April 15, 2012

Dal Makhani

So Tony is an Indian food enthusiast who sticks to 2 basic items on an Indian menu ... Dal Makhani (Buttery Black Lentils) and Chicken Tikka Masala. He requested an Indian meal this weekend and in his vocabulary that usually means Dal with Steamed rice and chapatis.

Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani is made with Black Lentils, or Urad Dal. These beans have black skins with a creamy white interior. The whole bean has a strong, earthy flavor mainly because of the black skin and is most often used in this preparation. Split dal, with the skin retained also has a similar strong flavor. The split dal without the skin in my opinion, tastes like mush!

Urad Dal
Unlike most of my other recipes, Dal Makhani takes a few hours of cooking time. Stove-top cooking is not recommended, and pressure cooking is most commonly used. But the easiest fix-it-and-leave-it method is to use a crock-pot or slow-cooker.  I found a recipe online on another blog (Oh Taste n See) and modified it to my own style and taste ….. 

Prep Time: About 6-8 hours in a slow cooker.

Cucumber & Red Onion Salad
  1. 1 cup whole Urad dal
  2. 1/4 cup Red/Black Kidney Beans
  3. 1 large Red onion onion, diced
  4. 2 large tomatoes, diced. 
  5. 2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  6. 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  7. 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  8. 1-2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  9. 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  10. 3-5 Bay leaves
  11. 1 cup Soy Milk
  12. Salt and pepper, to taste
  13. 2 tsp fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped. 

Wash and soak the beans overnight* in ample amounts of water (3-4 times the amount of beans). You can add a dash of salt here (some people do), but in my opinion it only slows the osmosis of water into the bean and I just use plain water. Put all ingredients, except for the milk, in the crock pot, and about 3 cups of cold water and cook on high for about 5 to 6 hours. The tomatoes and onions will cook down so don't worry about how they're diced. A course chop is all that's needed. Occasionally stir the pot during this time, and add more water if needed. About an hour or so before dinner, add soy milk, stir well and reduce heat to low. Garnish with pepper and Coriander leaves. I served it over Turmeric Spice Rice, and with Chapatis. Alongside, I also served a Cucumber and Red Onion Salad ... thinly sliced cukes and onions, with salt and lemon/lime juice. 

Nik's Reaction: Although he's loved dal-chawal (Lentils and rice) in the past, he wasn't in the mood for it this time. He enjoyed the Turmeric Spice Rice I made, and had some of Mutter Paneer Bhurji with a buttered, rolled-up Chapati.

Tony & Alex's Reaction: Both ate voraciously. I think Alex had 4 chapatis and at least 4 servings of dal-chawal ... teenagers!! Overall, this meal is always a hit with the Coder men!

* I've even made this recipe without soaking overnight and it works just as well if you leave the crock pot on high throughout! 

No comments:

Post a Comment