Dal Makhani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole black urad dal
  • 1/3 cup rajma
  • 4 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, grated
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2-3 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4cup unsalted butter (can increase to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup light cream (can increase to 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • A generous dollop of unsalted butter

Method –

  1. Wash the 2 types of beans and drain
  2. Cover with water and leave to soak overnight
  3. Pressure cook the beans with 1 litre of water till soft
  4. With a potato masher, mash half of the beans lightly till they form a coarse paste
  5. Half of the beans should remain whole
  6. Add the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt, butter, cream and garam masala
  7. Cook very gently for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  8. Serve the beans with a dollop of butter at the top
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Panchmel Dal (5 Lentil Dal)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp each of moong dal, chana dal, urad dal, masoor dal and toor dal
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the tadka –
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 dry red chilli, broken in half
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Method –

  1. Wash and soak all the lentils for about 30 minutes
  2. Boil the lentils with 600 ml water, 1 tsp salt and half of the turmeric powder
  3. Heat the ghee in a wok
  4. Add onion and cook until golden brown
  5. Add the remaining salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder and sauté for 1 minute
  6. Add the tomato and cook till soft
  7. Pour this mixture over the lentils and bring to boil
  8. Turn off the heat
  9. Add coriander leaves and lemon juice
  10. Heat the ghee for tempering and add all the ingredients
  11. When the garlic turns golden, add this tempering to the dal
  12. Cover for 2 minutes before serving

Sambhar

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red gram dal (toor dal)
  • A lime sized tamarind ball
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (radish, potato, okra, carrot, bottle gourd, aubergine, onion) cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp sambhar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

For Tempering

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli, halved
  • A few curry leaves

Method

  1. Cook the red gram dal in a pressure cooker and set aside
  2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water and extract the juice
  3. Heat the oil and add all the ingredients for tempering
  4. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the green chillies and add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add the tamarind juice, 1 cup water, salt, turmeric and sambhar powder
  6. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat till the vegetables are tender
  7. Add the cooked dal and simmer for 5 minutes
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Dahi Vada (Lentil Dumplings in Spiced Yogurt)

Ingredients

For Vadas –

  • 1 cup urad dal (split black gram lentil) soaked overnight and ground to a smooth paste of medium thick consistency adding very little water
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2” piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 cups of thick curd well whisked with 3 tsp sugar and salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For Tamarind Chutney

  • 1/2 cup seedless tamarind, tightly packed
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped jaggery or as required
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil

Method –

For Vadas –

  1. Add chilies, ginger, cumin seeds , asafoetida powder and salt to the ground batter
  2. Whisk the batter for about 5 minutes
  3. In the meantime, heat a big bowl of water and keep aside
  4. Heat oil for deep frying in a large wok
  5. When the oil is medium hot, pick up small balls of batter with fingers and drop it into the hot oil
  6. Turn it only after it becomes light golden from the base and sides
  7. Fry the vadas till it becomes golden and crisp
  8. Take out the vadas from the wok and immerse them into the hot water immediately. Let it soak for about 20 minutes
  9. Take each vada and flatten them between palms to remove excess water
  10. Place these vadas in the serving bowl
  11. Pour half of the curd over the vadas. Let the vadas absorb the curd for about 30 minutes
  12. Before serving, pour the remaining curd over the vadas. If required, add more curd
  13. Sprinkle the red chilli powder and the cumin powder
  14. Top with tamarind chutney
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

For Tamarind Chutney

  1. Soak tamarind in water for about 4-5 hours
  2. Squeeze the pulp of the tamarind. Strain the pulp and keep aside
  3. Heat oil in a small pan
  4. Lower the flame, add cumin seeds and let them crackle
  5. Add ginger powder, red chilli powder and asafoetida powder
  6. Add the strained tamarind pulp
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes
  8. Add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 minutes till the mixture thickens

The fried vadas
The fried vadas soaking in hot water
The soaked vadas after squeezing out the water
Tamarind chutney

Rajma Masala

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rajma (kidney beans)
  • 2 big/3medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Directions –

  1. Wash and soak rajma overnight.
  2. Boil the rajma with 3 cups water
  3. Make a paste of onion, ginger and garlic
  4. Purée the tomatoes
  5. In the pan, add oil, asafoetida powder and onion, ginger, garlic paste. Fry till the paste is light brown
  6. Add tomato purée and cook till oil separates
  7. Add turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder
  8. Cook till the masala is fully cooked and the oil separates
  9. Add rajma and the water it was boiled in
  10. Cook on low flame for 30 minutes
  11. Adjust the gravy as per requirement.
  12. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Chickpea Curry (Chole)

This is a hearty meal with puris, parathas, kulcha, bhature. Can also serve it with rice

Ingredients for pressure cooking –


2 cups raw chickpeas
5-6 green cardamom pods
4-5 black peppercorn
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tea bags
salt to taste
5 cups water

For the chole masala –


1 tablespoon oil
3-4 cloves
3/4 cup pureed onion
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
2.5 cups pureed tomatoes
3 teaspoons Everest chole masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

To garnish –


1 tablespoon ghee
1 inch ginger cut into julienne
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon crushed kasuri methi
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions –

Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. Drain the chickpeas and rinse before cooking

  1. In a pressure cooker add the soaked and drained chickpeas, around 5 cups water and salt. Put 2 tea bags, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick in a muslin cloth and tie the cloth tightly. Put this along with the chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10-12 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and allow it to cool down. Once the steam is gone, open the cooker and check the chickpeas. You should be able to press them easily with your fingers. If not, close the cooker and cook for 2 more whistles.

Drain the chickpeas and remove the muslin cloth with whole spices and tea bags

  1. In a wok, heat 2 tsp of oil. Once hot, add cloves and grated onions. Fry the onions till the raw smell goes away and they are light golden brown in color.
  2. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes till the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
  3. Now add the tomato puree , stir and let it cook for 12-15 minutes on medium-low flame. Cover the pan to prevent splash all around. This step in my opinion is very important. The tomatoes need to be cooked really well till the raw smell goes away completely. So have patience and let them cook for around 15 minutes.
  4. Add the chole masala, red chilli powder, paprika powder, cumin powder, salt and mix for a 1-2 minutes.
  5. Drain the the chickpeas and add them to the tomato-onion mixture, stir till all the chickpeas are coated with spices, around 2 minutes. Do not throw away the water once you have drained the chickpeas. We will add the same water in the gravy.
  6. Add water, cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The gravy will thicken after 30 minutes so add water accordingly. I do not like thin gravy with chole but if you do add more water than what is mentioned in the recipe.

After 30 minutes the gravy, chickpeas and all the spices would have mixed well together. We can now do the tempering.

  1. To temper, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and the ginger julienne to it.
  2. Fry till the juliennes are golden brown in color but do not burn them. Add to the chole curry, mix and switch off the flame.
  3. Sprinkle some garam masala, kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.