Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?
200g whole black lentils - black sabut urad, washed several times in cold
water and soaked overnight
80g split Bengal gram - channa dal, washed several times in cold water and soaked overnight
50 - 80g red kidney beans, I used canned kidney beans, washed several times
15g fresh ginger, peeled and cut into two pieces
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 green chillies
4 green cardamom pods
2-3 bay leaves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
Pinch asafetida powder
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
3 tablespoons ghee, use clarified butter or unsalted butter as a substitute
160g red onions, finely chopped
400g can crushed tomatoes
50ml heavy cream
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- In a large saucepan add the sabut urad and channa dal and fill with about 6
cups of water. Bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. On the surface you will
notice a foamy substance, skim off as much of this substance as possible.
- In a food processor add the ginger, garlic and chillies, pulsing until
- Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the minced ginger-garlic
mixture and stir. Throw in the cardamom pods, bay leaves and cinnamon. Reduce
the heat and covered, simmer gently until the legumes have softened and are
cooked - about 1 hour.
- While the legumes are cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and melt 2
tablespoons ghee. Once the ghee is hot add the cumin seeds and allow them to
cook until they sizzle and sputter - about 5-8 seconds. Add the asafetida and
Kashmiri chili powder, stir well. Finally add the chopped onions and stir-fry
until golden brown - about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes, reducing the heat to low. Simmer the sauce
until the ghee (or butter) begins to separate - about 6 to 10 minutes. Stir
occasionally. Sprinkle some salt to taste.
- Once the legumes are ready - they should be soft and tender - stir in the
tomato sauce. Mix until incorporated. Add about a cup of water to the skillet
and scrape off any bits of the sauce, then pour it into the legumes.
- Add the kidney beans and simmer, covered until they are soft and tender -
about 8 minutes.
- Pour in the cream and heat through. Stir in the remaining ghee and serve, sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves.
- This dal is just delicious with plain Basmati rice, scented with cloves and cardamom pods. It's the way my mum and I enjoy the dish best.
- My father enjoys this with Arabic or Lebanese bread, breaking pieces off and dunking it into the creamy mixture.
- Tom loves this in a similar way but likes using crispy rustic French baguette instead and a drizzle of fresh lime juice.
- Soeren simply enjoys this as a soup, spooning the goodness with a huge spoon.
Food Guide Tip: Learn everything about legumes, including how to cook them, select and store them.