Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dal Makhani | Indian Curry Recipes

Dal Makhani aka Maa di Dhal is a dish from the state of Punjab in India. Traditionally it is cooked slowly by simmering in low heat from which it gets its rich creamy texture. It was something which I never thought of making at home. But being a food blogger is to break open the boundaries and getting out of the comfort zone to try and cook with ingredients which is new to me. I wouldn't say the black urad dhal is new to south indian cooking. It is a main ingredient in azhagar koil dosai, a dosa recipe famous in the Madurai region of Tamil Nadu. I also remember my mom soaking this whole black urad dhal with skin in water for making idli batter, before the advent of skinned urad dhal. She would patiently rub the soaked dhal and remove the skin by washing. 

Ingredients:
Serves - 4-6
Whole Urad dhal (with skin) - 1 cup (160 ml)
Kidney Beans / Rajma - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Onion, chopped - 1 cup
Tomato, ripe - 2
Green chilli - 1
Ginger, grated - 1 tsp
Garlic, grated - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cream/ Half & Half / Evaporated milk - 120 ml (more or less per taste)
Water - 2-3 cups

Method:
Wash the beans together. In a pressure cooker place the dhal and beans with 4 cups of water, turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp of salt and pressure cook for 6 whistles. The dhals can be alternatively soaked for 6-8 hours. In that case cooking for 2 whistles should be good. When done, mash the dhals slightly and set aside. In a saucepan, heat oil and saute the onions until they are translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or so. Add the finely chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt and fry until it is well mashed. Add the chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt (to taste) and mix for a minute. Add the cooked dhal with 2 cups of water. If the dhal is too thick you may add another cup of water. Check for seasoning and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cream and mix. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot with some rotis/jeera rice.

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