Every meal in India included a dal side dish and dal makhani was one of our favourites. Dal is a good store cupboard stand-bys that comes out when it’s getting dark and I just can’t be bothered.
- 1 tin urad dal lentils
- 41 small tin kidney beans
- or 140 g dry urad dal and 40 g dry kidney beans to cook in 3 cups water for pressure cooking,
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tin tomatoes pureed
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 3 green cardamoms
- 1 inch piece cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 cup of water or add as required
- 2 tbsp cream or yoghurt,
- ¼ tsp dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
- salt as required
Hunting down a recipe, there doesn’t seem to be much benefit to using dry lentils and beans so I would always head towards the cupboard for tins. I’d also kick off some decent basmati rice, starting to boil the water just as I started to make the dal or possibly send someone out to the local takeaway to find some decent naan bread.
Fry the onion, chillies and garlic together until soft. Add the spices to wake them up before adding the tomatoes. Combine thoroughly.
Add the lentils and beans and cook on a low heat, stirring to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan. You should aim to cook the ingredients together for around 20-25 minutes, adding water if it starts to dry out.
Once you are happy with the dal, add the cream/yoghurt and fenugreek and serve with rice or bread.
Since all recipes are made for playing with, try varying the lentils and beans to start with and move onto the spice mix. The core of this dish, is the onion,ginger and garlic fry-up plus pureed tomatoes. All else is subject to change on a regular basis.