Home cooked Dal Makhni
When I eat at a restaurant, I oftentimes wonder if I can replicate the same dish at home: keep the richness of the flavour, but cut out that cloyingly heavy feeling you get by eating that cream-and-butter-laden restaurant dish.
If you’re like me, you will like this recipe for Dal Makhani, which I made yesterday. “Makhan” refers to homemade white butter. This recipe contains no butter, but tastes just as good.
Ingredients: (all measurements are approximate. Feel free to add or subtract to suit your discretion)
- One cup whole masoor dal (also known as whole red lentil. If you live outside the Indian subcontinent, you will find it in any Indian or middle eastern grocery store)
- Half cup rajma (red kidney bean)
- One onion, finely chopped
- Few garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
- 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
- One fistful of cashew nuts
- Spices: Salt, dhania (Coriander) powder, jeera (Cumin) powder, haldi (turmeric) powder and optionally some pounded cinnamon, elaichi (cardamom). If you want it light on spices, skip the cinnamon and elaichi.
- Soak the rajma in warm water for a hour. Soak the cashews in warm water separately for an hour.
- Cook the masoor dal and rajma in a cooker and ensure they are well cooked, but not too gooey. Mash them with a hand masher so you can still see pieces of the lentil, but they’re soft and mixed together
- In a kadai (wide saute pan), heat some groundnut oil, add the onions, garlic, green chillies. Saute until the onions are lightly brown, then add the tomatoes; reduce the flame, put a lid on and cook until the tomatoes turn soft
- Now add the mashed dal, salt and other spices and let it simmer a few minutes. (I prefer to add the spices at this time, and not while sauteing the onions as this preserves their flavour and aroma)
- Grind the soaked cashews into a fine, slightly runny paste. Add most of it into the dal and mix it up.
- Pour into a bowl to serve, drizzle the rest of the cashew paste on top, add a few sprigs of coriander leaves to garnish.
- Eat with hot rotis
This is an amazing comfort food during the rainy season. If there is any of it left over, just warm it up and eat it as a snack. Do try it out and let me know how it was.