Lentils are one of the healthiest !and most hearty proteins out there, in my opinion. I think alot of people “think” about lentils as being boring, and almost too difficult to prepare. Or, maybe alot of people simply avoid them because they have no clue how to prepare them, or what to make with them!
Lentils are a huge staple in Indian cuisine. We make dry curries out of them, soups, thick Indian style stews, and even some sweet versions of lentils that we use to stuff into our rotlis and parathas! Many Indian families across the different regions of India eat lentils at least a few times a week, as a main dish or as a side with rice.
I’d like to share a recipe for Black Lentils with you. Unlike the green mung bean, the “urud”, or black lentil bean has a much creamier texture to it once cooked. The oils from the lentils get released during the cooking process and make the sauce/gravy it is cooked in very silky and smooth. It has a buttery aftertaste, which makes this dish special.
In my home, we eat Black Lentils with an extra chunk of butter on top and mix it in right before we take the first bite. The butter just adds an extra level of creaminess to this dish that is extremely delicious and satisfying.
BLACK LENTIL CURRY (DAL MAKHANI)
Serves: 6-8 people
- 1/4 cup of oil (vegetable, canola, etc.) OR 1 stick of butter
- 1 large onion (diced small)
- 3 medium tomatoes (diced small)
- 1 jalapeno (diced small) – add more if desired
- 3 Tbsp of ginger paste
- 5 or 6 curry leaves
- 2 Tbsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- 1 to 1.5 tsp of salt
- 2 Tbsp Madras curry powder (Hot or Mild)
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley/coriander
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp of cumin seeds
- ¼ cup ketchup (this adds a bit of sweetness to dish)
- 2 to 2.5 cups of Black Lentils (rinse and clean in water to remove any starch/debris)
- 3 to 4 cups of water
- In medium/large pressure cooker, add oil and allow to heat on medium.
- Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds and allow to fry in oil for 1 minute to flavor.
- Add diced tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, curry leaves, ginger paste, salt, turmeric, ketchup, cumin powder and curry powder. Mix all ingredients together till fully incorporated and allow to cook covered on stove for about 5-7 minutes or until all veggies cook down and become very tender and you have a semi-chunky gravy consistency.
- Add the black lentils and 3 cups of water.
- Close and lock pressure cooker, then allow to cook on medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes OR until the whistle screams for about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn stove off, release all pressure by opening valve before opening
- Add lemon juice and extra 1 cup of water (if dal is too thick) – mix into dal well
- Add coriander/parsley as garnish OR mix into dal before serving.
**Suggestion: Add 1 Tbsp of butter on top of daal when served in individual bowls for added creaminess.
I hope you get the opportunity to try this Black Lentil dish one day and like it as much as my family does!
Let me know your thoughts if you by tagging me on IG @cmspiceculture or adding your comments below.