Monday, October 5, 2015

Dal Makhani - with no cream and very little butter

Yes yes - you read the title right. It is the same Dal Makhani ...... but there is no cream and there is very little butter. Don't even think that it wont taste rich or it will taste like other not so healthy cardboard kind of dishes. This tastes divine. And just as the 'Beejee' (from where I took the inspiration for this dish) says..... it flows like butter from your tongue into your throats and to your tummy.
Lets talk a little about where I got the inspiration for this dal from. I have a virtual friend named Ansh who blogs at 'SpiceRoots' - you must visit her blog to read her amazing stories and to see her beautiful pictures and of course to read and recreate her sumptuous recipes. She had posted the recipe for this dal makhani and the story of how "Beejee" had said that a real Dal Makhani need not have all the butter or cream - but, it should glide from your tongue into the throats and then to the tummy. You have to visit the page to read her story. Here is the link Dal Makhani - by Spice Roots
There is the use of mustard oil in this recipe - If you do not like to use mustard oil - its too bad! (just like Ansh says) you can very much use any other oil of your choice. Ofcorse this will alter the taste of the dal. 
I used to be intimidated by mustard oil - like so many other I know of. But, trust me. When you learn how to use mustard oil - its the best one to cook with. Food tastes amazing and the golden hue that the food gets because of this oil - well, that another dimension to the food altogether. 

I tried and made it a little easier for myself - Blame the shortcut 'Me'. In that process I made some changes, mainly the use of some extra spices to get some  spice aroma.
We love this Dal Makhani and it has become a staple at home and even at parties.


2 Cups Maa ki Dal (Whole Black Gram/Urad Dal)
1/2 cup Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
1 medium onion - chopped
5 garlic cloves - grated
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 Tablespoon mustard oil (or any other oil of your choice)
1 medium tomato - chopped
1 inch ginger - julienned
1 Tablespoon red chilli powder
1 Tablespoon coriander cumin powder
2 teaspoons Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamom
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish
1 Tablespoon butter for garnish (optional)
1 Tablespoon cream for garnish (optional)


wash the Urad dal and the rajma and then soak them in 6 cups of water for atleast 12 hours (overnight soaking is a good idea to make the dal in the late morning/early afternoon).
When ready to make  the dal - first chop the onions and grate the garlic. Drain the urad dal and rajma and put them into a pressure cooker with 5 cups of water. To this add the onions, garlic, asafoetida, turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of mustard oil. Pressure cook the dal and rajma for about 5 whistles. Shut the heat and let the pressure be released on its own - would take about 15 minutes.
I use my terracota pot (its similar to a clay pot) to make this dal - but, you can use a saucepan or a kadhai too. Place the pot on the stove and heat it. Add ghee to it - when it gets hot add the cumin and let it splutter. Add the ginger and the chopped tomatoes and saute till ghee leaves the sides. Add the coriander cumin powder, chiili powder and the cooked dal from the pressure cooker. Add salt to taste. Cover and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer on low heat. In the meantime - pound the black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon into a powder using a mortar and pestle. Add this to the cooking dal and mix well. If the dal is too thick, you can add a little water to get the dal consistency to your liking (remember this is a thick dal and is not runny).
Garnish with chopped cilantro, butter and cream. Serve hot with rotis, naan or white rice that has been steamed. Enjoy!

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