Thali Menu #135 -MILAAP – Celebrating the spirit of India
India is truly a multicultural melting-pot with history dating back a few thousand years. No surprises therefore that this rich long history has left a mark on all aspects of life including food. India boasts of a culinary heritage that is unique and varied every few hundred kilometers, if you were to travel the length and breadth of the country.
This August as India celebrates her 72 year of independence, we present Milaap~ meaning confluence, where we will take you on a culinary journey criss-crossing the country, and present curated Thali menus of iconic dishes from four states (North, South, East, and West of India). We promise you, the Thalis will be as grand a celebration as they sound!
Our first Milaap is with the states of Punjab (North), Kerala (South), Bengal (East), and Rajasthan (West). Each of these states has a distinct culinary tradition influenced by geography, long history of different invasions and distinctly unique cultures with almost no similarities in their food habits or the ingredients used, cooking styles or their dishes.
A challenge for us at Daana that we relished with delight, was to curate a menu that allows each state to shine through in equal measure with its culinary hallmarks and yet persent a perfect harmony and balance of flavours and textures.
We hope you enjoy this week’s thali as much as we enjoyed curating and cooking this for you.
Recipe of the week
Chef Sanjay’s Dal Makhani
Slow cooked black dal with garlic, tomato, butter and cream
- 280 gms Whole urad dal (black lentil)
- 60 gms Red kidney beans
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- Pinch of asafoetida
- 650 ml Tomato puree
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli crushed
- 10 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1” piece ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp crushed Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 100 gms butter
- 60 ml single cream
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish
- ½ ” ginger slivers for garnish
- 1.5 to 2 ltrs Water for cooking dal
- Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight in a bowl in plenty of water.
- In a large heavy bottom stock-pot add the black lentil and kidney beans along with the water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat for an hour. Stir a few times and scarp of the foam from the top. Continue cooking for further 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Drain, reserving the cooking water and set aside to use for later. Mash the lentils till you have a coarse consistency. You want some lentils whole but most of it mashed.
In a heavy bottom large stockpot heat the oil, add the asafoetida, chilli and cumin seeds. Let them crackle for few seconds and add the garlic and ginger for frying for a further 30 seconds, add chilli powder. Cook till the oil seperates.
- Add the tomato puree and fry for a further 3 minutes to let it cook
- Season to taste and add the mashed dal. Stir well and make sure to mix all the spices with the dal
- Add 650 mls cooking liquid and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 60-90 minutes on a very low heat with the lid on. Make sure to stir a few times preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the pan
- The dal should be thick and creamy so add a little more water only if you need to. Add the garam masala powder along with the butter. Stir well simmering for a minute
- Just before you serve add crushed Kasoori methi, butter, a swirl of cream, fresh coriander and ginger. Serve with paratha or pulao
Serve with paratha or pulao