July 17, 2010

Makhani Dal (Whole Black lentils with Ginger, Garlic and Butter)

Are you guys watching the new Next Food Network Star on Food Network?. I am so rooting for Aarti Sequeria,  a former CNN producer who later trained at The New School of Cooking in Los Angeles. I love the way she fuses indian flavors in almost any dish she makes. I just hope she wins the challenge and finally bring the first-ever show on FN based on Indian cooking.

..coming back to today's dish - it is based on legumes, the best source of protein with less cholesterol levels (when compared to other meat-alternatives) for we, Vegetarians. there are so many varieties of legumes and their derivatives that it is unbelievable. It is also scientifically proven that consumption of legumes will reduce the risk of many cancers and these are very good sources of iron, calcium and other nutrients. Now, with all this info, are convinced to make some lovely legume recipes for this month's - My Legume Love Affair 25.

The best part of this dish, that there is no-pre-soaking-of-the-legumes-required. Yes, even I was surprised. The recipe is from Raghavan Iyer's amazing cookbook 660 Curries. I am planning to make many more, in future. So stay tuned. :)

 Makhani Dal (Whole Black lentils with Ginger, Garlic and Butter)


Adapted from: 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer (Pg: 364)


1 cup whole black lentils (sabud urad)
2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp fresh ginger paste + 1/2 tsp garlic paste (or 1 tsp of store-bought ginger garlic paste)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup light sour cream (optional. I sometimes just increase the amount of yogurt if I don't have any)
Salt - to taste
1 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
1 tsp red chilli powder
finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. Place the lentils in a pressure cooker. There is no need to soak them the previous day like we do for red beans. Fill the cooker halfway with water and rinse the lentils by rubbing them between your fingertips. The water may appear slightly dirty. Drain this water. Repeat 3 or 4 times, until the water remains relatively clear. Drain. Now add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes. Seal the cooker shut and allow the pressure to build up. When the cooker reaches full pressure, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes. Remove the cooker from the heat and allow the pressure to subside naturally. (about 15 minutes) before opening the lid. Tip: I typically cook 3 to 4 cups of beans, cool, store in an air tight container or a bag and freeze.

2. Combine the yogurt, sour cream (if using), salt, garam masala and cayenne (or red chilli powder) in a blender jar. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a smooth, batter-like paste, speckled with brown and red spices.

3. Once the lentils are ready, stir in the butter and the creamy yogurt paste. Let this lentil mixture boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro and Serve with anything - plain rice, pulao, rotis etc.

Have a great weekend ahead.

until next time,


  1. Wow my all time favourite, dal and rice :) looks yummy !!!

  2. Great minds think alike Siri ;) The preparation is significantly different though.. (still, great minds think alike :D)

  3. Can I get a bowlful please, simply delish looking siri, lovely pics :)

  4. Looks so creamy Siri.I would love to have it with some pulao...This recipe makes me want to buy that book..Its on my 'to-buy' list :)

  5. I am just following the next food network star. Got back from 1 month vacation. But have it all on my DVR. I see a lot of curry recipes from the 660 curries book. Will check into that too. What you have created looks delicious.

  6. You read my mind Siri. I sincerely wish Aarti wins the next FN star challenge. Dal Makhani looks very comforting, love it more because we don't have to soak the legumes.

  7. Super delicious and looks awesome.

  8. healthy and yummy recipe, beautiful

  9. hi siri,how r u ?i am new to ur blog ..u r having a lovely space here with wonderful collection of recipes...happy to find u
    this dal makhani looks delicious...i love dal makhani n urs tempting me lot ...
    if u get time do visit my blog


  10. Me too rooting for Aarti on F/N star. Would be so awesome to see an Indian based cooking show on F/N.

  11. Ragavan Iyer's has got some of the best recipes.. Some authentic and easy to cook ways too.. The makhani looks so rich and creamy.. Nice Clicks dear


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