Few things to keep in mind before starting:

  • Dal bukhara is a velvety smooth slow cooked whole black lentils(urad dal) simmered with tomato puree, ginger-garlic paste, butter and cream for hours on low heat.
  • Dal bukhara, a dish quite close to dal makhani, is rather pretty different in many ways. Dal bukhara recipe is much easier as compared to Dal makhani. Unlike dal makhani, onions and kidney beans(rajmah) are not used in dal bukhara. Dal bukhara is prepared using very few ingredients and spices & is cooked slowly on tandoor for at least 18-20 hours, unlike dal makhani.
  • As tandoor is generally not available at our homes, all we have to do is to boil the lentils in pressure cooker on low flame and then simmer the boiled lentils along with all other ingredients poured simultaneously for about 1 hour and 30 minutes on low flame.
  • To give that smokey aroma to our dal, one can use the ‘Dhungar’ smoking technique in which we burn a small piece of charcoal on fire, put it in a small steel container placed in the centre of the vessel having our prepared dal, pour 1 tsp of ghee or butter over the hot charcoal piece, the smoke starts coming out and immediately cover the vessel with a tight lid for 1 minute. The smoke captured inside the vessel will lend the tandoori smokey aroma to the dish.
  • For Dhungar technique, oil can not be used as it has high smoking point and will not be able to produce much of smoke for a perfect smokey aroma. Either use desi ghee or butter.
  • If you are keen to get the real taste of the authentic Dal Bukhara, a signature dish, prepared by ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi, make sure not to reduce the amount of cream and butter in the recipe & also simmer it well on low flame for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Make sure to take a heavy bottomed vessel while simmering the boiled dal for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • Whole Black lentils (Urad dal) – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – 3 (medium, pureed)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste – 2/3 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 3.5 tbsp (50 g)
  • Cream – 3 tbsp (40 ml)
  • Kasoori methi – 1/2 tsp
  • Honey/Desi khand – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish
  • Cream – to garnish
  • Charcoal piece – 3 inch & Desi ghee – 1/2 tsp (For Dhungar) (Optional)

Method:

  • Wash and soak the lentils overnight.
Clockwise: Ginger-garlic paste,tomato puree,garam masala,butter,kasori methi,desi khand,kashmiri chilli powder,coriander powder, cream,butter
  • Pressure cook the lentils with salt, turmeric powder and water 5 times the amount of un-soaked lentils (2.5 cups of water for 1/2 cup of lentils here) on high flame for first whistle and then on low flame for another 20 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure subside.
  • After the pressure has subsided, switch on the flame and add tomato puree, butter, cream, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder along with 2.5 more cups of water. Mix these well to the boiled lentils and keep on simmering uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes on low flame. Constantly keep on stirring in between as the dal has a tendency to get burnt at the base of the vessel.
  • After that just add garam masala, honey/desi khand and kasoori methi and switch off the flame.
  • (Optional) For the smoky aroma, burn a small(3 inch approx) piece of charcoal on gas till it turns red and grey. Place a small steel container in the middle of the prepared dal, put the burnt coal piece in that container. Now pour 1/2 tsp of ghee over the hot charcoal piece and immediately cover the vessel with a lid tightly for 1 minute. Smoke will start coming off as soon as the ghee is poured on the hot coal and that smoke will lend a nice tandoori smokey aroma to our dal bukhara.
  • Dal bukhara is ready. Garnish it with some coriander leaves and fresh cream.
  • Enjoy it hot with hot garlic naan or tandoori roti or jeera rice!
Dal Bukhara

‘Cooking for our loved ones with love!’