Dal Makhni: This has always been the royal taste of Punjab and a staple in Punjabi households: the royal fest food. The royal dish which was almost always prepared when we had guests over (vegetarian guests, that is). My mother used to prepare this royal treat and we always were left craving for more and more. We used to have this with jeera rice or parathas, or even plain rotis. Whatever it used to be, it always tasted awesome and mouth-watering. It tastes even better the next day because the flavors are marinated overnight and give a wonderful, wonderful taste.. Well, words are too less to say anything about THE Dal Makhani so let's move on to the recipe:
Black Urad Dal (whole): 1 cup
Red Kidney beans (Rajma): 1/4 cup
Cooking oil: 1 tsp.
Butter: 3 tsp.
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder
Onion (chopped): 1
Garlic cloves: 4
Ginger: 1 inch
Green chilli (chopped): 1
Tomato (chopped): 2
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
Cinnamon: 1 inch
Bay leaf: 1
Beaten Yoghurt: 1 cup
Kasoori methi: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
Cream (for garnish): 2 tsp.
Red chilli (whole): 1 (optional)
- Soak the urad dal and red kidney beans overnight in separate vessels.
- In the morning, wash them and add them to a pressure cooker with 3 cups water. Add 1 tsp. oil, salt and turmeric and pressure cook the dal for 8-10 whistles (depending upon the cooker). The dal must be soft and mushy.
- Let the steam release itself. Open the cooker and take out the dal in a separate bowl, leaving the water in which the dal is boiled in the cooker.
- Add the yogurt to the dal and mix well. Press and beat together the dal and yoghurt until they are intermixed and dal is very soft. Keep aside.
- Heat butter in a pan and add cumin, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. By this time, prepare a paste of onions and garlic in the mixer.
- Add the onion-garlic paste to the pan and mix well. Let it cook until the ghee is separated on the sides.
- By this time, prepare a paste of 1 tomato, green chilli and ginger in the mixer.
- When the onion-garlic is cooked, add the tomato paste to the pan and mix well.
- Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Mix and let cook till the paste leaves ghee on the sides.
- When the masala is done, add the softened dal and yoghurt mix to the pan. Crush the kasoori methi between your palms and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the whole dal to the pressure cooker in the water in which the dal was boiled. Mix well and let cook on medium flame for 15 minutes, until the dal becomes thick. Add garam masala and turn off the flame.
- After 10 minutes, open the cover, garnish with cream and serve hot !!
- This is how my mother prepares it, but I do another step sometimes. Instead of adding garam masala to the dal, I heat another 1 tsp. oil/ghee to the pan and add chopped tomato, whole red chilli and garam masala. Let the tomato become soft, then add this mix to the dal for an added flavor. This step is optional because it's not included in the authentic recipe.
- Garnish with cream/ a dallop of butter and serve.
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