Monday, August 3, 2009

kaali daal makhni and chapatis...



this is a typical punjabi lunch, especially in winter days........kaali dal is actually black lentils and the spicy curry made with whole black lentils is called kaali daal itself...........the way it is made , that is, with butter and hence the name makhni ( makkhan is butter in hindi n punjabi).....there is another version called daal makhni which is made using a mix of different kinds of whole and split lentils and that is different from this recipe.

Brad from naughty tastebud had posted a tortilla and blackbean pie some time back and since i like black beans in any form, i was curious.....i found a few north Indian elements in this recipe as it reminded me of kaali daal makhni.....i promised him that i'll post it here and i am horribly late.....actually it is not a summer food and summer has been killing this year.....i made it as soon as the weather got better and here it is...

this daal is a traditional punjaabi recipe and you can get it at many highway dhabas ( rustic and budget eateries) topped with lots of butter...( i skip the butter though n the daal becomes a non makhni...lol).........also in the traditional cooking method the daal is cooked on a very low heat ( in a wood fired oven) for almost 6-8 hours or overnight......off course in large quantities.....and the various spices and condiments are added during cooking, and unlike other punjabi daal recipes there is no tadka
( final step of spice tempering ) ......slow cooking gives this daal a different and earthy flavor....

in a modern kitchen slow cooking is not possible, so the cooking is done in phases.....in the first step, when you soak the lentils, give them a gentle boil and leave it for 3-4 hours....then add the salt and a boil again lightly and let it rest on the gas stove itself....after it comes to room temperature again it can be cooked till done on low flame.....

coming to the ingredients .....

black lentils whole 250 gm.
ginger garlic paste , freshly made ..1.5 tbsp
red chilly powder 1 tbsp or less if you want less heat
bay leaves 2 nos.
salt to taste


spices to be lightly roasted and powdered freshly

black cardamon 1 no.
green cardamom 2 nos.
cloves 5 nos.
cinnamon stick 1 inch
black pepper corns 20 nos.
cumin seeds 2 tsp

to make the powder i just microwave the spices in microwave on low for a minute and grind them when cool, can be done in a mortar n pestle....

finishing ingredients

amchoor powder ( dried mango powder) 2 tsp ( can be substituted with tomato puree 1/2 cup)
a dash of grated nutmeg
fresh cream 2 tbsp or more
a handful of chopped coriander leaves

to proceed ...as we make it for a lunch, i just soaked and boiled the lentils once when i got up in the morning.....just add 3 cups of water to the lentils in a pressure cooker pan and give it gentle boil or simmer and put the flame off ...let it rest on the gas stove itself so that it is warm till longer time........after may be 3 hrs i boiled it again adding salt this time and put off the flame again for a while.....though you can proceed the cooking this time too , i started cooking after an hour or so.......

now throw in the bay leaves , ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder and simmer on low heat till the lentils get mushy........it takes about an hour and half when cooked without the lid ...so i quickened it a bit by covering the pressure cooker with whistle on , but cooked it on low heat..this way less pressure is build and there is no whistle while cooking.........needs to be cooked for 20 minutes...til the daal gets mushy ............and there is till some water left....



open the cooker n transfer the daal to a wide pan like kadhai, and throw in the powdered masalas and cook covered on low flame for 15 minutes.....throw in the amchoor powder and keep stirring in between and mashing the daal with the spatula.......



finish with grated nutmeg , cream and chopped coriander ( i did not use green coriander as it is not available in the market these days.....the ones available are suspiciously green or smelly , so i better avoid it).....


mix well n it's ready to serve.........usually, it is served with a dollop of butter but i have skipped it...you can try if you like.........it is delicious that way.......

also...the daal can be cooked in one single step...pressure cook everything together , except the finishing masala and then proceed to finish and enjoy....there is a slight difference but the quick version is delicious too ...if not authentic........i make it mostly the quick way but wanted to give this semi authentic version for you....

i served it with roti , tomato salsa , and a potato and lobiya stirfry ( stir fried with just salt, turmeric powder and garlic and green chilly paste )..


and as i love it as a wrap.........



with salsa.........


and now a quick tutorial on making the roti...........i like it a little thicker with kaali daal.....the thinner version of a roti can be called a phulka or chapati...it's the same anyway...

you just need whole wheat flour and make a dough by adding just enough water and kneading with your fingers or use a food processor.

i have mixed a little soy paste so the edges of the rotis are not very smooth, with just the whole wheat flour it's smooth......

you have to take a ping pong ball sized portion of the dough and make a smooth ball of it......roll it with a rolling pin on a floured surface, lift on your palm and spread it gently over a hot tawa or griddle....


wait till the color of the roti changes a bit and small bubbles appear like the pic.....then flip over the roti.....( in the mean time we can roll the next roti...you can learn it with a little practice..)..


now wait till the roti gets brown specks on the other side......takes about 30 secs...
pull the tawa or griddle away from flame and with the help of tongs , hold the roti and place it over the gas flame....take care to keep the less specked side down....it will fluff up like this.......


remove from flame and keep covered inside the folds of a cloth napkin to keep it soft....serve hot or warm ...ask me if there is any doubt please.......
my Indian friends do not need this...it is for the uninitiated...lol.

tomato salsa is chopped tomatoes, onions and green chillies with salt pepper n a dash of mustard or extra virgin olive oil.....it's quick this time , you can add leaves or coriander , mint or chives .....anything available...

this is one hearty satisfying meal...

enjoy..

9 comments:

  1. wonder, its nice dish...yami..yami.

    पाखी की दुनिया में देखें-मेरी बोटिंग-ट्रिप

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  2. Hi Snageeta,
    great post, love the detailing. Ur rotis are to die for :) I dont mind over eating if I'm invited for to ur place :) dal makhani sans butter yummm and creamy.u have the patience ..I tell u ... u click and cook side by side wooo! cool ;)
    Keep them coming dearie, u r doing a great job!
    Hugs

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  3. Hi Sangeeta kaisi ho? Your dal is very nicely explained and the dal and chapati rolled together look yummy. Even I am missing the good old Dhaniya in my khana.I am waiting that it rains endlessly for a few days. Do u follow twitter?

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  4. Dal makhni looks lovely and yummy. Roasting the spices in microwave thats very good idea. Liked the pic of your fluffed roti on stove.

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  5. ur pulkas have come out excellent, i just made kaali daal and rajma..perfect...making me hungry now, let me not wait for anil and take in a bite ;)

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  6. I'm very excited to try this, thank you Sangeeta! I love how you always grind and roast your spices just before you use them. I recently read a book about the history of Indian cuisine, called Curry by Lizzie Collingham... she stresses the importance to Indian cooks of not only freshly grining and roasting spices, but of adding them to the dish at very specific points during the cooking process.

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  7. thanks all of you for your generous comments.
    thanks Brad . you can find more curries n authentic Indian food here.

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  8. yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyy :)

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