Mah di Dal | Kaali Dal | Creamy Black Lentils

Urad lentils are mostly used in Nth Indian dishes, and it enjoys long and slow cooking.

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Mah ki Dal | Urad | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Most Indian lentils come in four ways:

  • Skinned, whole
  • Skinned, halved
  • Unhulled, whole
  • Unhulled, halved

and amazingly, each one has a different taste, different properties, are best for different dishes. I was out of urad (black gram) this week, and my trip to the Indian grocer yielded four different packages.

Urad dal is quite special indeed. I love it a lot. Mostly Nth Indian in style, it takes to long and slow cooking very well. For Mah ki Dal we use whole unhulled lentils.

You might like to try different Dal Makhani recipes, and other Mah ki Dal Recipes.

There is also a Unhulled Urad and Rajma recipe, another sister to Dal Makhani. For more information on Urad, go here.

Other Urad Dal recipes include Urad Dal Rice, Amritsari Dal, and Urad with Coconut, Coriander and Tomatoes.

Try other Dals as well – Masoor Dal with Green Chillies, Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices, and Aamti.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our dishes using Urad Dal. Our Indian recipes are here. Or find inspiration in our Late Winter recipes.

Mah ki Dal | Urad | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

You will notice a difference with this North Indian recipe from our usual South Indian dishes – North Indian in general have very refined and very large spice combinations, while South Indian dishes use fewer spices and are perhaps tangier (in general).

This dish is also called ma ki dal, maa ki dal and manh di dal.

Slow cooking

Urad dal is well suited for the slow cooker, and it is this recipe that I am sharing today.

Mah ki Dal | Urad | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Mah di Dal means Mother’s Lentils. It shows the regard that Punjabis have for this dish. Creamy and hearty because of the slow cooking of the urad, it can be made even richer with the addition of cream or yoghurt and butter, although that is not traditional. Some will call this a Dal Makhani, technically it is not.

Mah di Dal is made with 1 lentil only – whole urad lentils (black gram). Recipes abound and the spiciness varies from region to region and family to family. Butter and cream is optional.

Dal Makhani is always made from whole urad lentils, kidney beans (rajma) and channa dal (split small chickpeas) . It is always a rich dish with the addition of  copious amounts of butter, cream and sometimes yogurt too to enhance the creaminess of the slow cooked urad.

See the difference explained quite well here.

Mah ki Dal | Urad | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

 

Ma ki Dal | Ma di Dal | Mother’s Lentils | Kaali Dal

Cuisine: Indian
Prep time:20 mins
Cooking time: 8 hours in slow cooker
Serves: 3-4 people, depending how you use it. You can double the recipe to serve more. It freezes well without the cream.

ingredients
1.5 cups whole black gram dal with skin on (urad dal)
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1.25 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1 bunch fresh green coriander
1/2 Tblspn cumin  powder
1/2 Tblspn coriander powder
1/2 Tblspn garam masala
1/2 tspn turmeric
1/2 tspn chilli powder, or more, to taste
6 cups water
3 – 4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 tspn mustard oil
1/4 cup heavy cream or yoghurt (optional)
1 Tblspn butter for garnish (optional)
chopped onions for garnish
chopped tomatoes for garnish

method
These instructions are for a slow cooker, but you can use the stovetop too. You will need more water and it will take 1.5 – 2 hours to cook. if you pre-saok the lentils.

Place the urad dal in the slow cooker.

First saute the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger until the onion is just browning. Then grind these to a paste with half of the green coriander. Add this to the slow cooker with the chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder, salt, turmeric, and water.

Puree the tomatoes in the food processor and add to the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4 hours and then add the mustard oil (if using). It helps to break down the lentils.

Cook for another 4 hours and stir in the garam masala.

Keep warm until you are ready to serve. Mix in the remaining green coriander and the cream if using. Garnish with the butter, chopped onions and tomatoes. Serve with rice, an onion salad and yoghurt.

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Author: 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.

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