1 cup of whole urad dal (black gram)
1/2 cup of red kidney beans
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2 dried red chili peppers
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennels seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
3 green chilies, finely minced
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1 teaspoon of chili powder
pinch of asafetida powder
1 teaspoon of garam masala
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 cup of heavy cream, or sour cream
Rinse the urad beans and kidney beans and soak overnight in enough water to cover.
Drain, transfer to a large pot, along with 4 cups of water, the turmeric and dried red chilies. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft - about 1 hour.
In a frying pan, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin and fennel seeds and stir fry for a minute or two. Now add the onion and cook until it begins to brown. Next add the ginger, green chillies, coriander, chili powder and cayenne. Stir fry for a minute. Add a pinch of asafetida powder to the pan, stir and add the tomatoes and garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes thicken - about 10 minutes.
Stir the tomato mixture into the cooked beans, and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot, add the cream, stir, and cook gently for another few minutes.
Like Chana Masala and Rajma, Dal Makhani is one of those signature Indian dishes that one never tires of experimenting with. The essentials remain the same but every cook has their own favoured variations. Part of the gastronomical fun is attempting to top your last effort. For a complete vegetarian meal, serve this creamy Punjabi delicacy with a vegetable side dish and flatbread or grain dish.