Kali Dal

Recipe for Kali Dal

Kali in Hindi means black, and Dal means lentils. Therefore Kali Dal means black gram. These lentils are quite popular, especially in north India and are made in many ways. The most popular dish made from these lentils is Dal Makhani, which is a delicious and creamy dish made by slow cooking the lentils and making it rich by cooking it in ghee and then later adding butter and cream. A more humble version of this lentil is called Langar Wali Dal. This is made in Gurdwaras ( a place of worship for the Sikhs) and is served in Langar ( a community kitchen that serves free food to everyone). Both versions are absolutely delicious and go well with rice or roti.

Today, the recipe I am sharing with my readers is a simple home recipe which can be included in your everyday meals. It is not very rich and heavy but, at the same time, delicious and comforting. It goes well with steamed rice, an Indian pickle and a simple salad that can be made by combining onions, radishes, carrots and other common salad vegetables with a bit of salt and lime juice.

So, let us start with the recipe.

Ingredients needed for Kali Dal:

  1. Black gram: 1 cup, washed and soaked overnight
  2. Salt: 1.5 tablespoons, or as per taste
  3. Water: For washing, soaking and cooking the lentils.
  4. Ghee: 1 teaspoon
  5. Butter: 1 tablespoon, and some extra while serving
  6. Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  7. Green Chilies: 2-3, chopped
  8. Garlic: 2-3 cloves, chopped
  9. Asafoetida: 1/4 teaspoon
  10. Onion: 1 medium-sized, chopped
  11. Tomato: 1 medium-sized, chopped
  12. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
  13. Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
  14. Fresh Coriander leaves: Chopped for garnishing

Method for making Kali Dal:

  1. Cook the soaked lentils with salt and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a pressure cooker till they are soft.

    Kali Dal
  2. Use a sieve and separate the lentils from the water they were cooked in. Retain the water.

  3. Take a few spoons of cooked lentils in a small bowl and mash them.

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  4. Now take a pan and heat butter and ghee.

  5. Add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.

    Kali Dal
  6. Then add garlic and green chillies and fry them on medium heat till the garlic turns brown.

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  7. Now add onions. Fry them till they also turn light brown.

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  8. Add tomatoes.

    Kali Dal
  9. Add the red chilli powder, salt and the remaining turmeric powder. Reduce the heat and cook till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

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  10. Now add the water in which the lentils were cooked. Bring it to a boil.

    Kali Dal
  11. Add the lentils ( including the mashed lentils) and cook for another 5 minutes.

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  12. Remove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

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  13. Serve with hot steamed rice. When you serve, in each serving bowl, after pouring the lentils, add a teaspoon of butter and let it melt in the dal.

    Kali DalKali Dal

If you like eating lentils, check out these lentil-based recipes that you can pair with steamed rice:

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