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Monday, July 16, 2012

Dil Wallon Ka Dilli Aur Daal Makhani

Delhi: The capital of India is a sprawling metropolis

  • of 16.7 million people;
  • sprawled over 1482 km of land;
  • continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC;
  • invaded, plundered, looted, fought over throughout history;
  • the invaders and the colonizers fell in love with, and rebuilt it, again and again for seven times;
  • of two parts, Delhi and New Delhi;
  • mediaeval yet modern with ancient parts tucked in here and there;
  • seething with power, yet  vulnerably mystic.
The old and the new merge here seamlessly....modern roads, swanky building suddenly give way to a crumbling ancient fort some two thousand years old. The pock marked, geriatric stone wall stand beside the new, smooth surfaced one, looking like a mismatched couple in uneasy harmony. 


Now for such a city one would think that there would be a hardcore bunch of Delhi-zens or Dilliwallas, a group of people passionate about their city, who cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world. Other metropolis of India like Kolkata and Mumbai proudly boast of such populations. But the Dilliwalla is a bit like a Dodo, written and talked about, discussed to death, but hardly ever seen. You see the city is made up of migrants, from all over the country and beyond the borders. These groups of people have tickled into the city sometimes in torrents, sometimes in dribbles, settled down and gone about their daily business. If you asked them, they would tell you that Delhi is their home, but they being passionate about the city? Hardly. Maybe it is the typical migrant mentality, while the physical home is the present anchor, the emotional home is always the one they had left behind, frozen in time and sentiment. 


So who are these dispassionate  Dilliwallas? Are they the political dynasties, the movers and shakers of national power, the traders in Chadni Chowk, the buffalo herds of Yamuna, the bus drivers of the infamous Delhi buses, the clerks who run the complicated bureaucratic machinery that is the Central Government of India, churiwallas (bangel sellers) next to the Hanuman Mandir, the mehendiwallis (women who apply mehendi) who visit wedding houses, the daily commuters from the suburbs, the lawyers in black and white flocking the various courts, the goldsmiths and the silversmiths who bend double over intricate pieces of jewellery, the teenagers shopping in the Sarojini Nagar Market or the UN worker eating lunch in the Lodhi Gardens, the vegetable sellers of Bhogal Market?

Thankfully there is no such confusion about the food of Delhi. The food of the long gone Mughals-- the kebabs (meats grilled with spices), the biriyanis (rice cooked with meat), the pulaos (rice cooked with saffron, nuts and raisins in clarified butter), the meat dishes in rich gravy and the food of the Punjabis-- the daals (lentils), various seasonal vegetables, rotis (Indian flat bread), paranthas (Indian fried breads) mostly dominate Delhi's food scene.


Today I am sharing with you a typical Punjabi staple the Daal Makhani--Split Black Gram cooked with spices, laden with clarified butter and eaten with soft, melt in your mouth, fresh from the tawa (hearth) rotis.  It is a daal grand enough to served to your guests, yet easy enough to be a regular on dinner tables. It is also easily available in the dhabas (roadside eateries) so that no Punjabi has to do without it for long.

I found this recipe in Nupur's UK Rasoi and realised that I had to make it. This is a much lighter version of the original clog-your-arteries one that is found in Delhi. This is an added bonus, now we can enjoy daal makhani without guilt. This is part of Blog Hop Wednesday, which is a great platform for trying out recipes of other bloggers.

So onto Nupur's recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Whole Black Urad Daal
  • 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste
  • A pinch of Asafoetida & cinnamon each
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds, Turmeric, Coriander powder each
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tbp Double cream (did not use any)
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi ( Dried Fenugreek Leaves )
  • A Sprig of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method:
  • Wash, drain and soak the daal in lukewarm water overnight or at least several couple of hours.
  • Next day, add 3 cups of water in the pressure cooker along with a tsp of salt and turmeric and pressure cook till 3 whistles. 
  • So, when you have taken the pressure cooker off the flame and waiting for the pressure to ease off.. lets make the tadka.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add chopped onion into it and cook on a medium flame stirring in between till it turns brown
  • Now, take the onions out and let them cool off a bit. Once it’s a little normal to touch, puree onions along with the tomatoes in a blender. Add Ginger garlic paste and give another pulse.
  • Now, heat another tbsp. of oil in the pan and splutter cumin seeds and Asafoetida for 10 sec. Add the paste into it and cook covered for next 12-15 min on medium flame. 
  • When its nearly done, add all the spices except Garam Masala and cook for next 5-6 minutes stirring in between. By the time this procedure is completed, the pressure in the cooker must be down and you could open and check if it requires some more time to get soft and mashed up.

99 comments:

  1. inviting clicks..

    http://jopreet.blogspot.com/

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  2. wow the curry looks delicious... lovely snaps
    Noel collections

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  3. Ahh I still miss my good old days there (I was in Delhi for about 4 years) Food and shopping was never an issue there :-p Bhishon yummy hoyeche dekhte dal ta...I love this with Nan or roti

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    Replies
    1. So do I, I love this with naan....:-)

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  4. This city must be interesting! such a mixture of old and new!

