Friday, 31 May 2013

Dal Makhani

This one's to fall for. Ma ki Dal or Dal Makhani is a silky Punjabi dal infused with spices and flattered with butter, cream and milk. It leaves on your tongue many tastes at a time. It was a new introduction in my kitchen unlike Chole which I had cooked before. Needless to say, it's my husband's favourite dal. Once again, I got a preview of the dal at my ma-in-law's place.
I have to admit, it has since been my favourite too. It is a glamourous dal :) A delicacy that for me rules the Punjabi food. The first time around, I made it a bit runny- Gujaratis aren't use to thick dals. Second time around it had too much rajma in it. I was third time lucky. It's been a monthly affair in our home since then. An affair to remember.

Mission: Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani / Ma ki Dal
This recipe serves four.

200 gm black urad (whole, not split)
1+ 1/2 tbsp rajma (kidney beans)
1 tsp split chana dal (optional)
2 med size tomatoes- roughly chopped
1 med size onion- roughly chopped
2-3 medium spicy chillies- roughly chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dal makhani masala (I use Roopak's from Delhi)
1 black cardamom
2-3 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon
3-4 peppercorns
1/2" piece of ginger (finely chopped or grated)
3-4 tbsp butter (if you don't want to use butter, you can use oil)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream (you can replace it with milk)
Salt to taste + 1 tsp

1. Mix black urad, rajma and chana dal. Wash thoroughly and soak overnight. You can also soak it early in the morning in hot water. Transfer the mixture into a pressure cooker.

2. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, ginger and 1 tsp salt. Make sure there is enough water. Cook in the pressure cooker for about 12 whistles. (if you have soaked it in the morning, cook it till 15-17 whistles). Let it cool down.

3. In the meantime, grind tomatoes, onions and green chillies in a mixer-grinder into a smooth paste. In a kadai / deep pan, add butter. Add to it the tomato-onion-chilli paste. Cook on a low-medium flame for about 10-15 minutes.

Dal Makhani Masala from Roopak's
4. Open the pressure cooker. The dal should be very soft (can be easily mashed). Mash the dal mix with a pav-bhaji masher. (Remove excess water, you can keep 1-2 tbsp cooked water). Don't make it into a paste though. Now add this mashed mixture to the kadai and mix well.

Mashing Dal Mixture
 5. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dal makhani masala and salt. Mix well so that all the masalas are nicely incorporated. Add water only if required. The dal should be thick. Cook for about 7-8 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid the dal getting stuck to the bottom. Remove from the heat.

6. Add 1/4 cup milk and 1/8 cup cream to the dal and mix well. Add a little water. Transfer the dal once more in the pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook once more, this time only till one whistle. Let it cool down.

7. Open when completely cool. Give it one stir and adjust the spices if needed. While serving, top each bowl of dal with a cream swirl from the remaining cream. You can serve this delicious and gorgeous dal with parathas or steamed rice.

Gorgeous Dal Makhani

 So, go ahead, indulge! Bon Apetit!

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