Dhal Makhan (Creamy Dal Curry)

This is a different take on dal curry, inspired by this book. It is not at all spicy, and doesn't even use onions! I usually make a vegan recipe with dal, but this is fun to mix it up a bit.

Pressure cook on for 5 minutes, use "quick release" method to release pressure after 5 minutes:
1 cup chana dal* (you can use yellow split peas but they come out mushy)
4 cups water
1 TB oil**
1/4 tea fenugreek seeds

**WARNING: the oil is very important to keep the pressure cooker from foaming and making a huge mess on the stovetop.

Meanwhile, prepare:
  • ginger garlic paste - 2 parts garlic, 2 parts ginger, and 1 part serrano/jalapeno chiles, food processed (you will need 2 TB paste for this recipe, but you can make more for later use)
  • 13 oz pureed tomatoes (either use can or fresh)
When the split peas/dal are cooked, remove from heat, open and stir. Cover and set aside.

Heat a large pan over medium heat.

Add 2 TB ghee or oil, swirl around.

Add 2 TB garlic ginger paste, and cook for a couple minutes, careful not to burn the garlic/ginger.

Pour in the pureed tomatoes, stir and let simmer (uncovered) for about 10 minutes. You need to make sure the tomatoes are cooked enough (this will change the PH of fresh tomatoes so they don't react with the cream).

Add spices and stir for 2 minutes over medium heat:
2 tea corriander
1/4 tea nutmeg
1/2 tea salt
2 tea garam masala

Strain cooked dal in mesh strainer, reserve cooking liquid. Stir in the strained cooked dal to the tomato mixture, and pour in 1/2 C half & half (light cream) or 2 TB whipping cream. Add additional cooking liquid until you reach desired consistency.

Taste for seasonings, serve over basmati rice.

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