Rich. Spicy. Exquisite. A mouthwatering and aromatic Indian dish, Daal Makhani is a thick, hearty lentil curry, made with black lentils and red kidney beans in a creamy coconut and tomato sauce and seasoned with traditional Indian spices. This meatless meal is a guaranteed winner! High protein, vegan and gluten free.
When we’re at an Indian restaurant (which seldom happens), this lentil curry, daal makhani, is one dish I excitedly hunt for on the menu. I’m in love with it’s authentic rich taste and makes me feel like a proper Punjabi when I eat it. Feasting on this took me back to the time when I’d had the best daal makhani EVER. It was at Niagara falls, when we were vacationing in July. To say it was incredible, would be an understatement. I’ll never forget it’s exquisite taste. Once I tried it – I was hooked and ordered it 3 nights in a row and enjoyed some leftovers for breakfast as well. And since then, I’ve wanted to create my version. After testing it out heaps of times with the family, I’m so excited to share it with you all.
How to make Daal Makhani – Lentil Curry
One of the best things about making curry is that you can adapt it to suit your needs. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you could certainly tone it down. Often times, I leave out the green chilli and keep it on the side; that way, family or guests can spice things up to their desire. You could also use mild curry powder to reduce the heat in your curry, which is what I use so the kids can enjoy it. I must admit, the coconut cream with the sweet tomato sauce does a fine job in balancing out the spices and heat.
I use full-fat coconut cream which gives the lentil curry a perfect smooth and luscious consistency. I purchase my coconut cream in a carton from the local oriental store.
What is curry powder?
When we talk about curry powder, we’re actually talking about a blend of spices from East Indian cuisine. Depending on the brand, the blend can vary, but usually consists of turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chillies, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaves. What a line-up, I know. As it turns out such a powerful concoction does offer health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant properties.
Tell me, what’s your best memory of curry? Have you tried my lentil curry? Leave me a comment and share your all-time fave curry?
Daal Makhani | Coconut Lentil Curry | High Protein, Vegan, Gluten Free
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds whole
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds whole
- 2 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves black
- 6 green cardamon
- 1 black cardamon
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves large
- 2 onion medium
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 inch ginger fresh
- 1 cup tomato sauce canned
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups black lentils soaked overnight
- 2 cup kidney beans cooked, canned
- In a large pan, fry the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, black and green cardamoms and bay leaves in coconut oil. Be careful not to burn the spices. The whole spices should be golden brown.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and stir to fry until the onions are golden brown.
- Add the curry powder and turmeric and cook for 1 min.
- Add tomato sauce, coconut cream and water and stir to mix well. Bring to boil.
- Stir in the lentils and kidney beans and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a thick creamy texture and the lentils are cooked through and soft.
- Add the green chilli and garnish with fresh cilantro