Creamy Spiced Indian Lentils

This rich, creamy dish takes its name from makhan, the Hindi word for butter.

Creamy Spiced Indian Lentils
This rich, creamy dish takes its name from makhan, the Hindi word for butter.
Yield: serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 12 cups kali sabut urad dal (whole black lentils)
  • 12 cup channa dal (split yellow lentils)
  • 12 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
  • Salt
  • 1 12 cups milk
  • 8 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
  • 12 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.