In our house and indian culture in general, when people host dinners, hospitality is showcased by servingÂ something away fromÂ the usual home meals.It is one of mom’s signatureÂ recipe.It’s one of the recipes which sheÂ has cooked for dozens of guests in our family over the years and handed the method to many. When she visited me few months back here, I saw her making it, the eyeballing the ingredientsÂ come naturally to her, she didn’t pick a measuring spoon if I tell you the truth.
IngredientsÂ Â (Makes 3-4 servings)
Cooking the Lentils
- 1/2 cup whole blackÂ uradÂ dalÂ (lentils)
- 2 tbsp red kidney beans
- 2Â tbspÂ ghee
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger (from 1/4″ piece)
- 1 fat garlic clove, chopped
- 1Â tejpattaÂ (bay leaf)
- 1/2″ cinnamon stick
- 1 black cardamom (skip if not available)
- 1/4 tspÂ hingÂ (asafoetida powder)
- 3-4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
For theÂ BaghaarÂ (Tempering)
- Â 1 medium onion (~yield 1/2 cup when blended )
- 3/4 teaspoonÂ cumin seeds
- 2 largeÂ tomatoes (~yield a little more than 1/2 cup when blended)
- 4Â tablespoon oil(any neutral)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoonÂ kashmiriÂ chilli powder (or paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (or cayenne, adjust to taste)
- 2″ fresh ginger shoot, finely chopped
- 2Â teaspoonÂ kasuri methiÂ (dry fenugreek leaves, available at indian grocery stores )
- 1/4 teaspoonÂ garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoonÂ amchoorÂ (dry mango powder or squirtÂ fresh mime juice at the end of cooking)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2-3Â tablespoon butterÂ
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or more depending on how creamy you want, optional)
- Cilantro to garnish
Cooking the lentilsÂ Â (This can be done a day ahead)
Stove Top MethodÂ
Soak the lentils and kidney beans in enough water for atleast 8-10 hours. Soaking the lentils reduces the cooking times and gets rid of inedible enzymes in them so it’s a important step. Drain the lentil and beans, add the kidney beans to a small pot of water and let boil for 20 minutes separately.Then add them along with lentils to a pressure cooker along with all the ingredients listed under ‘cooking the lentils’. Pressure cook the lentils on medium heat for 2-3Â whistles, then reduce to low and let cook for about 15-20 minutes. Put off the stove and then let the pressure release. OpenÂ the pressureÂ Â cooker lid and with the help of a spoon, pick and discard the bay leaf, cinnamonÂ and cardamom. Mash the hot lentils and beans. Decide how mushy or chewy you want them. If you feel that the lentils are slightly tough to mash, pressure cook for another 1-2 whistles on medium. You should easily be able to mash the lentils with a spoon. If not, let cook a little more.
Slow Cooker MethodÂ
Add the cooked beansÂ along with lentils to slowcooker along with all the ingredients listed under ‘cooking the lentils’. Set to cook for 8-10 hours.Once cooked, pick and discard the bay leaf, cinnamonÂ and cardamom.With the help of a spoon, mash the hot lentils and beans. Decide how mushy or chewy you want them.Let sit.
For the TemperingÂ
While the lentils are cooking, fire roast the onion and tomatoes. Roast them till the skins are charred. I use a smallÂ perforated panÂ but you can roast them on the stove directly. Once roasted,let cool and Â peel off the skin of onion and using the food processor, make a paste. Try not to add water while making the paste. Separately, make a paste of tomatoes too.Set aside. (These pastes can be made a day ahead).
In a pot orÂ kadhai(indian wok), heat up the oil on medium heat. Add the onion paste along with cumin seeds and let cook on medium heat till the paste is nicely golden brown. Next add the minced Â garlic. Saute for another 30 secondsÂ or so. Then, add the tomato paste along with red chili powder and chopped ginger. Cook the tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes on low heat till you see the fat starting to separate on sides and the color darkening to deep red. At this point, add the mashed lentils to the pot.Adjust the salt and also add some water if you feel that the lentils have thickened in due time. I add about 3/4Â cup water. Adjust depending on the desired consistency of the lentils.Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes. The lentils will thicken up and the flavors will develop.
Once the lentils have simmered, add theÂ kasuri methi, garam masala,Â nutmeg, butter and heavy cream (if using)Â and let simmer(not boil) for another 10 minutes.
Let sit for atleast 2-3 hours before serving. They get better as they sit.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, green chillies or ginger and serve warm withÂ rotisÂ (flatbreads).
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!