Namaskaaram Beings. We are another day closer to Christmas and I am sitting here with no tree or decorations. Yup, I know completely organised. But we have Dal Makhani though and I am happy with that.
Dal Makhani, was always on the menu when we ate out as family in Dubai. Ofcourse it was ordered every single time. It’s one of those hearty, soulful dishes everyone will indulge in with a big proud smile. Here is why.
It’s what takes you back to your Amma’s kitchen. As you revise for an exam, prepare for that meeting the next day or breastfeeding your newborn (in my case) the aroma of freshly ground spices will make its way to your nostrils and everything after that is like floating on fluffy rainbow clouds. It is the most beautiful thing ever.
It was pretty much one of the hardest dishes to leave behind when I transitioned into a plant based lifestyle but by no means will I sit down idle without finding a way to veganize it! And et voila, here is my vegan version and its pretty badass if I say so myself.
The traditional Dal Makhani uses Urad Dal( whole black gram) + Red Kidney Beans, loads of ghee/ butter and hails from Punjab. I’ve gone a bit unconventional.
As you can see from the above picture, I have used whole green lentils for the simple reason that I ran out of whole black gram and kidney beans too. So, babes work with what you have in the pantry and it will allow you to be creative AF.
But if you have Black Gram and Kidney Beans, you lucky b****! ha ha
Anyway, let’s get on with making this beauty shall we?
2 Cups Whole Green Lentils ( 2 Cups Whole Black Gram, preferably washed & soaked overnight)
1 Cup Kidney Beans ( Washed & Soaked too, or you can opt for the canned version. But please wash those too)
1 Cup Cashew Nuts ( Washed)
1 Cup Onions
1.5 Cups Chopped Tomatoes ( Canned will work just as well)
1 Thumbsize Ginger Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic
3 Green Chillies
Himalayan pink Salt to Taste
Handful Coriander to garnish
Squeeze of Lemon Juice (Optional)
For the Masala
1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Blackpepper corns
1/2 Inch Cinnamon Stick (1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder will work just as well)
2 Dry Red Chillies
2 Cloves Cardamom
1 Star Anise
- Apart from the Turmeric Powder and cumin, add all the above spices to a pan and dry roast them for 1 minute on gentle heat. When they start releasing their scent and looking slightly dry NOT burnt. Please watch over them. There is nothing more horrendous than burnt spices. Add in the Cumin Seeds, a few second before you turn the heat off as they roast quiet quickly.
- Dump them all in a coffee grinder or a pestle+ mortar and grind away babes. Till smooth. If you want to be extra, add this through a sieve to get it that tad bit smoother.
- Heat a pan with the tiniest amount of coconut oil for the onions to sauté for about 1-2 minutes stirring gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Once the Onions are golden and translucent, add in the lentils + turmeric powder and give that a good gentle coating so it latches on to that yummy fragrant golden onions
- Add in 2 tablespoons of the spice mix and give that a gentle mix for about 1-2 minutes until all the lentils are coated evenly with the spice.
- Reduce the heat, and add in the chopped tomatoes and give it a mix.
- While that is simmering, add in the cashew nuts + Ginger+ Garlic+ Green Chillies into a blender with 1 teaspoon of water and blend to a smooth paste consistence. If you you think you need to add more water to the paste, please do so but make sure it is creamy and not runny.
- Add the cashew cream into the pot and give it a good mix. But please don’t leave this unattended and check your Instagram Feed
- Add some salt to taste. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add some water if the mixture has gone a bit creamier.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes gently stirring.
This should now be done. For a check, take one lentil and squeeze between your fingers and if its pulps well, it’s done and ready to devour.
Garnish with coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice.
There you have it a Vegan Dal Makhani
I served it with Ponni Arasi which is a South Indian rice and available in most Cash & Carry’s around the UK.
I hope you give this a go and love it as much as I did.
Now, I just want to tell you all to be nice to everyone. Nice don’t cost a thing babes.
Happy Monday beautiful beings.