Discovering Dal Makhani
On our honeymoon we went to Borneo. The food was amazing – lots of rice, noodles and veggies. I loved getting up and having curry for breakfast and the local bread – Roti Canai – was like little drops of flakey, pastry heaven.
In our hotel was an award winning Indian restaurant called Naan and there we had some of the most delicious (and spiciest) curries we’ve ever had. The thing we remembered the most though was a dark, rich creamy dal called Dal Makhani. It was so good!
Whilst this quick home recipe isn’t as good as theirs, it’s as close as I’ve been able to get so far and it makes a healthy, protein packed evening meal.
This recipe is pretty forgiving so go ahead and try our your own variations. The primary ingredients of dal makhani are whole black lentil, red kidney beans, butter and cream which gives the dal its richness and depth.
In the interest of time and ease I substituted black lentils for green as they are readily available in a can. If you can find black lentils though, go ahead and use them. You will need to soak them first if you get dry ones.
If you don’t have the exact spices I use just experiment with what you have. I love dal because it always seems to turn out delicious 🙂
Dals are perfect for dipping so serve with poppadom or Indian breads along with lots of fresh coriander. Or dip these crispy, oven baked squash and spinach samosas!
For some added crunch and freshness I served this dal with some roasted Indian cauliflower which is easy to make whilst the dal cooks. Simply slice the cauliflower and sprinkle with a little oil, seasoning, black onion seeds and curry powder. Roast in the oven until golden – about 20 minutes. Perfect topped with a little lime pickle!
- Dal Makhani
- 50g ghee or butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 150g mushrooms, chopped
- ½ tsp. chilli powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1tsp. mild curry powder
- Tbsp. tomato puree
- 4 small cloves garlic, crushed
- Tbsp, ginger, grated
- Approx 800ml water
- 1 can kidney beans, 400g
- 1 can green lentils, 390g
- Melt the butter in a pan
- Chop your onion and add it to the pan
- Chop your mushrooms and add them
- Heat until softened
- Add the tomato paste, spices, garlic and ginger and heat through
- Add the beans, lentils and enough water to cover about an inch or two over the ingredients
- Put a lid on and cook on a medium/low heat for about 30 minutes
- Check that the beans and lentils are softened - you can mash a few to thicken the texture
- Cook with the lid off until the dal has thickened - about 5/10 minutes
- Add the cream and heat 2 minutes more
- Serve with fresh coriander and some naan or poppadum for dipping
*Dal is packed full of lentils and beans which are really important during pregnancy because they are rich in folate, iron, protein and fibre.