Dal Makhani. Literally translated, it would mean buttery lentils and a well-made version certainly lives up to its name. :-). This rich and creamy dal was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, the legendary founder of the Moti Mahal Delux restaurant. It is now a staple in most restaurants that serve Punjabi food, but quality tends to vary. So imagine my delight when I had the most decadent version of of Dal Makhani at Punjab Grill.
The first thing I did on coming back home is search for a recipe. And imagine my joy at finding the original recipe of of Dal Makhani by Monish Gujral, the grandson of Kundan Lal Gujral.
However, my joy was shortlived when I discovered the enormous amounts of butter and cream that went into the recipe. Much as I love rich food, ask me to cook it and I quail at adding huge amounts of ghee, butter, or cream. However, in this case, my love of Dal Makhani (and the urging of Radhika of Sugar & Spice) made me overcome my hesitation.
I have adapted the recipe to use (much) lower amounts of butter and cream than in the original recipe. Instead, I cooked the dals in milk, and the result was a rich and creamy Dal Makhani.
Preparation Time: 10-12 Hours
Cooking Time: 1.5 Hours
- Whole Udad Dal or Black Gram – 1 Cup
- Rajma or Kidney Beans – 1/3 Cup
- Tomato Puree – 1/4 Cup
- Onion – 1 small
- Milk – 1.5 Cups
- Tomato Puree – 3 tbsp
- Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
- Green Chillies – 2
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon – 1″ piece
- Green Cardamom – 2
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Wash and soak the udad dal and rajma in 3 cups of water for at least 8 hours.
- Drain the water from the soaked dals.
- Add 2 cups of fresh water and pressure cook for at least 6 releases of pressure (6 whistles).
- Check that the dals are cooked and of mashable consistency. If not, pressure cook some more.
- If there is a lot of water remaining, drain it from the dal and set aside.
- Add 1 cup of milk to the cooked dals.
- Cook covered over low-medium heat till the milk is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Using a heavy ladle, mash the dals and set aside.
- Chop the onion into very fine pieces.
- In a heavy-bottomed vessel, melt the butter.
- Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
- Add the slit green chillies and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom.
- Stir fry for 1 minutes.
- Add the chopped onions and stir-fry till the onions turn golden brown.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste.
- Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato puree and stir-fry for 1 minute or till the raw smell of tomato disappears.
- Add red chilli and turmeric powders.
- Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the mashed dals and salt.
- Mix well.
- If the dal is too thick, add some water.
- Over low to medium heat, cook covered for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
- Serve hot with rotis or Jeera Rice.