Cookbook

LuAnn's Dal Makhani (Rich Lentil Sauce/Curry) :rectnt *PIC*

LuAnn's Dal Makhani (Rich Lentil Sauce/Curry)

This delicious Punjabi (northern Indian) dish is one of our favorite menu items when visiting an Indian restaurant - though we must always remember to request that it be seasoned mildly, since it can be very hot! Wishing to be able to make it at home, I developed this recipe, loosely based on the source noted below. The list of spices is long, but all of them (except the mango powder), are staples in my kitchen. (Knowing I wanted to make this dish for Sonya while visiting Pennsylvania, I brought the necessary spices from home when I came).

Dal Makhani is served with cooked aromatic rice, such as jasmine. I prefer to use BROWN (whole grain) jasmine or basmati rice when available.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons dry (uncooked) red kidney beans*
1/2 cup dry (uncooked) black lentils **
1 Tablespoon olive oil (or butter for non-vegans)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds***
1 small to medium sweet onion, chopped chopped
2 green chilies, chopped (or to taste)****
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dry mango powder*****
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger paste
Salt to taste
1 cup water
1 cup cashew cream (or fresh cream for non-vegans)******
2 bay leaves
Fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish

Instructions:

Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight.
Cook/pressure cook the lentils and beans until they are soft, then set aside. (See my note for substituting canned beans).
Heat the oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the cumin seeds, then stir for about 10 seconds or until aromatic.
Add the onions and green chilies, if using, then saute until the onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garam masala, dry mango powder (or lemon/lime juice), turmeric, chili powder and coriander, then continue sauteing for another minute or two.
Add the tomato and ginger paste, then saute for a final minute or two, until the tomatoes give up their juices.
Add the cooked, drained red kidney beans, then mash slightly.
Add the cooked, drained black lentils.
Stir in the cream, water and bay leaves, then cook until the mixture just comes to a boil; reduce the heat to low and cook gently for a few minutes to help develop the flavor.
Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serve hot over cooked rice.
Garnish with cilantro.


*Or half of a 15-ounce can of red kidney beans (rajma), rinsed and drained
**Black lentils (black urad whole dhal) can be hard to find, though they are easily obtainable on the internet. In lieu of cooking dry lentils, substitute a 15-ounce can of black lentils, rinsed and drained. (I actually make this often enough that I ordered a CASE of 12 cans of black lentils at a reasonable price from Amazon. However, I also have the dried black lentils to use when I have enough time to cook them "from scratch".)
***Or, substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, adding along with the other ground spices after the onions are sauteed.
****I omit the chilies, due to my husband's aversion to spicy foods; however, if you like "hot", add chilies, to taste.
*****Dry mango powder (amchoor chana) is added for a bit of tartness; since I do not have this as a staple in my kitchen, I substitute lemon or lime juice.
******I substitute cashew cream (made by blending 1/4 cup soaked raw cashews with enough water to obtain desired "richness" - I use about 1 cup - until smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender, you may want to strain the "cream" through cheesecloth.)

Source: Loosely adapted by LuAnn from http://hariniscorner.blogspot.com/2011/02/dal-makhani.html. (Photo from the blog Kitchen Gypsies, chosen because it looks the most like my finished dish).

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