Creamy Spiced Indian Lentils
This rich, creamy dish takes its name from makhan, the Hindi word for butter.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 1⁄2 cups kali sabut urad dal (whole black lentils)
- 1⁄2 cup channa dal (split yellow lentils)
- 1⁄2 cup rajma dal (small red kidney beans)
- 1 Tbsp. mustard or canola oil
- 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 thai green chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 (2") piece peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
- 6 Tbsp. ghee
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 cup canned peeled whole tomatoes, puréed
- 2 Tbsp. garam masala
- 1 Tbsp. kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves; optional)
- 1 tsp. kashmiri red chile powder or paprika
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 8 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Combine dals and wash under running water until it runs clear. Toss with oil in a bowl; set aside. Purée garlic, chiles, ginger, and 1⁄4 cup water in a blender; set paste aside.
- Heat ghee in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add cumin; cook for 1 minute. Add onions and cook until browned, 8–10 minutes. Add paste, coriander, and turmeric; cook for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring and scraping until thickened, 6–7 minutes. Add dals and 2 quarts water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Add garam masala, kasoori methi, chile powder, and salt to taste; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in milk and butter; simmer for 5 minutes. Drizzle cream on top and serve.