Photograph by CINTHIA GIBBENS-STIMSON
Photograph by CINTHIA GIBBENS-STIMSON

This being my last “weekday” off before heading back to the workforce.  I decided to cook something out of the norm.  I love lentils,  but I’ve never made them in this manner.  Dal Makahni literally translates to buttery lentils, and this dish lives up to its name with a creamy, buttery texture and spices that aren’t overwhelming.  The recipe is based off of one found on Cantlivewithout.  I made a few modifications… mostly either because I forgot to pick some things up or in the case of onion, I just love cooking with onions.

What you willl need:

  • 3/4 cup Whole Urad Dal
  • 1/4 cup Red Kidney beans
  • 1/2 medium Yellow Onion
  • 4 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste (I didn’t have, so I crushed up 4 garlic cloves in a mortar)
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  •  1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder (I didn’t have, so I crushed up the seeds that I did have… huzzah)
  •  1/4 tsp Corriander powder (I substituted fennel)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder (I substituted saffron)
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi
  • 1/4 cup Cream or low fat Half & Half (optional)

So, I purchased pretty much everything that I didn’t have in the cupboard from the nearest Indian market that I know of, India Bazaar on Okeechobee Blvd.  I also went by Publix for items like the half & half and booze… can’t cook while sober.  This is a law written somewhere, I’m sure of it.

Directions:

I began by first cooking the kidney beans in the pressure cooker.  While this was taking place, I had the lentils soaking in some hot water.  Do make sure you rinse your beans & check for pebbles before cooking, you’ll be using some of the broth (and I’d hate for your guys to enjoy gritty bean water).

Maybe about 20 minutes later, I added the lentils to the pressure cooker and let that go for a while.  When my internal timer told me that it was nearing time for the beans to be tender, in a medium saucepan I heated the butter and olive oil.  I then added the cumin seeds and cooked until fragrant.

Next comes the ground ginger, garlic paste (or mashed garlics in my case), yellow onion and tumeric (or saffron).  I let that saute for a few minutes.  Then, the tomato paste, chili powder, and salt.  Let that cook on low for 8-10 minutes.  Incorporate the beans and about 1/2 cup of their cooking water, the kasoori theri & garam masala.  Allow this to cook on low for approximately 20-30 minutes.

When it’s ready, add the cream and remove off the heat.

Serve with naan or rice.