Here’s my vegan Daal Makhani recipe for the days you crave a soulful dinner that calls for time and care. Simmer it low and slow for a velvety, stick-to-your ribs texture.Simmer it low and slow for a velvety, stick-to-your ribs texture. Serve with garlic naan, jeera rice, roti or paratha.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: black daal, daal, lentils, urad, vegan
Pressure cooker or instant pot
220g220g urad (whole black gram)
50gdried kidney beans
1tbspoil or vegan butter
2whole black cardamom
2tspKashmiri chilli powderor to taste
2green cardamom pods, seeds ground
1tspground coriander seeds
400gfresh or tinned tomatoesblended
1tspdried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
2tspsaltor to taste
1tbspchopped coriander leaves
1/4tspdried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
In a bowl, mix together the urad and kidney beans. Wash well in plenty of water, changing the water at least 3 times until it's no longer murky. Add the baking soda and cover with lots of hot water. Cover and allow to soak for 6 at least 6 hours or overnight, if possible. Keep any water used by for feeding your indoor plants - they will love it!
Drain the water from the soaked lentil and beans and wash again in plenty of water.
Next, add the urad and kidney beans to a pressure cooker or pressure pot. Cover with 1.2L room temperature water and cook with the lid on until tender. For regular pressure cookers, this will be approximately 8 whistles, or 30 minutes if using a pressure pot (the stew/soup function does a good job of cooking them through). They should be cooked enough so that you can mash them with the back of a spoon.
Heat 1 tbsp vegan butter or oil in a pan. Over a low heat, add the cumin seeds, black cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon. Cook briefly and then add the ginger and garlic, garam masala, green cardamom, kasoori methi, turmeric, chilli powder, ground coriander seeds and salt.
After a minute, add the tomatoes and mix well. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, over a medium-low heat until the oil separates from the sides of the pan. Partially cover the pan with a lid to stop it spluttering everywhere.
Once the masala is cooked, add the cooked daal. Mix well. Take a sturdy spoon or ladle and begin to mash the daal against the base and sides of the pan to crush some of them. This is what thickens the daal for a perfect restaurant-style Daal Makhani. Do this over a low heat to stop it spluttering over your hands. Once it thickens a little, you're ready for the next step which is to simmer the daal low and slow.
For slow cooking:
Quick: Continue to cook the daal in the same pan, covered for 35 minutes minimum. Stir often to avoid it sticking at the base of the pan.
Medium/slow but so delicious: Transfer the daal to a slow cooker or pressure pot and slow cook (if using a pressure pot use the slow cook function) to cook the daal for a maximum of 12 hours). The longer you cook it, the better it will taste.
Oven cook: Transfer the daal to a casserole dish or Dutch oven and cook at 100C/210F for a maximum of 12 hours. Stir every hour or so.
Stir 100ml oat cream and 50g vegan butter through the daal before serving.
Garnish the daal with chopped coriander, ginger juliennes, kasoori methi and optional oat cream.
Urad has a tendency to thicken as it cools so you may need to loosen it up with some hot water before serving.To store leftovers in the fridge: Allow the daal to cool completely and then pack into an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Heat through until piping hot before serving.To freeze: Allow the daal to cool completely and then pack into an airtight container/freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature. Heat through until piping hot before serving.