How To Make Dal Makhani
1. Soak both ¾ cup whole urad dal (whole black gram) and ¼ cup rajma (kidney beans) overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours. Drain them well.
2. Rinse the urad lentils and rajma legumes a couple of times in water.
3. Drain well and then add them in a pressure cooker.
4. Add 3 cups water and stir well.
5. Pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the whole urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. If they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. the urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. You can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. The same rule applies for rajma too. Keep the cooked beans aside. both the urad dal and rajma beans have to be fresh. If they are old or close to their expiry, they take a lot of time to cook.
6. Here’s both the rajma and urad dal cooked and softened.
7. In a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped. No need to blanch the tomatoes.
8. Blend to a smooth puree. Keep aside. You can also use the store brought 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes.
9. In a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. You can use salted butter or unsalted butter.
10. Add the whole spices – ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/Indian bay leaf. saute till the spices become aromatic.
11. Then add ½ cup finely chopped onions.
12. Stir and saute the onions on a low flame often.
13. Saute the onions till they become light golden.
14. Then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
15. add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
16. then add the tomato puree.
17. Stir again.
18. Add ½ tsp red chili powder.
19. Then add about 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
20. Stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides. About 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame.
21. Then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans.
22. Add the remaining stock. add 1 cup water or more if required.
23. Stir very well and simmer the dal uncovered on a low flame.
24. Keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan. the lentils become viscous and start to stick at the bottom if not stirred. Mash a few lentils too while stirring.
25. Once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
26. Stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. When simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. The longer you keep dal makhni to simmer, the better it tastes. The lentils become creamy, viscous and the consistency of the dal will keep on thickening as you simmer. I kept for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. Do keep on stirring at intervals.
27. When the gravy has thickened enough, then add ¼ to 1/3 cup cream. Punjabi dal makhni is not too thick or too thin. It has a medium consistency with a viscosity coming from the thoroughly cooked lentils.
28. Stir the cream very well. Then switch off the flame.
29. Now add ¼ tsp kasuri methi, crushed. Stir again. Cover and Keep the dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. Or else you can serve Punjabi dal makhani straight away.