North indian, Mains
1. Wash and rinse 250 gms sabut urad dal / whole black gram lentil really well. you will have to scrub the dal between your palms so that all the impurities are discarded and also the dal will slightly loose its color. wash the dal 3-4 times till water is clear.
2. Soak the dal in enough water for a minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight.
3. Once the dal is soaked, drain the excess water and now add the dal into a large vessel.
4. Add enough water and bring the water to a boil.
5. Now lower the flame and cook the dal for 60-90 minutes. stir in intervals but with very light hands and not in very short intervals. scum will start to form on the top, remove & discard.
6. Once the dal is cooked well, you should be able to crush the dal between your fingers very easily and you should feel the starchy goodness squeezing out of the dal.
7. You can continue to cook the dal until you prepare the tadka or set it aside.
8. You can also cook the dal in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles. add water as per your pressure cooker requirements.
For the tadka
9. Add desi ghee into a vessel, now add in 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste. cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
10. Now add 3 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder and cook on low flame for a minute. remember to not burn the chilli powder. if you feel the heat is too high, just sprinkle some water to avoid the burning of the chilli powder.
11. Now add 500 gms fresh tomato puree, salt to taste and cook on medium to high flame until the tomatoes are cooked really well and the ghee is released.
12. Now set the dal again on a flame and add the tadka to it.
13. Mix well and add 4 tbsp white butter, you can add unsalted butter as well, or use normal butter and adjust the salt accordingly.
14. Now cook the dal on low flame for 30-45 minutes, longer the better. keep stirring in intervals.
15. Use a whisk or a wooden mathani to mash the dal to a consistency you like. the more you mash, the creamier would be the texture.
16. After about 45 minutes, add 1/2 tsp toasted kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves, a pinch of garam masala powder which is optional but do add as we did not use any whole spices. mix well.
17. Now lower the flame to the minimum and finish 3 tbsp white butter and 1/2 cup fresh cream. mix gently and cook for 4-5 minutes. the dal is ready to be served.
1. Remember, this dal tends to thicken very quickly so whenever you feel that the dal is very thick, add hot water.
2. Even when you cook this dal in advance the dal will get really thick if it gets cold, reheat, adjust the consistency with hot water, bring to a boil before you serve.