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Dal Makhani is the most savored Punjabi dhaba dal had Indians all over India and around the world. Black urad dal and rajma mingled in the subtle spices are simmered with cream and butter for as long as 30 to 45 minutes bringing in the rich and delicious flavors of the lentils and spices. The longer it simmers the tastier it gets. Serve the dal with any of the Indian Breads or Paneer Pulav and another vegetarian accompaniment like Paneer Makhani will add more richness to the meal.
Makes: 4-6 servings
¾ cup whole black urad dal soaked over night
¼ cup red kidney beans/ rajma soaked over night
½ cup pureed tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon chopped green chilles
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon cardamon powder
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
Salt to taste
Cook the whole black urad lentils and red kidney beans adding enough water (about 4 cups) and salt until soft, tender and well cooked. You can cook them using the pressure cooker method or in a large sauce pan with a lid.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan; add ginger sauté for a few seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cardamon powder and cumin powder. Sauté until tomatoes begin to bubble, for about a minute.
Stir in the cooked lentils, 1 cup of water and simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the salt levels as the lentils are already cooked with salt.
The longer you simmer the spices get absorbed better into the lentils releasing special flavors that is irresistible. I have heard traditional punjabi’s simmering the dal/lentils for more than an hour or two to get intense and rich flavors. Make sure you monitor it stirring occasionally so it does not thicken itself at the bottom of the pan.
During the last 10 minutes of the simmering stage, stir in the fresh cream and dried fenugreek leaves. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve hot.
Serve along with sliced onions, slit salted green chillies, a tomato cucumber salad, and cut lemon wedges.