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Monday, November 21, 2005

The king of Dals - Dal Makhaani

Lentils (or what we call Dal) have a strange association with Indian food. For thousands of years.... they have been tried and experimented and the taste has evolved from simple boiled soups to beautifully textured curries...... And still - depending on the mood and the vegetables that you're cooking - Dal till this date can blend beautifully and can be either the highlight of the spread or the silent accomplice.

So the long promised Maharajah of Lentil curries is here today.
Dal Makhaani, literally means 'Lentils in Cream'. And people have all sorts of ways of making their Dal creamy..... some add bucket loads while the curry is cooking while some others prefer to garnish the Dal with a large dollop right at the end. I do whatever I feel like depending on the mood! :)

Dal Makhaani

Ingredients --

1 cup - Black Lentils
1/2 cup - Kidney beans
1/2 cup - Bengal Gram *Chana dal*
1/4 cup - Yellow Lentils or Toor Dal *Arhar dal*

1 inch finger of ginger chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
1 large tomato (or two small ones) finely chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
2 green/red chillies finely chopped

1 tablespoon Coriander powder *dhania powder*
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
1/2 tablespoon Rajmah Masala
1 tiny pinch of asafoetida *heeng*
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder *haldi*
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds *jeera*
4 table spoon of oil/ghee
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

And ofcourse Cream!

Method --

1. Mix the Black lentils, Kidney beans, Bengal gram lentils and Yellow lentil and wash thoroughly. Then soak these lentils in water (enough to cover the lentils and an inch above the level of the lentils) - for atleast 4-5 hours. You can simply leave them overnight if you want them all ready for your Saturday lunch!
2. Wash the lentil mix after soaking is complete and pressure cook them with ginger, turmeric powder and salt. Let it cook for upto 4 whistles.

*Basically the more you soak - the less whistles you need and vice versa! I have cheated at times and soaked the lentils for barely two hours and then given them upto 8 whistles!! And all just to make sure that the lentils and the kidney beans are cooked really well.*

3. In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds and cook slightly till they sputter. Add the chopped chillies and cook for a minute.
4. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes till the onions turn golden brown. Add spices - i.e. turmeric powder, chilli flakes, Coriander powder, Garam masala and Rajmah Masala. Mix well and let the spices blend with each other and layer the onions.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook the mixure for upto 3 minutes or till the whole mix turns into a saucy paste. Can add half a cup of water while cooking if the mix is too dry.
6. Add the boiled Lentils, mix the whole mixture really well and cook in low flame for about 10 minutes.

All done!

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with a dollop of cream in top. For cream lovers you can add the cream to the cooking Dal in the last minute and let it blend into a milky looking Dal.

This can be enjoyed with warm rotis or Naan or steamed Basmati rice!


Blogger Meena said...

Thanks a ton Nupur!!! I've been dying to cook this dish - this is the ONLY Makhani dish I like!! Been waiting ages for someone to post an easy recipe.

Now I know what I'm having this weekend...have a pack of garlic naan in the freezer waiting!! :o)


November 21, 2005 7:45 PM  
Blogger Fursat said...

hey nupur..i have cooked dal-makhni few times...but my receipe slightly diff from yours...

will try it :)

November 24, 2005 4:41 AM  
Anonymous tony said...

Hi Nupur, Nice one. i just love Daal Makhani, and since I love potatoes, I even add potatoes during the Boil, and later mash them thoroughly.. Gives a yummy Potaty taste lol..

Try my daal mein taal at

November 24, 2005 7:00 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Nicely explained, Nupur~ I'm so glad to see you back!:)

Question: When you say 'black lentils', do you mean whole urad dal?

November 24, 2005 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Ricky2Nupur said...

Oye Hoye Nupureeeeeeeeeeee!!

So, finally "Dal Makhni" on my demand is up.

My God!! I am excited. Now, I will just have to head out and bring the stuff needed. This should be fun and exciting.

Thank You jee!! I will give the review ASAP.

November 24, 2005 11:15 PM  
Blogger Meena said...

Hi Nupur!

Do check out

- Meena

November 25, 2005 7:48 AM  
Blogger fullmoononearth said...

Thanx for the recipe. This is my current favourite n wat cud be better if I cud prepare it for myself. Thanks again:)

November 29, 2005 4:41 AM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Meena: :D Excellent!!!
And garlic naan... yummmm! Now you are giving me ideas..*hehehehe* Let me know how you go gurl!

November 30, 2005 8:51 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Neetie: Hey gurl.... please drop sometips here if you have already made it a diff. way... we here are more than happy to get tips to make the recipes more exciting!!! :D

November 30, 2005 8:52 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Tony: :D That is exactly how my bro makes it too. I guess... he's also a hude potato-fan like you!!

November 30, 2005 8:53 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Courtney: :) Hi there! Sorry... I keep dropping in and out. *too much happening in the offline life!*

And yess... you are right - we need the dark whole urad daal! :D

Did you get a chance to make it yet?!

November 30, 2005 8:55 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Ricky: Haanji Ricky jiiiiiii!!!!
:D LOL!!!
I shall be waiting to hear how your Dal-Makhani comes out!

November 30, 2005 8:55 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

Meena: Hiya! OK!

November 30, 2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Nupur said...

FullMoonOnEarth: :D OH! Ur most welcome....!!
Lemme know how you go.


November 30, 2005 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi...just read this yesterday and got motivated..its on the menu for tonight :)

December 01, 2005 6:16 AM  
Blogger Nupur said...

RS: Excellent! :D

December 01, 2005 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 teaspoon of turmeric is too much for this recipe. Normally people recommend 1/2 teaspoon at the most. Its very important to know right quantity of each ingredient in making of any dish coz excess of even any spices is bad too. Though I like your effort of putting this dal makhanni recipe online

May 12, 2009 2:03 AM  
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