recipe for Kaali Daal comes from India and was commissioned
to compliment the earlier published article entitled Indian
Cooking . . . how did it become so popular?
Daal or lentils are one of the first crops that were domesticated
in the near Far East and are mainly eaten with rice in south
east Asian countries.
Kaali daal is a very famous vegetarian dish of north India.
The meaning of kaali daal is black gram (black lentils) or
urad dal, it is also called dal makhani (makhan means butter)
due to the use of liberal amounts of butter in it. In the
Punjab region of India, it is more popular with the name of
mah di daal.
It is an essential part of an Indian wedding menu and is
a well-known dish in highway motels or dhabhas.
Highly nutritious, rich and wholesome meal; it is rich in
carbohydrates and protein, so very healthy for growing children.
When it is mixed with grains such as rice, it is a full protein
diet. However it also has some anti-nutritional factors as
it is high in phytates but this can be removed by soaking
daal in warm water overnight.
It goes well with butter chicken and can be eaten with boiled
rice, chapattis or naan. It is not only a famous restaurant
food but cooked in most Indian households. Calorie conscious
people can reduce the amount of cream and ghee in it, it will
still taste nice.
Ingredients for Kaali Daal
2 cups black lentils
2 big onions (chopped)
2 big tomatoes (chopped)
2 green chillies (chopped)
Ginger and garlic paste
Salt to taste
Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Red chilli powder
Ghee (clarified butter)
How to make Kaali Daal
and soak the lentils overnight. Drain, discard the water
and boil in fresh water with salt and turmeric either in
a pressure cooker or in a more traditional way using a handi
(heavy bottomed pan used in the Punjab region of India).
using a handi, cover the handi with another small pan containing
water, and whilst cooking keep adding water from this pan
into the daal until it is boiled (this traditional way tastes
better than the pressure cooker way).
another pan heat oil, add the chopped onions and ginger
and garlic paste and fry until it leaves the oil. Add chopped
tomatoes and green chillies, salt, asafoetida, coriander
powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and garam
masala. Cook for 5 minutes.
the boiled daal into the pan and add more water if needed
to make the consistency thick.
the cream and take off the heat.
ghee in a small pan or tadka pan, add cumin seeds. When
it shops splattering pour over the daal.
with fresh coriander.
with naan or tandoori roti with side vegetables or butter
chicken. It compliments buttermilk or salted lassi, salad,
papad and pickles. A healthy diet for all age groups.
"Just a comment about the quantity of ingredients in this
series of recipes, I would say that most people add in different
amounts according to how they like it. Recipes are either
normally passed on or people learn by experimenting with different
amounts of spices until they get the taste they like, for
example, I know I put different amounts of thngs into curries
than my family and friends do, everyone does tend to work
out how much they like."
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