Being a South Indian, all I know is yellow dal. Only after coming to Delhi – I came to know that there is a dal called black dal.
Dal makhani was invented by the old Delhi Restaurant – Moti Mahal. They use urad dhal (with skin) 1/2 cup, Rajma – 1/4 cup, channa dhal – 1/4 cup. They use tomato, cream and butter.
ITC hotel – signature dish is Dal Bukhara. They use only urad dal and it is cooked on slow flame. It is served with cream and butter (No tomatoes). It is said that they never take the dal out of fire. It is always kept on fire and they keep simmering it. It is served straight from the fire. They also use mineral water for cooking the dal.
Most of the restaurants in Delhi make Dal Makhani.
This is how – I make my Dal Makhani. I don’t use milk or milk cream in my daily cooking. As per Ayurveda, we cannot add milk with food. Even without the cream there is no compromise. It tastes wonderful. A very tasty home made dhal.
- Black urad dal – 1/2 cup.
- Rajma – small variety – 1/4 cup (this helps in giving good red colour).
- Channa dal – 1/4 cup (this gives good flavour and also thickens the dal).
- Oil – 2 tbsp.
- Bay leaf – 2 nos.
- Tomatoes Pureed – 6 nos.
- Ginger – medium size piece.
- Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp.
- Hing – just 2 pinches
- Salt – 2 tsp.
- Soak all the dals together overnight with 2 1/2 cups of water (for 1 cup of total dal – water is 2 1/2 cups).
- Pressure cook it. I use the cooker with a vessel inside.
- Cook it on low flame. The first whistle comes in 40 minutes and then keep it for another 20 minutes. If we keep the flame in high then the skin will be seperated.
- When you open the cooker – dals should be cooked but the skin of the urad dhal should not be separated. It should be intact. But the dal has to be cooked well. When pressed – it should mash.
- Don’t mash the dal. Just add one cup of water and mix it.
- Take a kadai – pour – 2 tbsp of oil.
- Add bayleaf (don’t use jeera – I feel jeera does not suit this dal).
- Add the tomato puree ( grind it with ginger).
- Add red chilli powder and hing
- Add salt
- Allow it to become a masala.
- Then add the dal and give it a boil.
- Again keep it in the cooker with a vessel inside. Simmer for half an hour to 40 minutes.
- Open and mash it now.
- The Dal is ready – serve it with a dash of butter (if required).