Hello & a recipe for Makhni Dal
Hi everyone. This is L here and I am finally taking my first step into the world of food blogging!! A big thank you G - both for introducing me to food blogs and encouraging me to start writing myself.
Food back at home in India has been predominated by Punjabi and Tambram cuisine as my mom and dad belong to these two regions. Also as the family moved every few years to different places, my mom had the opportunity to sample and try make regional specialities in her kitchen. In short, I had a lot of fun eating a whole variety of yummy dishes (and now making them too) and through Vyanjanaa I want to share my experiences and recipes that have been given to me by my mom and extended family and recipes that are the result of experimentation [that's where G comes into the picture :)]
And moving on to today's recipe - Makhni Dal, this is a dish that my Mom makes during the winter months. It is wholesome, warming and delicious. With the prefix makhni attached to it, one would immediately start thinking about the oodles of butter and fat that one would expect to see in the dish, but surprise, surprise !! The only fat in the dish is the really miniscule amount of oil that goes into a tadka. Another surprise element - this dal does not use any of the dry masalas normally used in Indian cooking.
Whole black urad dal - 1 cup
Rajma - a handful
Onion - 1 large
Tomatoes - 2 small
Garlic - 6-7 cloves
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Green chillies - 6-7
Jeera - 1 tsp
Heeng - a pinch
Milk - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - for tadka
(1) Soak the two dals together overnight in about 4-5 cups of water.
(2) Grind the onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies into a smooth paste.
(3) Pressure cook the dals until one whistle.
(4) Add the ground masala paste to the dal. Pressure cook for one whistle. Lower the heat to the minimum and cook for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 mins, switch off the heat and let the steam release from the cooker by itself.
(5) Do the heeng-jeera tadka and simmer the dal until it starts thickening.
(6) Add the milk and simmer again for about a minute.
(7) Add salt to taste.
Garnish with coriander and ginger juliennes.
Couple of points - the proportion of onions must always be more in the paste compared to the tomatoes, its always better to use fresh ginger and garlic for this recipe as these are the major flavour contributors and do not cook the dal too much after adding milk as it tends to split.
The dal goes well with naan, parathas and jeera rice. I love coriander chutney as an accompaniment. Refer to G's two-minute ginger pickle, it works well too. The dal is a little time consuming, but the results are totally worth it.