1.11.10 Such a Dal
Dal Makhani, Oberoi Style
- — 1 cup urad daal (also called black lentils, but not the kind you are used to)
- — 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- — 2 green chiles, slit, seeds removed (jalapeño or serrano)
- — salt to taste
- — pinch of asafetida*
- — 2 large tomatoes, chopped into cubes (can use canned)
- — 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- — 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- — 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- — 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- — 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder (or to taste, depending on spiciness)
- — 1/2 cup cream, whisked to thicken slightly
- — 2 tablespoons canola oil
- — 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter, available in jar)
- — 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Soak the lentils overnight in a bowl of water.
The next day, boil lentils with 3 cups of water, sliced onion, green chiles, asafetida and salt to taste until they are very tender.
In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the other diced onion until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin and red chile and fry for another 5 minutes.
Add the boiled lentils and enough water to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Remove from heat.
In another small pan, melt the ghee, add the cumin seeds and fry until they stop sputtering.
Pour this into the lentils (it will sizzle) and mix well.
*Asafetida (or asoefetida), also known as both "devil's dung" and "food of the gods," is an interesting spice that gives off a stinky, sulphurous aroma when raw but, when cooked, acquires off a garlicky-onion flavor. It also happens to reduce the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut, thus reducing flatulence.