Dal Makhani | Ma Ki Dal

Beach Surf Watch

It is such a gorgeous time of year, the earth awakening into spring and everything still green and fresh, not beaten down by the heat of summer. Exceedingly mild weather, not too cold and not too hot, the layers of clothing slowly disappearing, the smiles on people’s faces gradually reappearing. I love this awakening, life affirming time.

Life is busy, and contentedly so, challenging at the moment yet time for the things that keep me whole and sane – family, yoga, reading, inspiring people. Balance in one’s life is a great thing. As a friend of mine once said, “Find out what gives you joy and inspires you. Do more of it, I say!” I love her dearly.

Anything with a hint of warmth certainly gives me much much joy.

Apropos of warmth, turning to Dal Makhani

Related to heat is anything spicy, and so we turn our attention to Dal Makhani, a dish beloved all over India, indeed all over the world.

There are a few Dal Makhani recipes that I love, all different and of varying degrees of difficulty. The Dal Makhani Oberoi Style Recipe that I received from the Kitchen of the Oberoi in Bangalore is a classic, a beauty, one that never fails to bring happiness to the lives of those who eat it.

This one is from the well known restaurant Nilgiri‘s in Sydney. Another classic, quite different to the Bangalore dish, and with its own beauty and inner sense of happiness. Try this one too, you will love it.

Nilgiri is a Hindi word meaning Blue Mountain. What can be a better name for an Indian restaurant in Sydney? The recipe that I use is one that I got from them many many years ago, was on my original blog in the 1990’s, and now sits in my collection of recipes that I delve into some times. There is another version available from Nilgiri’s these days – similar but described differently – try that one too.

Read this wonderful description of cooking Dal Makhani from the chef at Nilgiri’s.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani Nilgiri

Source : inspired by Nilgiri Restaurant, Sydney
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 15 mins + soaking time
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

100g whole Urad Dal (black lentils, with or without skin)
50g rajma/dried red kidney beans
50g channa dal (small split chickpeas), rinsed
1 small cinnamon stick
2 – 3 green cardamom pods, cracked
2 – 3 whole cloves
1 Tblspn fresh ginger, grated
1 Tblspn crushed garlic
1 Tblspn chilli powder (reduce if you have less heat tolerance)
1 can chopped or pureed tomatoes (or 350g juicy tomatoes if in season)
250g unsalted butter, chopped
salt, to taste
1 Tblspn dried fenugreek leaves, crushed (optional but great if you can find them)

Wash the lentils and soak overnight.

Place lentil mixture in a large heavy-based pan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to the lentils and simmer, uncovered, over a low heat until the lentils are well cooked. It will take about 1.5 hours. Add hot water, if necessary, to keep the lentil mixture sufficiently soupy in consistency.

Remove the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves (if you can locate them) and mash the lentils lightly with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon.

Add the ginger, garlic, chilli. tomatoes, butter and salt to the pan and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Check the seasoning and consistency – it should be like thick soup. If too thick, add a little more water. Add the dried fenugreek leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian breads.

The Dal Series


About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 08 Late Winter, Indian, Lentils - Grains - Rice - Nuts, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Dal Makhani | Ma Ki Dal

  1. Wow that looks so delicious Ganga..it’s wonderful to read about Skanda Shasthi and Muruga too..:)..thanks..


  2. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Can’t agree for more on Indian festivals coming with a blink…Diwali is just over and Kartikeya deepam in round the corner. Yes, Dal makhani is our favorite. Looks very flavorful with all the spices.


  3. Swarna says:

    looks delicious


  4. Another fan of Dal Makhani here :) So many of the recipes I see use lots of cream to create the richness of this dish, so it’s good to see another non creamy version. Oh, and beautiful photos, as ever.


  5. kankana says:

    I have always enjoyed daal makhni .. comforting warm and perfect for any season ( at least for me :) ) I usually make it with the makhni sauce but this version sounds amazing too !


  6. Jayasri says:

    Mmmm.., that is delicious …, very comforting definitel, so true, everyday I keep thinking i will start my yoga again which never seems to happen, who ever your friend said is so true.., I should start thinking about this line more to bring it into action, may be my teenagers get settled in some good courses I think :)).. lovely click Ganga


  7. kathryn says:

    I’m so behind on my blog reading, I’ve only just spotted your other Dal Makhani recipe. This looks wonderful. Dal Makhani is one of those dishes I used to judge a restaurant. I love it, *love* it, so am always filled with hope at a new food place (and often disappointed).

    But I’ve never made it at home. Which is terrible. I’ve seen your other version before, and am now intrigued by this second version. Lovely stuff Ganga.


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