my friend Sandy's place many years ago and instantly loved the soft texture of this pulse. His Mom hails from Delhi and cooks delicious Mughlai and Old Delhi dishes. Seeing my enthusiasm, she invited me to her kitchen and gave me the recipe of Dal Makhani and Roz ke Chole, her version of Chole which is less loaded with oil and can be made daily for family dinners served with Roti.

Urad Dal (Split and Skinned)

Later, I made this dish in India for a few hungry friends with chopped Tomatoes and was not happy with the results. Next time around, I switched to Tomato Puree and was amazed at the difference it did to the texture of the dish. Her recipe has a home style flavor and uses two main ingredients - Split Ural Dal (skinned) and Red Kidney Beans in 1: 1/3 proportion. The best part is a cup of Ural Dal yields plenty of slow cooked soft textured Dal which can easily feed an army of hungry people!

~ Dal Makhani ~
Preparation time: 6-8 soaking time + 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Split Urad Dal (skinned) - 1 cup
Red Kidney Beans (Rajma) - 1/3 cup
Tomato Puree - 2 cups
Ginger (chopped) - 1" piece
Garlic (crushed) - 3-4 Jumbo pods
Green Chillies (slit lengthwise) - 2
Vegetable stock - 1/2 cup

Masala -
Red Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning -
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

For Garnish & Finish -
Cream (optional) - 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves (chopped) - 1/2 cup

Contraption -
Vegetable Masher

Clean the Dal for any usual suspects. Soak overnight or for at least 8-10 hours. Once done, wash and rinse in multiple changes of water (3-4) till water is clear. Pressure cook Rajma and Urad Dal together along with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies for upto 4 whistles. Allow to cool. Mash with a Vegetable masher till its gooey and soft. Do not over-mash and make it mushy. Keep it aside.
In a deep dish pan, heat few blobs of butter and temper with Cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add Red Chilli powder, Coriander powder and Turmeric powder. Turn the flame to low while you do this. Add the mashed Dal now and mix well to form a consistency. Adjust salt and add more chilli powder to increase heat. Add vegetable stock to adjust consistency. Bring to boil and simmer on low flame with lid on for 8-12 minutes. Once cooked, cover and serve warm with Unleavened Bread (Naan)/ Roti/ Parathas. Garnish with a drizzle of cream and a gentle sprinkle of coriander leaves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate any comment and would love to hear from you. Trust you enjoy my blog.