Dal Makhani

I do believe that nearly every food deserves respect. That they all have a place somewhere in someone’s belly. But up until a year ago, lentils had no place in mine.

I might have even tacked them to the list of largely inedible things, just below styrofoam and dimes, both surprisingly untasty.

I’ve since reconsidered this list. But I encourage you to trust me on the dimes.

So very recently, in my ongoing quest to taste every worldly place without physically visiting, I gave lentils another go. “Annnd show meee….Indian!”

They wooed me.

The lentils, after simmering for an hour with fresh zesty ginger, savory garlic, cayenne, and a few pats of sweet cream butter, turned tricks on my taste buds. They were all at once sweet and spicy, familiarly comforting yet exotic, simple but shockingly flavorful. Texture-wise, they mash and melt as pleasantly as I imagine porridge would.

I think it’s the balance of ginger with garlic, and the way that butter and a few tips of the cream carton lend a silky and luscious richness.

And then there was naan. Sweet lovely naan. All blistered and buttered, chewy and garlicky.

This meal deserves to be made, if for no other reason than it’s just the easiest thing to do. And it’s cheap. And really, like I said before, lentils deserve respect too.

Place the dried lentils in a medium pot and add cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring it to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but not mushy. Drain and return to the pot. Place the pot on the burner again.

Add the tomato sauce, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and butter. Stir and let the mixture simmer over low heat, covered, for 1 hour.

Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more cayenne if you’d like it spicier.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cream. Serve with minced fresh cilantro.

Dal Makhani

adapted from Nirvana Restaurant, as seen on SteamyKitchen

(serves 3)

1 cup dried lentils

15 oz can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons heavy cream

fresh cilantro for garnish

Place the dried lentils in a medium pot and add cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring it to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but not mushy. Drain and return to the pot. Place the pot on the burner again.

Add the tomato sauce, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and butter. Stir and let the mixture simmer over low heat, covered, for 1 hour.

Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more cayenne if you’d like it spicier.

Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cream. Serve with minced fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Information for 1/3 of recipe:

Calories: 328, Total Fat: 12.4g, Cholesterol: 34.1mg, Sodium: 914.2mg, Carbohydrate: 41.7g, Fiber: 17.1g, Sugars 7g, Protein: 13.1g

Comments

  1. says

    not only does this sound relatively easy to make, i actually can easy compile all the ingredients (honestly, my number one recipe requirement!!). i am definitely adding this to the “to make” list – thanks!! now i just have to find some naan that looks as good as yours…

  2. niraj says

    the dis looks good but Dal Makhni is nt not made from this lentil.It’s a black urad lentil that we use.It’s got a creamier taste and is dark brown.
    Dal is never reddish in color in original india. :)…but a nice try

  3. niraj says

    the dish looks good but Dal Makhni is nt not made from this lentil.It’s a black urad lentil that we use.It’s got a creamier taste and is dark brown.
    Dal is never reddish in color in original india. :)…but a nice try

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