Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dal Makhani

During wedding preparations they normally say, we can compromise on anything, but not on food. People remember your wedding by the food that was served & not by the jewelry, decoration or any other thing for that matter (there may be exceptions though!!). I am one among those people who remember occasions, weddings, parties by the food served. It always happens that I fall in love with one or the other dish served during such celebrations & it becomes a memorable one for me :)

The dishes adorned during some celebrations have become a part of our lunch/dinner menu now. I must say, dal makhani is one such dish. I was not fascinated about this dish, but I feel I have developed the liking for it & now I love this “black lentils cooked on a low heat with loads of butter & spices”.


Whole urad dal with skin/black lentils: 1 cup

Rajma/Kidney Beans: 1/4th cup

Ginger-garlic paste: 1tsp

Green chillies: 2 nos

Salt: according to taste

Cashew nuts: 8-10 soaked in water/milk

Plain Yogurt: 2-3tbsp (thick yogurt)

Savory water: ½ cup (optional)

Red chilli powder: 1 tsp

Amchur powder: 1 tsp (optional)

Garam masala: 1/2 tsp

Butter: 5tbsp

Kasoori Methi(Dried fenugreek leaves): 1 tbsp

Garlic paste: 1 tsp

Tomatoes: 3 nos (instead use 1 cup tomato puree)

Oil: 3 tbsp

Salt: According to taste

Cilantro/coriander leaves: 1 tbsp finely chopped for garnishing


  • Wash the rajma & black lentils thoroughly & soak them in water overnight or for 8-10hours. Drain completely.
  • Add 4 cups of water, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies to the soaked dals & pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Keep the heat on medium for the first 2 whistles & reduce the heat for the remaining.
  • Meantime, soak the cashewnuts in milk/water & prepare a smooth paste out of it.
  • Blanch the tomatoes & chop it finely or prepare a puree out of it.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, add oil to it. When oil is hot, add garlic & saute till garlic turns golden brown. Add tomato paste or finely chopped tomatoes & cook on a medium flame.
  • Crush the kasoori methi & add it to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes ooze out oil & changes its color.
  • Drain the water from the cooked lentils/dals & mash them gently.
  • Add the savory water, 1/2 cup water, salt & cooked dals to the pan. Add red chilli powder, amchur powder, cashew paste. Cook the dal on a low heat for 20-30mins. (Keep adding 2-3tbsp water if required).
  • Add yogurt, butter, garam masala & cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Garnish it with cilantro & serve hot with rotis/naans or plain parathas.

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