Dal Makhani – Healthy and Satisfying

Black gramI think everyone loves Dal Makhani. It is soul food for many, and even carnivores who eat butter chicken will end their dinner with a little of this dal. This staple of the Punjabis is also loved by the whole nation.
Made with butter and cream, this is an unhealthy killer on your waistline. The good news is that this dal, also known as “Kaali Dal” or “Maa Ki Dal” – made without the makhan or butter tastes just as good. without the butter or the cream — honest, no exaggeration.
The secret to make dal makhani without having to add too much butter, is the number of hours you cook the lentils. Traditionally, the dals are simmered overnight in Tandoor enhancing the taste of the dal mixed with the freshly ground spices. You need to cook it for at least 50 minutes.Black urad dal and rajma are full of fibre, protein, calcium and minerals. This dal as fewer calories than tuvar dal but has got a bad reputation with all the added butter. There are excellent ‘Dal Makhani’ masalas in the market( I can vouch for the ‘Catch’ brand) so this dish becomes very simple to make.Replace Butter with oil and the cream with regular milk. Cooking it for a long time, makes it rich tasting and creamier without the cream and butter.

Dal Makhani
· 1 cup whole black urad dal
· 1/4 cup Bengal gram
· 1/2 cup rajma
· 1 tsp cumin seeds
· 1-2 tsp green chillies, sliced thinly
· 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
· 1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
· 1 tsp cardamom powder
· 1 tsp dried Kasuri Methi powder
· 2 tsp of vegetable oil
· 1 tsp of butter
· 2-3 cloves
· 2″ cinnamon stick
· 1 Bay leaf
· 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
· 1 cup tomato puree
· 1 milk
· Salt to taste and cilantro to garnish

1. Soak the dal and rajma beans overnight.
2. Rinse them well in cold water. Cook them in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles. If you leave it on longer it is ok — it will not ruin the dish. Mash with potato masher when cooled.
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add 1 tsp oil along with cloves, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cumin-coriander powder, bay leaf, ginger-garlic paste, and chillies. Add the tomato puree, close the lid and cook for 5 min until the raw tomato smell leaves. Add dal, reduce the heat to simmer, add salt, then close the lid and slow cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add the kasuri methi powder along with cardamom powder, stir and then add milk and butter for flavour.
Cook for 5 more minutes and garnish with dhania leaves. Serve with roti, salad and dahi.

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