Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Vegan Dal Makhani

I made dal makhani last night! This is my favourite Punjabi dish, which is basically like butter chicken but uses black dal and red kidney beans instead.

I did plenty of research online and gave the recipe my own twist and veganised it by using coconut cream instead of fresh cream and dairy free spread instead of butter (you could even use coconut oil). The curry was still so creamy you couldn't tell the difference. This dish does use a bit of fat, but this is what makes it unique, rich and velvety. If it's too much for your taste, then just adjust!

You can find dry black dal in the international aisle at supermarkets or any Indian grocery store. It is very important to get a good quality/authentic garam masala powder as this could make or break your curry!

Vegan Dal Makhani

3⁄4 cup urad dal (black matpe beans)
1⁄4 cup dried red kidney beans or 1 cup canned
3 tablespoons dairy free butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon oil (high heat)
2 teaspoons dried cumin seeds
1 onion diced
2 large garlic cloves diced
1 small thumb ginger diced 

1  1/2 teaspoons garam masala powder 
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chilli powder depending on preference
2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
2 large tomatoes diced or 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste  
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup full fat coconut cream/milk (I use the Asian kind)


Preparing dried beans
I used the quick soak method as I made this dish last min, either way works perfectly fine!

*Overnight soak - Soak black dal and red kidney beans overnight in 4 cups of water.
*Quick soak - Boil dried beans in 3-4 cups of hot water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let them stand in the hot water for 1 hour.

1. Cook the soaked black dal and red kidney beans (if using canned kidney beans add them in at the end) in 4 cups of water and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt till soft, about 30-40 minutes.

2. Heat oil and 2 tablespoons dairy free butter or coconut oil in a  medium heat heavy based pan. Fry cumin seeds till they start to pop, then add chopped onions, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, the chilli, sweet paprika and fry till golden.

Add chopped ginger and garlic, sauté until fragrant.

3. Next add in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Sauté till the tomatoes are reduced and caramelised. You will know when you have reached this stage as the tomatoes become like a paste, are richer in colour and you will see the fat separate.

4. Add in the cooked dal and red kidney beans, without the water at first. Mash some of the dal with the back of your spoon while stirring, this gives a rich and creamy texture.

Using the liquid from the boiled beans add two cups of this and simmer and a reduce on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.

5. Add in coconut cream, 1 tablespoon of dairy free spread or coconut oil, garlic powder, sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon garam masala powder, then simmer on low for another 5 minutes.

Keep warm on low heat on the stove till ready to eat, the longer the dal cooks the better. Serve with rice, naan and veggies of your choice.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

Kim xx

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