what is dal makhni?
Punjabi dal makhni or Maa di daal is a dish which everyone can enjoy. Makhani dal or kali dal is a whole black lentil (or kaali dal ) recipe which is great for parties too. It needs less ingredients. Everyone can eat it as it is very low in spices. Very simple yet very tasty. We love cooking it on Sunday for a lazy lunch. Hope you will enjoy making it too. All you need is some overnight soaking. You can make it in a sauce pan, and even in an instant pot. You will never go wrong with serving this dal for any party lunch or dinner.
One can understand the importance of this wholesome lentil by the fact that it is served in langar or community lunch at the Golden Temple Amritsar . Simply one word, divine Langar dal. Simple food yet full of flavor and devotion.
Indian recipes can be complex and yet so simple, that is the beauty of our food.
Legendary Kesar da dhaba
This is my favorite place to have it. Kesar da dhaba is a legendary dhaba which is over 100 years old. It is a on every foodies mind when they come to Amritsar. Once you have tasted food here you are spoilt for good. It is a place you will come back again and again. When you make food with this devotion and serve it with so much love, one can never forget. Minimal décor but maximum taste. It is a taste you will go back too time and again.
Both locals and tourists adore this food heaven. This dhaba is legendary and even the locals prefer getting this from dhaba, instead of making it. Reason: Dhaba cooks it overnight over a slow flame. I feel so fortunate having visited it and been able to speak to the legendary cooks who make it day in and out. You should see the pride and love in their eyes with which they serve. They can teach a lot to many about service and humility.
The dal makhani ingredients are pretty basic, apart from the black dal/lentils & kasuri methi, rest of the items are easily available in any pantry.
- For boiling lentils
- Kali urad daal/ whole black lentils
- Rajma/ red kidney beans (fresh or canned kidney beans)
- For cooking
- Ginger garlic paste
- Malai/milk cream
- Red chili powder
- Garam masala
- Dried red chilly ,green chillies (if you like it spicy)
- Chopped coriander
- Kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
- Deep saucepan/steel pot or handi can be used.
Note: You can also boil the black gram in pressure cooker or use an instant pot to make this recipe.
how to make dal makhani ?
- Ingredients are mainly kali urad daal and rajma. Rinse and wash with cold water for 1-2 times in a bowl. Soak them in enough water for 8 hours. Once soaked, they double in size. Discard the water.
2. In a pot, add the dahl and rajma along with 4 cups water and salt. Allow it to boil. Once it has come to boil cover it with a lid. Let it cook on a low heat for 30 mins. If it is not soft, then add little more water and cook for few more minutes.
3. Puree tomatoes ,green chilly, garlic and ginger in a blender. Add this to the lentils and mix well.
4. Add fresh cream and cook for 10 mins.
5. Mix the remaining spices and cook for 10 mins.
6. Stir well. Add more water if required.
7. Add kasuri methi to it and cook for 5-10 mins until it comes to a boil. Serve hot with tandoori roti or jeera rice. Finish the meal with gulab jamun.
8. Optionally, you can add a tadka/tempering of ghee with little red chilli powder on top of this dal if you want to make the amritsari dal makhani recipe
dhaba style dal makhani recipe
For boiling dal
- 1 cup kali Whole urad dal /black gram lentils soaked overnight
- ¼ cup Rajma /red kidney beans soaked overnight
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 litre Water
- 2 tablespoon Ghee or clarified butter
- 2 large tomatoes pureed
- ½ cup malai or fresh cream
- 1 tablespoon Ginger-garlic
- 1 tablespoon Green chillies chopped finely
- ½ tablespoon coriander leaves chopped finely
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- ½ tablespoon Red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon Kasoori methi or Dried fenugreek leaves
- 3-4 red chillies optional for tempering
- ½ tbsp. salt
For boiling dal
- Rinse and wash urad dal and rajma with cold water for 1-2 times in a bowl.
- Soak them in enough water for 8 hours. Once soaked, they double in size. Discard water before usage.
- In a pot or deep saucepan, add the lentils and rajma along with 4 cups water and salt.
- Allow it to boil. Once it has come to boil cover it with a lid. Let it cook on a low flame for 30 mins. If it is not soft, then add little more water and cook for few more.
- Puree tomatoes ,green chilly, garlic, ginger in a blender.Add this to the pot of dal.
- Add fresh cream cook for 10 mins.
- Mix remaining spices and cook for 10 mins or until it is cooked. Add more water if required.
- Add kasuri methi and cook for 10 mins.
- Optionally, if you like lentils extra hot, you may heat ghee in a pan and temper red chillies. Add this to dal to make it spicy. Garnish with coriander.
- Serve hot with rice or roti/parantha.
Bring the cream to room temperature before using chilled or cold cream can split when put in hot dal. Adjust the quantity of water while cooking the dal. Please note that once the dal cools, it will become more thick. Add a teaspoon garam masala or increase the quantity of red chilli powder if you like it spicier. You may use low fat cream as well if you want a low fatty ice cream
how do you make dal makhani ? (video)
What can we eat with dal makhani?
It is best served with tandoori roti or naan. It is made with love and it shows. Add a teaspoon of ghee just before you serve for that extra yum feeling. I don't own a tandoor(I wish I had that space in an apartment) but making it on gas stove or instant pot works for now.
If you want to plan a menu for a guest. Serve with a boondi raita and jeera rice. Add an easy curry like aloo baingan or matar paneer or any Punjabi curry from the below list. Finish the meal with good old gulab jamun , rasmalai or an easy kheer.
Best Punjabi curries you can make
- Aloo gobhi
- Chole bhature
- Paneer butter masala
- Paneer tikka masala
- Achari paneer
One of the variation that can be done is to make langar dal or langar wali dal.
A langar is the community kitchen of a gurdwara, which serves meals to all free of charge, regardless of religion, caste, gender, economic status, or ethnicity.
The only change is to not to add the cream,just add the tempering of ghee and cumin seeds with red chilli powder at the end.
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