The simplest recipes are often the hardest to nail down. But lurking in my bookmark folder was a recipe for Dal Makhani, Oberoi Style- a recipe extracted straight from a restaurant chef! I never ever can muster up the courage to ask for recipes at restaurants, and am eternally grateful to bloggers who do this and save me the trouble of reverse engineering a coveted recipe.
The recipe calls for three kinds of legumes- chana dal, black urad dal and red kidney beans or rajma.
At some point, I have had to grapple with the fact that there are an infinite number of beans and lentils and legumes on this planet, as opposed to a woefully finite amount of space in my pantry, and also a finite limit to how many beans and lentils can be consumed by a family of 2 humans (canines, on the whole, seem indifferent to the joys of beans).
The way I keep things under control is to have only(!) about 10 beans/lentils on hand. Some of these are staples and the others are ones that I love but don't use often, and these are on a rotating schedule. As far as urad dals go, the skinned white urad dal (bottom right in the picture above) is a staple for meals of the idli/dosa variety, and the black urad dal is a brand new arrival in the pantry. It is Vaishali's tempting recipe for spicy urad dal (very tasty, by the way) that prompted me to buy it. And suddenly, I had all the ingredients for dal makhni!
As an aside, English is such an exasperating language. Skinned (which sounds like something that has skin) is the same as skinless. I just had to get that off my chest. Moving on.
I modified the recipe a little and here's how I made it. For the complete and proper recipe, visit the wonderful blog that the recipe is adapted from.
Adapted from Dal Makhni: Oberoi Style from a Life (Time) of Cooking
1. Soak ½ cup red kidney beans, ½ cup black urad dal and ¼ cup chana dal. I soaked the kidney beans for 16 hours or so and the other dals together for 6-8 hours. Rinse all the legumes thoroughly to get rid of the soaking water. Pressure cook them together, then mash coarsely and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tsp. oil and splutter 1 tsp. cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and 8-10 fenugreek seeds. Add 1 heaped tsp. ginger-garlic paste and stir it for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups thick tomato puree. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add the cooked legumes, salt to taste and bring to a boil.
4. Stir in 1 tsp. red chilli powder (or more/less to taste), ¼ cup heavy cream and 1 tbsp. butter. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tsp. garam masala (the best you can find) and 1 tbsp. butter for a glossy finish. That's it.
Thrilled. To. Bits. That was me after I tasted the dal makhni. This one is a keeper, people! To be honest with you, I don't know if I have ever tasted good authentic dal makhni, but this recipe yielded completely delicious results. The slippery mouth-feel of the urad dal makes the dish a silky, buttery experience.
A Life (Time) of Cooking happens to be the chosen blog this month for Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted event, so I'm sending in this post to this event.
What's next? If you feel like playing a little guessing game, come back on Saturday!