Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dal Makhani - Kali Dal - Black Lentils

Google says Dal makhani is most searched indian recipe. Dal Makhani is very famous in North India and mostly known as Ma ki dal. It is the most popular dal while ordering in restaurants. There are about a million different ways to cook kali dal as everybody has their own way of cooking in their household.

 My version contains whole black lentils and red kidney beans. I normally add a handful of rajma ( red kidney beans ) to a cup of kali dal. I usually soak whole black lentils for the whole night or 5 to 6 hours. I find it little less time consuming that way.

The traditional preparation of Dal makhani involves a series of time consuming procedure, which can take up to 24 hours to complete. However with the availability of pressure cooker the preparation time has reduced to 1 to 2 hours.

Rich, creamy lentils cooked with different types of spices in tomato, onion gravy makes it wholesome food for kids and adult. It is rich in protein and fiber. This dal taste wonderful and
goes well with steamed rice, naan or dal. Dal Makhani translates to "black lentils with butter." It contains not only butter but heavy cream and yogurt too. I know its filled with calories that is why its special treat. You can not eat every day, unless you are really trying to gain weight ;p . If you want low calorie version then you can replace Butter or ghee with oil and use skim milk instead of heavy cream. Dal freezes well. You can store it in airtight container.


  • 1 Cup Whole Urad Dal ( Black Lentils)
  • A handful of Rajma (Red kidney beans )
  • 2 Onions Finley Chopped
  • 3 Medium Tomatoes Coarsely Ground
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon of Ginger garlic and green chili paste
  • 3 Tablespoon of Ghee ( Clarified Butter ) Or butter, Or Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin (optional )
  • A Pinch of Hing (Optional )
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Turmeric (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Red chili powder (Use degi mirch )
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam masala
  • 1/2 Cup Yogurt ( Curd )
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream or Skim milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-4 Clove
  • 2" Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Badi Ilaychi ( Black cardamom)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kasoori methi ( Dry Fenugreek Leaves )
  • Coriander for garnish.

  • Soak whole black lentils and handful of rajma ( red kidney beans ) in 4 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours.

  • Drain the water. Pressure cook with a tablespoon of ghee, 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic and green chili paste and salt with enough water. about 45 minutes. cool it and coarsely blend it with a hand blender. Put again on the stove cook for 10 minutes. Add curd. mix well and cook   in a slow flame.

  • Heat a pan with 2 tablespoon of ghee or butter. Add clove, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cumin and hing, let it splutter. Add chopped onion and saute till golden brown. Add coarsely ground tomatoes and saute till oil separates. 
  • Add all the spices turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala. Saute for few seconds. Add dry fenugreek leaves and saute till fragrant.

  • Pour this mixture to dal and stir well. Check the salt if needs. Cook in a slow flame for few minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and cream.
  • Serve with Steamed Rice, Cumin Rice or Naan and Roti. 

  • You can cook low calorie version of this dal. Replace butter with oil and heavy cream with skim milk.

1 comment:

  1. I bookmarked this page... love to make it again and again.
    it's making me popular whoever tastes it. ;)
    Thanks to you.


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