Author Topic: Dal Nawabi - Black Gram Beans/Red Lentils with Nuts and Raisins  (Read 820 times)

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Offline chonk

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While you'll find many differing recipes for this particular dish on the web, this one comes out of Joyce Westrips "Moghul Cooking" and is tried and tested. I actually believe this to be a variation of the famous "Sultani"/"Shahi Dal"  :) Following Westrip, this dish comes ouf the courtly cuisines of Avadh - hence its name! Very, very mild but very tasty, like you would expect from a Moghul dish  :)

Great for guests and special occasions  :)

While the original recipe calls for split husked urid beans, it works very well with red lentils too!  :)

Here ya go:

1 1/2 cups urid dal
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of hing
3 cups water (always reserve some more)


2 Tbsp Ghee or Oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala*powder*
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2-3 ripe, medium tomatoes, skinned and pureed
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1 Tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 cup lightly whisked yogurt
1/2 tsp saffron threads, steeped for 15 Minutes in 1 Tbsp hot milk or water (optional)


1 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp slivered blanched almonds
1 Tbsp blanched and chopped pistachio nuts
1 Tbsp seedless raisins, like Sultanas

(I like the crunchy texture and sweetness this tadka adds, so personally I like to add a little bit more - about 1,5-2 Tbsp)

Wash lentils and soak them for 30-60 minutes. Drain and discard. Combine with the water, turmeric and hing and bring to a boil. Let it simmer until the dal is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat. In another saucepan heat the oil or ghee, add the ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. add the coriander, cumin, garam masala, chili powder and salt and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes**: Then add the tomatoe puree, mint and coriander leaves and simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Stir the yoghurt and saffron with milk/water into the mixture and bring to the boil. Mix in the dal and simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Consistency should be quite thick. Check seasoning and remove from the heat.

Finally, heat up 1 Tbsp of Ghee - preferably in some tadka pan - and add the nuts and raisins. Or  tilt your normal pan a little bit and stir slightly but frequently. When the nuts change colour and all the raisins puffed up, you know it's time to add it to your dal mixture. Mix this into it very well and serve immediately with one or two other dishes and some rice or bread - enjoy! :)

Cheers!  :)


* While Westrip recommends using Shahi Garam Masala, it will work with your usual GM just fine. If you want to use the Shahi Garam Masala nonetheless, you'll find the recipe there ->

** Be safe and remove your pan from the heat when adding powders to hot oil. You can also add a little water afterwards or dilute the powders in some water before adding them. The spices are cooked through as soon as you can smell them.


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