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Dal Makhani

Rachel and I like to make Indian food a lot, and we are still high on our voyage to Chennai last summer.  Given there are no Indian restaurants local to the Keweenaw, home cooking is necessary.  Rachel hosted an Indian feast a few weeks ago and she made butter chicken, saag paneer and naan.  I made a pot of lentils (aka Dal Makhani) and some chutneys.  The whole dinner was delicious.  I have blogged about the saag before (Rachel used Foodie Mama's recipe).  When I make dosa, I will blog about the chutneys too.  The next project.

There are a lot of spices in this amazing side dish, which is exactly what makes it so amazing; don't skip any if you can avoid it. 

I hope you enjoy! - xxoo Foodie Mama

Wedding Attire in Chennai - Foodie Mama is 2nd row, 2nd from left

Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)


1 C dry lentils
enough water to cover lentils
5 C water
salt to taste
2 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cardamom
1/1/2 t cinnamon
3 bay leaves
2 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t ginger paste
1 1/2 t garlic paste
1/2 t ground turmeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 small can tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 t coriander
1/4 C butter
2 T dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 C heavy cream


  1. Place lentils in a large bowl.  Cover with water and soak for 2 hours or overnight.  Drain.
  2. Cook lentils, 5 C water, and salt in a heavy pot over medium heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, cover and set aside, keeping all cooking liquid in pot.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Add cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves.  Cook for 1 minutes until all spices combine and bay leaves begin to turn brown.  Reduce heat to low.  Add ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir.
  4. Add tomato sauce to spice mixture and cook over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.  add chilli powder, coriander, and butter.  stir and cook until butter is melted.
  5. Stir the tomato and spice mixture into the pot with the lentils.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  6. Stir fenugreek into lentil mixture.  Cover pot and simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.  Add cream and cook an additional 2-4 minutes until heated through.  Remove bay leaves before serving with naan or rice.

Homemade Indian Meal at Rachel's