Most days I cook because we need food on the table, but some days I cook to forget everything else. Today was one such day.
I have mentioned before (and even though I run a food blog) cooking is not my first love. Baking is. But today was just the kind of day when I wanted to be in the kitchen. The kitchen- its my me place. Where I can just let go. So I baked and cooked and cooked some more.
So this little thing. I love her. She is my niece and I missed her so much in the States. She is also the reason these days why posting anything is difficult. If she is awake she doesn’t let me sit with my laptop. She will come to me and will try to shut the screen and keep saying close or “bas” (which is hindi for thats it). Of course, I oblige. And if she lets me keep the laptop on then all she wants to see are her pics. Don’t be misled by the angry face in the pic above. Thats just her posing. She is one of the naughtiest kids I know. The cute kinds of naughty. And did I mention that I love her. And I really do not want to leave her tomorrow. #sadface
Anyway, coming to today’s recipe, I did promise a post soon on my Facebook page and here it is.
I tried this dish for the first time at my friend Jamie’s place (the same friend who gave me the recipe for the crockpot tater tot casserole) and after that I have made this recipe so many times. Because, well, its so darn convenient. One of those easy to throw together weeknight meals. I generally prefer cooking from fresh ingredients, but sometimes you just want quick to put together meals with the least amount of clean up required and this is one such dish. It helps that it tastes great too.
Since I have made this dish so many times, I have tried many variations. I have mixed a little greek yogurt with the sour cream and made it slightly healthier. I have mixed greek yogurt with light sour cream and made it even more healthier. I have also done no cheese versions. Cheese versions are always better in my list. Once when I did a no cheese version I added chile lime chips instead (I had no cheese in the house and just the chips). I have used jalapenos instead of fire roasted green chiles- and have good results. Fresh fire roasted green chiles are definitely better than the canned ones, but the latter also do.
I have also added rotisserie chicken to the canned soup and sour cream mixture.
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.