My version of Dal Makhani is simple to make and tastes dynamite. The recipe will make enough for 10-12 small servings. I will either have this plain or spoon this over a 1/2 cup cooked basmati rice, as my main dish. With it I will have a salad or grilled vegetables. It tastes great and is incredibly healthy for you.
1 cup whole urad dal (black lentils)
2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
14oz can diced tomatoes*
2 tbsp grated ginger
1-3 tsp red chili powder (or to ones taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup canned (dark red kidney beans)**
1 tbsp salted butter plus 1 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
small pinch of hing (Asafoetida) (use of this ingredient is optional. I like it but some people don’t)
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and divided (more if desired)
3 dried red chilies
1/2 cup cream or half and half
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
* Canned tomatoes taste better than 99% of store bought tomatoes. If you grow your own or get organic from a farmers market then use them; if not you can’t beat canned tomatoes for this recipe. ** The original recipe calls for dried kidney beans. I don’t like them because they take too long to get tender and the canned version works just as well.
Wash urad dal under streaming water until the water runs clear, then soak over night (8 hours minimum).
Next, Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker or heavy bottom (3 quart) pot. Add half of the garlic, onions and saute over medium-heat until onions are translucent. Now add canned tomatoes, grated ginger, chili powder, turmeric and garam masala and salt. Saute an additional few minutes to combine flavors.
Next, add the lentils and just enough water to cover them. With lid off bring the mixture to a boil. Now it’s time to secure and lock the lid. Cook over medium-high. Once the the whistle begins to blow, cook for an additional 30 minutes. If you are using a heavy bottom pot, then cook lentils until done. This may take around an hour and a half. The longer they cook the creamier they become. This is not a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal.
After the 30 minutes is up, turn the heat off and release the steam. Once it is safe to unlock the lid, do so and set the cooker back on low heat to further simmer. With a potato masher, mash the dal slightly to increase the thickness and add a creamier texture to the dish. Now is the time to add the 1 cup of canned kidney beans.
In a separate pan heat the oil/butter combo and toss in the cumin seeds and hing. The seeds and hing will begin to crackle. Now is the time to add the rest of the garlic and dried red chilies. saute this over medium-high heat until the garlic browns, then remove from heat.
Remove the chili pods from the mixture, then spoon the mixture into the pot of dal.
I like to cook the combined ingredients for another 30 minutes to increase the tenderness of the dal/beans and add additional smoothness to the Dal Makhani.
Just before serving, stir in 1/2 cup cream or half and half.
Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. I like adding a dash or two of a habanero based hot sauce for an extra kick. I really does bring out all the flavors or the dish and really pulls it all together.
This recipe is copyrighted by Marcus Ettinger 2009 all rights reserved.
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