Dal Bukhara | Creamy Black Gram Dal

They say that Dal Bukhara was made famous by the Bukhara Restaurant ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi, but it is definitely a Punjabi style dish. Trying to find the origins of the dish is difficult, with some claiming it was created by the restaurant, some saying it comes from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, and others claiming it is a Punjabi dish from the 1700’s. This article has some interesting insights into the origin of both Dal Makhani and Dal Bukhara. Whatever the origin, the chef at Bukhara most likely adapted an existing recipe to suit the sophistication of the restaurant.

Dal Bukhara is often compared to Dal Makhani, although the dishes are distinctly different with different spicing. It is made with whole urad that is black in colour because it is unhulled. Slow cooked, it makes a deliciously creamy dal, and in this recipe its flavour is heightened with tomatoes, ginger and garlic as well as other spices.

In my recipe I use a slow cooker to cook the lentils, and the deep taste and creamy texture are accentuated this way. In this way the dish does not rely on cream and butter for its texture. However they can be added – see the notes below the recipe for this variation. The lentils can also be cooked on the stove top – cook them until soft and then continue with the recipe.

Similar recipes include Whole Urad and Rajma Dal, Amritsari Dal, and Ma di Dal.

Browse our Urad recipes and our different Dals. Our Punjabi dishes are here, Indian recipes here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma Dal | Urad Lentils and Kidney Beans Dal

It has been a while since I posted an Urad recipe. Urad is one of my favourite lentils, comforting and nourishing, and used a lot in the Punjab region. It is easy to cook with, especially if you know and respect its properties.

This dish is a cousin of Dal Makhani, using yoghurt instead of butter and cream, and whole urad rather than split urad dal.

And what a stunner! This is a slow cooked dish – taking around 5 hours – but they are effortless hours. No need to do more than the odd stir or two.

Are you looking for Urad recipes? You might like to try Buttery Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Urad and Red Rice Kitchari, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Tamatar Dal.

We also have Rajma (kidney bean) recipes – try Rajma Sundal, Feijoada, and Capsicums Stuffed with Kidney Beans and Feta.

Or perhaps you are looking for Dal Makhani style dishes. Try our very popular Dal Makhani Restaurant Style, Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani, and Amritsari Dal.

Punjabi recipes are always packed with flavour. Try Baingan ka Bharta, Quince Aachar, and Tomato Bharta.

Alternatively, explore all of our Dal Makhani and similar recipes. Or browse Punjabi recipes. We have a range of different Urad recipes and Rajma (Kidney Bean) recipes. You might also like to check out the Madhur Jaffrey recipes that we love. Oh and our Dal recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Amritsari Dal from the Punjab

A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils

If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa).  They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.

Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.

You might like to explore our Urad Lentil recipes here, especially all of the Dal Makhani-style dishes. Browse the Punjabi recipes. Or check out our Slow Cooking dishes.

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Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani

A simple but exceptional Dal Makhani

The story of this Dal Makhani goes like this:

Some time ago in Bangalore, India, I had a Dal Makhani to die for. It was just a hotel room service meal ordered at a very busy at the time, yet it made me sink back into my couch with a wonderful smile on my face – as if I had transitioned and gone to Dal Heaven.

I rang through to the kitchen and asked for the recipe. Oh what hilarity that caused in the kitchen – much laughter and giggles, and simply hours later, I received a typed up recipe from the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. It is the most wondrous dish, full of butter and cream and takes some time, so a dish for special occasions. Continue reading “Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani”

Indian Essentials: Dal Makhani, Ma di Dal and other variations of Dal Makhani

Differentiating Dal Makhani and Mah di Dal

Dal Makhani (literally buttery lentils) and Mah di Dal (literally black lentils and sometimes translated as Mother’s lentils) are Punjabi dishes. Many equate them as the same dish, but technically they are different dishes.

Mah di Dal is also called Kaali Dal, Ma ki Dal, Maa ki Dal and Manh di Dal. The literal translation of Mah di Dal as Mother’s Lentils shows the love that Punjabis have for this dish.

There are also other dishes that are a riff on the same theme – Dal Bukhara and Dal Maharani, Amritsari Dal, Maa Chole Di Dal and Si Dal are explained below.

Continue reading “Indian Essentials: Dal Makhani, Ma di Dal and other variations of Dal Makhani”

Buttery Eggplant Dal | Slow Cooker Recipe | Or cook on the Stove

Eggplant/Brinjal in a makhani style sauce – the only thing better is cooking it in a slow cooker. Delicious!

Sometimes you want an easy lunch or dinner. I have the answer. A slow cooker recipe with Eggplant, lentils and a buttery tomato sauce. Cook rice, and your meal is complete.

This is a sauce reminiscent of Dal Makhani. It is delicious with the addition of eggplant which cooks to the softest most luxurious eggplant that you’ve ever experienced. I have used urad dal and channa dal in this dish, but they are optional really, and you can make it without lentils. Simply reduce the amount of liquid that you are adding.

Similar recipes include  Du Puy Lentil Soup in the Slow Cooker, Dal Bakhara, and Amritsari Dal.

We have some more slow cooker recipes, other Makhani style dishes, and a collection of delicious Eggplant recipes . Or find inspiration in our Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Buttery Eggplant Dal | Slow Cooker Recipe | Or cook on the Stove”

Ma Ki Dal | Slow Braised Lentils

Ma Ki Dal and Dal Makhani really suit long slow cooking

Urad dal is a lentil that suits long slow cooking and a smoky flavour. With a little work, a covered BBQ will cope with cooking a dish like Slow Braised Lentils slowly for several hours.

This recipe will work in an oven too, no worries. But the joys of cooking outside are enormous so on sunny days, take your lentils outside. This dish is also called Ma di Dal, or Mah di Dal.

You might also like to try the other Mah ki Dal recipes and some  Dal Makhani recipes.

Other Urad Dal recipes include Urad and Red Rice Kitchari, Amritsari Dal, and Urad Dal with Tomatoes.

Try other Dals as well – Masoor Dal with Green Chillies, ISKON Mung Dal, and Simple Indian Dal Soup.

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 Spring recipes.

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Mah ki Dal (Kaali Dal) and Maash ki Dal

Urad lentils are mostly used in Nth Indian dishes, and it enjoys long and slow 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 with Onions Four Ways, 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.

Continue reading “Mah ki Dal (Kaali Dal) and Maash ki Dal”

Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma | A Slow Dish with Urad and Kidney Beans

Urad is one of my favourite lentils, comforting and nourishing, but you do have to know and respect its properties.

I would not have known it when I first made this recipe, but it is a sister of Dal Makhani. It uses yoghurt instead of butter and cream and whole urad rather than split. I reckon it might be a good slow cooker dish. It isn’t a traditional Dal Makhani, and diverts somewhat from the traditional recipes, but it is delicious and is very very easy. I first made it to use up the Urad Dal in the pantry. And what a surprise it was! This is a slow cooked dish – taking around 5 hours – but they are effortless hours. No need to do more than the odd stir or two.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also liked our Madhur Jaffrey recipes. There are a number of Dal Makhani recipes also.

Continue reading “Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma | A Slow Dish with Urad and Kidney Beans”

Indian Essentials: Three Recipes for Dal Makhani

I have three favourite Dal Makhani Recipes, each a little different from the other, all wonderful! Enjoy!

I have three favourite Dal Makhani Recipes. Enjoy them, they are all tremendous, just a little different from each other.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also liked our Indian recipes here , and some Dal recipes.

You might also like to read:

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