Dal Makhani Chronicles
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
Dal Makhani is everything that a Punjabi can ever dream about. We love this bowl of creamy, soft, velvety dal, and I don’t think any of us want to live a life that doesn’t include Dal Makhani.
When we see a bowl of Dal Makhani, we just want to grab a piece of Naan and drown in it and trust me we don’t even want anyone to rescue us. We are happy drowning in the Dal relishing it and enjoying it without a thought about the copious and unhealthy amount of Butter and Cream that has gone into making this dal the legend that it is.
Makhan means Butter and the original recipe calls for around 250 gms of Butter and a kilo of Tomatoes plus a lot of Cream and the dal is simmered in a slow cooker for hours and hours till it becomes the heart attack in a bowl that it is.
My version of dal makhani is a cheats version. If you follow my blog at all you will know by now that despite my passion for eating good food, I do not have the inclination to slog for hours cooking something even as delicious as this Dal. So to the utter dismay Of Dal Makhani purists I use only a small helping of Butter and Cream, and the Dal is ready under an hour. I think it tastes as good as the butter loaded version, but you can disagree if you wish to while I tuck into this tasty Dal which is a treat to eat.
2 cups Black urad dal
1/2 cup Rajma/Kidney Beans (optional)
4 large Tomatoes finely chopped
2 tsp fresh Ginger/Garlic paste
1 large Onion finely chopped
3 green cardamoms
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Mustard oil (Optional)
2 tsp red chili powder
3 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp Butter or Ghee
1/2 cup Cream (Optional)
Salt to taste
1) Soak the Urad dal and Rajma in water for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2) Wash them in freshwater the day after, drain them,to be kept aside.
3) In a pressure cooker, add the vegetable oil. Once it heats, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamoms, and Ginger garlic paste.
4) Add the finely chopped Onions and cook till translucent, and then add the tomatoes and salt. Once the moisture starts to release from the tomatoes, add the red chili and cumin powder. You can choose to use 1 tsp concentrated tomato paste as well.
5) Add the dal without any water and mix well. The dal needs to coat in the spice mix for 10 minutes. Keep stirring, so it doesn't burn.
6) Add 4 cups water and mustard oil. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook till done. If using an Instant Pot, cook for 1 hour.
7) Turn off the heat and let the pressure release.
8) Serve hot, garnished with butter, cream, and fresh coriander.
If you don't have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can boil the dal with water, , and 1/2 tsp Bakin,g Soda and Mustard oil in a large pan till the dal is cooked. Then do the onion/Tomato and spice mix separately in a pan and add it to the cooked dal and cook on a low flame for 30 minutes.
You can also Slow cook this dal for 8 hours in a slow cooker.
You can skip the Onion and Garlic and just use Tomatoes and Ginger.
Mustard Oil is optional but helps bring the dal together and makes it more creamy