I know I have posted about Dal Makhani once before on GMT. And while this is more or less the same recipe, it is one that I make in the slow cooker now so I thought a repost of it was necessary. Plus, there are some changes (albeit slight) to the recipe, so thought would just post the revised recipe.
In the previous post I did give a brief introduction to Dal Makhani, but I found this article by a renowned Indian food critic, Vir Sanghvi, which dwells into the origins of Dal Makhani and as Vir Sanghvi’s research points out, the credit to the origins of dal makhani that we eat today can be attributed to Kundan Lal Gujra’s now famous hotel Moti Mahal in Daryaganj area of Delhi.
Another famous version of this dal is the five star hotel ITC’s Dal Bukhara. The Bukhara dal, according to the article, gets its thickness and creaminess from slow cooking. The chefs cook it on a low flame overnight and then, never take it off the fire. My father had told me about this earlier, so I thought of trying to cook it in my faithful crockpot and try to achieve restaurant style dal makhani and I am pretty pleased with the version I ma sharing with you all today.
The previous recipe of dal makhani I posted was a much more quick way of cooking the dal, but once I started cooking it in the slow cooker I have realized that without adding cream you can still achieve the creaminess and thickness of traditional dal makhani by just slow cooking it. Of course, adding cream and butter takes it another level of scrumptious goodness (Kundan Lal’s recipe has one kg of dal, 500 ml of cream and a full kg of butter!), but believe me, for the calorie conscious slow cooking the dal gives it the right amount of viscosity (and that rich taste) without the added fat.
In the pictures above I served the dal with V’s favorite baingan ka bharta and homemade naans. I will soon do a post on how to make naans (I have done a post before as well, but I prefer the new way I make them and would like to share that with you soon), so keep a look out for that.
Also, since it can be confusing for people to identify the different indian lentils used for making indian dals, I suggest having a look at this post I did which describes five different lentils with the pictures and has a pictorial reference of the whole urad and channa dals we use for this recipe.
Although the dal takes a long time to cook, it is mostly inactive time and its one of the easiest things one can make, since seriously its all about throwing everything in the crockpot and letting it do its magic. If you do want a quicker version you can still refer to the previous recipe, but do give this version a try as well.
UPDATE: As pointed by Andrew of Raw Green Madman in the comments below, it is important to boil the red kidney beans in water for ten minutes before dumping it in the slow cooker, so as to avoid red kidney bean poisoning. A more detailed explanation can be found here.
- 1 cup urad saboot (whole unskinned black lentils)
- ½ cup red kidney beans
- 2 tbsp channa dal
- 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1½ tsp salt, or to taste
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ready made tomato puree (If you have no tomato puree you can blanch the tomatoes, skin them and use pureed. But I have realized using canned tomato puree gives it the restaurant style colour and taste.)
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 2 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- pinch garam masala
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp aamchoor powder (raw mango powder- can be found in Indian grocery stores)
- 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp black salt (can be found in Indian grocery stores)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 2 dry, whole red chillies, preferably Kashmiri red chillies- deseeded and soaked for 10 minutes and then drained
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 6-8 flakes garlic
- ½ cup milk mixed with ½ cup cream (you could also just add ½ cup milk and skip the cream altogether if you like)
- Wash the lentils, red kidney beans and channa dal properly and add them to the slow cooker with 4 cups of water. (If you are pressure cooking them, then it is advisable to soak them in the water overnight but since these cook the whole night, I never pre soak them). Cook on low overnight with salt, ghee and the ginger-garlic-chilli paste added to the lentils and water. Update: As pointed by a reader of the blog, to avoid red kidney bean food poisoning, it is advisable to boil them for 10 minutes in water. And then dump them in the slow cooker. A link for the reason to do this is given in the blog post above.
- The next day in the morning, mash the lentils a bit and add the tomato puree, kasoori methi, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, nutmeg powder, aamchoor, coriander powder, black salt, onion powder, butter and let cook on low for another 4-6 hours.
- minutes before you are ready to serve, add the garam masala powder and if you like the cream and milk, or just milk.
- Add the chopped cilantro and serve with rice, naan or roti.