Am I the only one who is late to the Dhal Makhani party? When I find a dish like this it makes me wonder how many other delicious things there are in the world I do not know about.
The simple kidney beans and lentils combination gives it a hearty meaty quality. If you're trying to have more plant based meals this is a recipe that really satisfies.
My husband discovered Dhal Makhani while he was stuck in Australia earlier in the year. He raved about this spicy, creamy lentil dhal he'd had in a little Indian restaurant.
Ingredients for Dhal Makhani
When he got home, he had found a recipe and asked me to track down black lentils so he could make it. We had jars of green lentils, red lentils and yellow lentils in the pantry already but black lentils were called for.
I bought the black lentils and added the jar to the pantry. Came home from work one day recently and the house smelled full of something good. He'd cooked the Dhal Makhani - with green lentils because he couldn't find the black ones! It was delicious.
Here it is again made with black lentils and it is even more delicious.
Restaurant Style Dhal Makhani Recipe - The Best Lentil Dhal
This is a large recipe because we like to freeze some for later. It can be halved.
2 cups dried black lentils
1 can of kidney beans
8 cups water
8 tablespoons of butter
2 medium onions
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 can of tomato puree
3 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
4 cups water
1/2 cup cream
4 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
The Masala Paste
Cook the Beans
Rinse the dried lentils in a sieve
Drain and rinse the can of kidney beans
Place the lentils, kidney beans and water in a large pot and cook on a low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally
Test the softness of the lentils and if they are very tender they are ready. If they are still a little tough cook for longer.
When the lentils and beans are very soft, give them a gentle mash with a potato masher or stick mixer to break a few of them up. This helps create a creamy finish to the dhal. Don't overdo it - you don't want soup.
Make the Masala Sauce
Heat half the butter in a large heavy based pan and add the cardamom pods and bay leaf
Add the chopped onions and cook gently until they start to brown then stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the tomato puree, salt, chili and garam masala and cook until it thickens slightly
Add in the cooked lentils and kidney beans and their cooking water and cook on a low heat for an hour, stirring it now and then to stop it sticking. Add water if needed. Cook for another 30 minutes.
Before serving, stir in the cream, cook for a further 10 minutes on low then taste for salt. Add the remaining butter and serve.
They key to this recipe is long and slow cooking so the flavours develop. It is lovely served with fresh roti breads for dipping and a dollop of tangy yogurt to cut the richness.