There are comfort foods and then there are some more. Dal-Chawal, Varan-Bhaat or Anna-Tavvi, called it by any name, is the all time favourite comfort food, for me too as for so many others. But sometimes the craving is for something richer! Dal Makhani fits the bill perfectly here. And if it is combined with Jeera Rice, even better!
The best part about this combination is that apart from being a comfort food for me, it can also feature on a menu, when guests are expected or on days when we want to have a little more than dal-Chawal!
Dal Makhani, also called Kaali (Black) Dal & Maa ki Dal, is something that I have always been in awe of. The name itself sounded intriguing to me. I was introduced to this Dal, by a Punjabi school friend of mine in Delhi. She called it Maa ki Dal and I was wondering if she meant her 'Maa' (Mother) had made the dal! After hearing it every time, she brought this in the lunch box, I innocently asked her 'Are there so many people at your home who make this Dal, that you have to specify each time...?' Now for me, this was a valid question since I knew she stayed in a joint family. But I myself burst out laughing when she told me what it was. 'Maa' means whole Udad (Black gram) in Punjabi, which is the main constituent here and hence the name :)
- 1 cup Kali Urad (Whole blackgram)
- 1/4 cup Rajma (Kidney beans)
- 1/4 cup Kala Chana (Bengal Gram)
- 1-2 tblsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2-3 Tej Patta
- 2" piece of Cinnamon, coarsely ground
- 1 tsp Garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Haldi (Turmeric)
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1-2 tsp Garam masala powder
- 1/4 cup fresh cream (optional)
- Fresh Coriander leaves
Soak the Udad, Kala Chana and Rajma for at least 6 hours. Pressure cook them with a little salt and keep aside.
Heat the Ghee in a pan. Fry the Tej Patta and Cinnamon until you get a nice aroma.
Add the cumin seeds. As they turn brown, add the onions and fry till they turn translucent.
Put in the green chillies and ginger, garlic paste and fry for some more time. Add the Haldi.
Now put in all the cooked dals, salt, red chilli powder and Garam Masala. Mix well, cover and cook on low flame for 6-8 min to allow the flavours to mix.
Remove the cover and add the chopped coriander leaves and leave on heat for a min. Switch off the flame and add the cream if using. Check for salt after the addition of cream.
Although the name is Dal 'Makhani' (buttery), I don't always add cream. The Udad already adds some creaminess to the Dal so the cream only adds to the richness, while diluting the taste some. So it is entirely dependent on what you are in the mood for :)
- 1 Cup Rice, preferably the Basmati variety
- 2 tblsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 2 tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
- 2 Green Chillies, Slit lengthwise (Optional)
- 2-3 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom (Optional)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Wash the rice and soak it for half an hour.
Heat the Ghee in a pressure pan (or pressure cooker). Add the cloves and cardamom & fry till you get a nice aroma.
Add the jeera & green chillies. Once the jeera has browned, drain the soaked rice and add it to the tempering.
Mix well and roast for a couple of min.
Add about 1 1/2 cups of water, enough to just immerse the rice. Add the salt. The rice is not to be made sufficiently salty, hence the amount of salt is to be kept very low.
Mix and close the pressure pan and let it cook for 4 whistles (depends on the type of pressure cooker. This is cooked similar to Pulao)
Serve hot with Dal Makhani or any other Dal or even a curry with gravy.
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