Dal Makhani

I am now able to work from home, at least part time. I am glad where I work is now following what everyone else is being asked to do. I am part of the essential workforce, but we need to make sure our essential workforce stays healthy so we can help everyone else.

Before I get into this week’s recipe, I want to get up on my soapbox for a moment. These views are my own and not of my employer. When I went to the grocery store on a Tuesday morning, it was packed. This was not normal for early morning on a Tuesday. That wasn’t what bothered me. There are two things. The first is seeing people in masks. Not just seeing people in masks, but grandmothers who would be sewing clothes and blankets for their grandchildren are now making homemade masks. I I know the CDC says make and wear masks. However, they do not protect you like staying away from other can. The kind of masks that do protect you need to be used by our healthcare workforce. Those are the folks who do not have a choice to interact with infected people. Homemade masks and anything other than a N95 mask will not protect you much. The second is the hoarding of food and paper products. None of this is necessary. What’s worse, there are people in this world who can’t afford to hoard and are now facing not being able to get what they need. I couldn’t get a simple bag of rice. It’s like people have gone mad. Anyway, I’ll step off my soapbox now.

For this week’s recipe I am working with lentils. With what we are going through right now, having great recipes that use dried bean is wonderful. I am starting with a recipe for Easy Dal Makhani from A Couple of Cooks. This recipe is relatively simple. These are things you may have around your house. Now, this recipe uses black lentils, which I don’t have. That’s no problem. I didn’t have the black eyed peas I needed for Hoppin’ John and I made due with what I had in the pantry. Also, I am going to replace the tomato paste with reduced pumpkin. This should be really good.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I increased the servings to reduce the calories.
  • I deleted the added salt to reduce the sodium.
  • I replaced the dairy milk with almond milk to make it dairy free.
  • I replaced the black lentils with brown because of what I had on hand.
  • I replaced the black beans with a low sodium variety.
  • I added red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.
  • I added carrot to increase the vitamin A.
  • I used pumpkin puree to replace the tomato paste.
  • I am using dry black beans instead of canned.
  • I lowered the amount of olive oil to 2 tablespoons to reduce the calories.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Dal Makhani

Serves 10

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger
  • 4 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons each cumin seeds, chili powder, and coriander
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 2 cups dry black beans
  • 1 cup brown rice
  1. Soak the black beans 8 hours to overnight, drain.
  2. Add the black beans to a pot with 8 cups of water.  After 20 minutes, add the lentils and simmer covered until the beans are soft.
  3. Place the brown rice in two cups of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, add in the pumpkin puree and turn the heat to medium.  Simmer stirring constantly until the puree turns into a thick paste.  Take it off of the heat and stir in 1/2 cup milk.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté the cumin seeds until they just start to brown, about 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrot,  and ginger, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chili powder, coriander, garam masala, cayenne pepper, butter, the pumpkin paste and milk mixture, and another 1/2 cup milk. Add the beans and lentils
  7. Heat and stir, gradually adding the remainder of the milk (1 1/2 cups, or more) over a few minutes until a thick sauce forms.
  8. Serve the bean mixture over rice.

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