A Punjabi mixed lentil curry generally made with lots of butter and cream.This recipe tastes even better the following day after reheating properly.
PREP TIME : 8 hours COOK TIME : 1 hour TOTAL TIME : 9 hours
RECIPE TYPE: main SERVES: 4
(measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
- ¾ cup whole urad dal, 140 grams
- ¼ cup rajma, 40 grams
- 3 cups water for pressure cooking, 750 ml
- 1 medium onion or 50 grams onion or ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste or 6 to 7 garlic + 1 inch ginger, crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
- 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams tomatoes, pureed or 1 cup tomato puree
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
- 1 cup of water or add as required
- ¼ to ⅓ cup low fat cream, 25% to 30% fat
- ½ tbsp low fat cream for garnish
- ¼ tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 3 tbsp butter, salted or unsalted
- salt as required
For dhungar method: (optional)
- 1 small piece of charcoal
- ½ to ⅔ tsp oil
Preparing dal makhani:
- Soak both ¾ cup whole urad dal and ¼ cup rajma/kidney beans overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. later drain them well.
- Rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water.
- Drain again and then add them in a pressure cooker. add 3 cups water and stir well.
- Pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. if they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. the urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. you can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. the same rule applies for rajma too. keep the cooked beans aside.
- In a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped.
- Blend to a smooth puree. keep aside. you can also use ready 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes while pureeing.
- In a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. you can use salted butter or unsalted butter.
- Add the whole spices – ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf.
- saute till the spices become aromatic.
- Then add ½ cup finely chopped onions.
- Stir and saute the onions on a low flame often till they become light golden.
- Then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
- Add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
- Then add the tomato puree and stir again.
- Add ½ tsp red chili powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
- Stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.
- Then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. also add 1 cup water or as required.
- Stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.
- Keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
- Stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. when simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. the longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes. i kept for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. do keep on stirring at intervals.
- When the gravy has thickened enough, then add ¼ to ⅓ cup cream. dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. it has a medium consistency.
- Stir the cream very well. then switch off the flame.
- Now add ¼ tsp kasuri methi, crushed. stir again. cover and keep the dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. or else you can serve dal makhani straight away.
- Heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot. with the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it evenly burns.
- Keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.
- Pour ½ tsp oil on the charcoal.
- Immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.
- Cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal makhani. the more you keep the pan covered, the more the dal makhani gets the smoky flavor. i always keep for one to two minutes.
Serve dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, chapatis or steamed rice.