Thali Menu #141-Uttar Pradesh-Banaras
About Banaras, Uttar Pradesh
Banaras, also known as Benaras, Varanasi, Kashi is a city on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is considered to be the amongst the longest inhabited city in human history dating back to c.800 BCE.
A major religious hub in India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism and Ravidassia. Several other major figures of the Bhakti movement were born in Varanasi, including Kabir and Ravidas. Guru Nanak visited Varanasi for Maha Shivaratri in 1507, a trip that played a large role in the founding of Sikhism.
Historically, Varanasi has been a centre for education in India, attracting students and scholars from across the country.
The city of Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.
To this day, it is reknowned for its Banarsi Silk Sarges that is a pride of many a trousseau of Indian brides.
In the present political scenario, it is a parliamentary seat contested and won by the current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.
The city has it own unique food culture – famous for its streetfood eateries that feeds millions of piligrims, its rich culinary style of ‘Benarasi Dum’ cooking, and also ‘satvik food’ – which is diet based on foods in ayurvedic and yogic literature.
This weekend at Daana, we present some unique dishes that are range from simple to exotic to addictive, and you will need to be here to find out which one is which!
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