North Indian Comfort Food

Daal Makhni & Peas Pulav

I've had a hankering for Daal Makhni lately, and my mom had given me a whole bunch of lentils. My pantry is stocked to say the least. Daal Makhni has a nice creamy texture, and it tastes amazing in restaurants, I'm guessing they put a lot of cream and butter into it. Something that makes it so rich. I don't have the heart to cook with so much fat at home. Making Daals or Rajma take some preparation, as the lentils have to be soaked overnight. Kidney beans seem to need quite a lot of soaking. And both need to be pressure cooked for a while so they become nice and soft. Its a good thing to do ahead of time, keep the lentils in the fridge and then its easy to put together the daal when you come home from work. There are many variations of making the rice, I know people who will roast the rice in ghee with cumin seeds, raisins, cashewnuts, and saffron, then cook it in water on the stove. I'm too lazy to do all this, and simply cook my rice in the rice cooker. It is a more 'rustic' version.

Daal Makhni
2 cups black gram daal, 2 tablespoons of kidney beans, 2 tbsp crushed ginger, 1 large green chili minced, 1 dried red chili, 1 clove garlic minced (optional), 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 onion diced, 1 tomato chopped (you could use canned tomato), 2 tbsp dhania jeera powder, 1 tbsp garam masala powder, salt, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp red chili powder, a pinch of asafetida, 2 tbsp cream, 2 tbsp yogurt, cilantro to garnish

  1. Soak the lentils with the kidney beans in lots of water overnight. Wash the soaked lentils and kidney beans and discard the water in which they were soaked. Put them into a pressure cooker along with the water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and half the quantity of the following items: chopped onion(s), garlic, ginger, and whole red chilli(es) and half a tomato chopped. Close the cooker and bring to maximum pressure on high heat. I recommend at least 5 whistles, then lower the heat and continue to cook for at least 25 minutes. Open the cooker only after the pressure has subsided.
  2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan till it becomes very hot. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now, add the asafetida, the remaining chopped onions, green and red chilli(es), garlic, ginger and fry till the onion(s) are slightly browned. Add the dhania jeera powder, and then the chopped tomato(es) and fry again till the fat separates from the sides of the pan. Add the cooked lentil mixture and mix well. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes. Add the garam masala, and the yogurt and cream when the mixture is simmering. Temper (by taking hot liquid and adding it to the cream/yogurt to bring its temperature up) before adding to the daal.

Peas Pulav
1 cup rice, 1.5 cups water, 2-3 cloves, 2-3 cardomoms (take the seeds out and crush them) or add a dash of cardomom powder OR you can add 1 large black cardomom pod, 2 bay leaves, and a handful of frozen peas (or any other veggies you like in it), cumin seeds, ghee, salt, and 1 tsp pulav masala powder (or garam masala).

1. Put the rice, peas, bay leaves, cardomom, and cloves in the rice cooker with water. Cook the rice.
2. Splutter cumin seeds in ghee and add this to the rice, mix it with the pulav masala and salt.
3. Garnish with cilantro.

You can roast the rice in ghee first before putting in the rice cooker, this will give it a nice nutty flavor, and also add tremendous flavour from the ghee. But that means you have to wash another pan!

Daal Makhni, Peas Rice, & Raita

1 comment:

TNL said...


The Daal Makahni looks great..came here through Indira's blog, nice to see another Canadian Foodie!
Will be visiting again.