It sure is hard sometimes to keep focused on what is good. What is right. Of remembering what our values are. Of always acting with integrity. Of working hard to keep that focus.
I have a friend in the US. He tells a story about a grumpy postman. One who used to fling the mail through the door at them with a grunt (if they were lucky). So one day, my friend decided that they, everyone that works at his business, would love this man, and would demonstrate that to him a little more each day. First they offered him water on hot days. Finally, eventually, he began to take some. Then they would offer him a seat for a rest. Gradually he came inside and spent a moment, then two, then five minutes, then more. They engaged with his life, asking questions about his family. More and more he melted. It took about a year. Now he is a friend and ally. Just because they chose to love this unlovable man.
One thing always guaranteed to melt the heart of everyone at your table is Dal Makhani. Boy is it good! This is one of several versions of Dal Makhani that I make. Try my Nilgiri Dal Makhani too.
Makhani is the Punjabi word for “buttery”, and this sure lives up to its name of Buttery Lentils! I had this in India at the Oberoi hotel in Bangalore (Hi Harry! I wonder if you are still there) and it was so very very good. Along with their dosa, it was one of my first great discoveries when I started travelling to India.
I asked the Chef for the recipe, and he kindly typed it out for me. It caused much hilarity in the kitchens – I am not sure whether that was because I asked for the recipe or their difficulty in translating it into English and/or into servings for 6 people when they are used to cooking for 600.
Dal Makhani – Oberoi Style
This recipe has been
copied reproduced many many times across the internet. This is the original one, given to me by the Chefs at the Oberoi in Bangalore.
Source : inspired by a great dal at the Oberoi in Bangalore
Prep time: 15 mins plus soaking time
Cooking time: 1.5 hour
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
150g whole urad dal (black lentils)
50g rajma (red kidney beans)
50g channa dal (Bengal gram dal, also Ok to use chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
10g ginger, peeled
2 – 3 garlic cloves
2 green chillies
salt to taste
1 tspn cumin
2 – 3 garlic cloves
pinch asafoetida powder
0.5 tspn fenugreek seed
100g tomato paste or puree
30 ml cream
0.5 tspn or more chilli powder
0.5 tspn garam masala
Soak all of the lentils (urad, rajma and channa dal) in water for 6 hours, or preferably overnight. Wash four times, changing the water each time.
Chop the garlic, ginger and green chillies finely.
Boil all of the lentils with the ginger, garlic, green chillies and salt, and simmer until lentils are well cooked. Drain off excess water and mash the lentils lightly with the back of a ladle.
To make the tadka, heat the ghee or oil in a heavy pan until hot, and add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, and stir until they crackle. Add the garlic and fry until beginning to colour. Add the asafoetida powder and tomato puree and stir for a minute. Add to the cooked dal, mixing well. Bring the dal to the boil again, adding the chilli powder, butter and cream. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Add the garam masala and adjust seasonings. YUM.
Read some more:
There are many Dal Makhani’s on the web. Here are just a few that I have come across. If you have a recipe that is fabulous, please let me know in the comments.
- Try my Nilgiri Dal Makhani too.
- Kaali Maa Di Dal, straight from the Punjab from What’s for Lunch, Honey?
- Jugalbandi posts on Maa di Dal (Dal Makhani) with explanations of the name.
- Ranji’s Kitchen cooks Dal Makhani with Jeera (Cumin) Rice.
- Monsoon Spice also has a great recipe, motivated by a highway trip, and also talks of the prolific work in Pubjab in the Vedic and Epic Eras.
- Simply Spicy cooks Dal Makhani in a slow cooker.
People are Saying:
- Elegant Sufficiency, in one of her regular Recipe Scout posts, includes this Dal Makhani as one of her 10 fav recent posts.
5. Dal Makhani, Oberoi Style, on A Life (Time) of Cooking.