Dal Makhani also known as “Maa di Dal” is a very popular Punjabi Daal. It is Black Gram ( Urad ) cooked with Kidney beans ( Rajama) and Split Bengal Gram ( Chanaa Dal). The uniqueness of this dal lies in the fact that the more time it is cooked, tastier it is.
Urad dal is mostly associated with north indian cuisine especially punjabi cuisine, but it is also popular in south india. The difference is that in south India dhuli urad ( split skinned black gram ) is used more. Urad dal is very nutritious and is high in iron, fibre, folic acid , potassium & magnesium. Urad Dal is difficult to digest as compared to other dals and therefore, ginger , garlic is added while cooking this dal. Asafoetida added to the dal also aids in digestion.
Dal Makhani is cooked on slow flame. My grandmother used to tell us that after finishing a meal they would put the dal in a pot and leave it on the clay oven , with enough wood to keep the fire on for the rest of the night. This way the dal slowly gets cooked overnight. Nowadays in the modern kitchen we do not and may be I can say we need not cook the dal overnight but yes, by keeping it in a pressure cooker, after cooking, on a slow flame gives the dal a creamy texture.
Urud dal tastes much better the next day after cooking. If I have to serve Dal Makhani for dinner I make it in the afternoon and let it rest for sometime. Dal becomes much thicker by evening, and then I add a little milk and heat it again. Dal Makhani as the name suggests, should contain a lot of butter and cream. However, nowadays with much lesser physical activity most of us are trying to reduce the butter / cream intake, therefore I add less cream and more milk.
Did you know many punjabis do not cook or eat dal makhani on Saturday, reason being it is donated on Saturday.