This dish was so creamy and delicious I could barely stand it. The spicy kick made it absolute perfection.
This recipe was adapted from The Yellow Chilli Cookbook by Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, via The New York Times. This creamy lentil stew is his signature dish. I reduced the butter (by HALF), doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, used jalapeños, and used a pressure cooker to expedite the cooking process.
I served it over brown Basmati rice with sautéed spinach with garlic and cumin on the side. Wonderful!
- 1 cup whole black gram lentils (sabut urad)
- 1/4 cup whole green gram lentils (split mung beans or abut moong)
- 2 green chiles (such as Indian harimirch or serrano), cut into thin strips (I used jalapeños, cut into rounds)
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups tomato purée
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder, or cayenne
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 16 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- coarse salt, to taste
- 1-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips, for garnish, as desired
- brown Basmati rice, for serving
- Mix together both types of lentils and rinse thoroughly in salted water. Drain. If using a pressure cooker, cover with 2-inches of water; cook on low for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, add 1 cup water and soak for 1 hour.)
- Drain lentils again, add to a small pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum and dirt off the top and discard.
- Strain the lentils and return them to the pot. Add 1 cup water, the green chiles and ginger and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of the butter and simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring often and mashing with the back of a big spoon as the lentils soften.
- After about 35 minutes, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a deep nonstick pan; add the tomato purée and sauté on low heat until fat rises to the surface. (I used a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add the red chili powder (or cayenne), ground coriander, fenugreek leaves and garlic to the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to dry out and stick to the pan.
- Add the lentils and mix well. Add the cream and mix well. Add 1 to 2 cups water (for desired texture) and salt to taste, and bring to a boil.
- Serve hot, over rice and garnished with ginger strips, as desired.
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