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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  5. बनाना तो अपने बस की बात नहीं ..हां खाने को हमेशा तैयार रहते हैं .....यही तो साडी दिल्ली की खासियत है

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  6. Hi Suchi ,

    looks AAwesome !!!

    and delicious :)))

    Keep on Dear..

    www.southindiafoodrecipes.blogspot.in

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  7. delicious healthy side looks wonderful

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  8. gee- got nostalgic and can so relate to it. Brought up in Delhi ,I love the city for all it is. Snobbish to the hilt and in your face attitude go side-by side to the large hearted nature of the people. Love the city or hate the city, you can never ignore the place. yum makhni

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    Replies
    1. So true Priya, I spent some lovely years in Delhi and fell in love with the city :-)

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  9. Dilli wale are so proud of their dal ..I like this lighter version.. its a agreat way to show Dilliwalla's to eat healthy!

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  10. dal makhani looks mouthwatering.. yumm

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  11. Creamy daal!!! And thats a nice description of Dilli!! :)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  12. would make a Delicious and comforting meal

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  13. So creamy and delicious .loved this..

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  14. Looks so creamy and delicious..

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  15. tempting ..this is the only daal i relish othr wise am a hard core non vegetarian :)

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    Replies
    1. Your comment made me smile Alka cos I am also a hard core non vegetarian....but as I grow older I am learning to like vegetarian dishes as well :-)

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  16. oooooh...im drooooooooling :D

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  17. totally droolicious. I love Delhi and i Miss it. I crave for Delhi food and thank God I am going to Delhi for Diwali!!!Your post made me all nostalgic.
    I love your blog and what you do here. I have a versatile blogger award waiting for you on my blog. Much love!!

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  18. that is one mouth-watering dish!

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  19. delicious looking dal!! What will i not do to dip my fingers into tat bowl and lick them clean!

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  20. There is no doubt about the flavor of the tempting Daal Makhani you have cooked so amazingly. It looks extremely delicious. I also loved the flavor of Delhi that you brought out so intriguingly. Indeed a privilege to read. :)

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  21. nice intro...loved the recipe :)

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  22. Thank You.....

    Your blog is very informative and I will keep updated with the same.

    Food delivery Service

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  23. A different version from the authentic recipe! I am going to try, coz this looks simpler and faster!

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is much less oily but does not compromise on the taste!

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  24. Very interesting read as always , Suchi ! And this daal makhani looks extremely mouthwatering !

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  25. Thanks for sharing this interesting recpie

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome :-) I visited your blog, loved reading about your hair but could not comment!

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  26. Looks so appetizing & love your food styling! Awesome! :)

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  27. Thankyou so much for sharing a little bit of Delhi's story! The dish looks superb!

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  28. What an amazing dish! I love your blog, Indian food is among my favorites. Nice to have found you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Magda, welcome to Kitchen Karma :-)

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  29. Nice recipe. Looks wonderful and delicious.

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  30. I am new around your blog and I "LOVE" it :D
    I am your happy new follower XD
    Thanks for sharing..

    xxx
    http://abudhabifood.blogspot.com

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  31. Just looks great. And authentic too.

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    Replies
    1. This is as authentic as it gets, since the recipe is from a Punjabi gal :-)

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  32. wonderful post... dal makhani looks truly grand... have bookmarked your recipe... will try this soon...

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  33. hi suchi- never seen this dish in my locality before.. looks delicious with chapati or roti. would like to try this one day-
    got to look at the supermarket and see if they sell fenugreek leaves- ha ha, this, not grown locally. have a nice day dear.

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    Replies
    1. You can find dried fenugreek leaves in Indian/South Asian grocery stores!

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  34. Oh I'm craving for some right now :)Love the fact that you didn't use the cream!Daal Makhni is something that I've had many times but never tried making!Should try this sooner than later :)

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    Replies
    1. Give it s try Soni, it was really nice :-)

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  35. This dal makhani looks incredible! One of my all time favorite dals. I love your presentation! Making my mouth water.

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  36. Such a beautiful dish. I can almost smell it just from the picture.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Angela, it is a beautiful dish! I just love it :-)

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  37. You are making me so hungry! And you actually made dahl look beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Hehehehe thanks Cass....I generally have the same experience when I visit food blogs...I start craving food that I read about and see photos of :-)

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  38. Excellent post! Love the way you introduce your dishes and the droolworthy images!

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  39. lovely dish and love the way you write such a talent. have stayed in Delhi briefly en route to the Taj Mahal funny we stayed in the Tamil Nadu guest house where the MPs stay amazing food

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    Replies
    1. Yes the Tamil Nadu guest house has great food...I remember eating there :-)

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  40. Nick just found out a couple days ago that his college roommate is from New Delhi! I think he will be missing food like this when he comes here to Indiana :)

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  41. Daal Makhani is one of my favorites...looks yummy!

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  42. Suchi, I just love the creamy, and delicious daal you've made. The spice combination is so perfect, and so are the beautiful photos!

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  43. This looks fantastic! I can't believe I have never tried anything like this before, yum!

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    Replies
    1. If you get the oppurtunity do it, its lovely :-)

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  44. Nice recipe, looks great. Can't wait to try this.

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  45. Yum. Dil walo 'KI' dilli. ;-), bongs always get it wrong.

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