Monday, December 26, 2011

Ma Ki Dal (Whole Urad & Kidney Beans Punjabi Style)

Ma Ki Dal is an amazing partnership between two legumes: whole urad and rajma or red kidney beans! It is also known as Kali dal (black dal) or Dal Makhni (buttery dal); but I like the name Ma ki dal = Mama's lentils :D. It is traditional, common fare in Punjabi cuisine and may be served with rice or breads. Black whole urad and red kidney beans are simmered slowly for a rich, buttery tasting thick stew.

Even though this is a very simple dal with minimal number of spices, the slow simmering produces exquisitely delicious succulent dal.

Ma ki dal provides yummy, rib-sticking abundant protein when served with the grains (rice or roti) and/or a bit of dairy such as yogurt. All you need to complete the feast are some green veggies.

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 cup Whole Urad beans with skin
1/4 cup Red Kidney beans
2-3 Dry Red Chile
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1-2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced (optional)
1-2 fresh hot green chiles, cored and minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
Butter or vegan spread to serve

Method:

Sort, wash and cook the beans (no soaking necessary) with whole red chiles in water to cover until quite soft (the beans should not offer any resistance when pressed with fingers); this might take about 1 hour.

I use the pressure cooker to cook the beans and it shortens the cooking time and produces consistently well-cooked beans. See this post on beans for more info as well as tips on preparation.

Fish out the chiles, add salt, mash coarsely just a little with the back of a ladle and set aside.

Heat the ghee/oil in a large pan (at least 2 quart/liter size) and cook the onions with a pinch of salt until soft and beginning to color. Add ginger and green chili and saute until they are soft.

Stir in ground red pepper, paprika, & turmeric and cook for a few seconds.

Add tomatoes, mix well and cook until soft ; cool slightly, puree, and return to the pot.

Tip the cooked beans along with the cooking liquid into the onion mixture. Bring to a boil stirring often; then gently simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.

Cover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter before serving or top individual bowls with a little bit.

Serve hot with rice or any kind of wholegrain bread. Enjoy!!

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