[recipe & photo courtesy of Deeba from Passionate About Baking]
1 cup whole urad dal
1/2 cup chana dal
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup kidney beans – soaked overnight and cooked
6 or 7 medium tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 to 4 serrano or Thai green chillies
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 each white and black cardamoms
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks (each about 3 inches long)
salt – to taste
lemon juice – to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 cup water (or more, as needed)
1/2 cup whipping cream
chopped cilantro – for garnish
Boil the lentils in six cups of water and a pinch of salt on the stove-top or in a pressure cooker until they become soft and fall apart. If cooking on the stove-top, skim off foam from time to time.
While the lentils are cooking, chop up and cook the tomatoes on medium flame, until they become mushy and leave most of their water. ( You can use 1 cup canned crushed canned tomatoes, but the fresh tomatoes give a better taste)
Heat 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Next add 1 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots) and fry them on medium heat until brown around the edges. Add the chopped ginger and garlic, the whole spices, and the cooked tomatoes. Cover partially with a lid, lower the heat to medium-low and allow to cook and the flavors of the spices to soak in.
When you see some of the ghee starts to separate on the surface, add the cooked kidney beans to the Dal. Coarsely mash them, add 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Add more water if you need, mix well, and allow to cook for another 10 mins or so.
Adjust seasonings to your taste and add a dash of lime if your tomatoes weren’t tart enough. Let it sit for an hour for the flavors to come together. Then Remove the whole spices from the dal.
Add a spoonful more of ghee right before serving, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve with hot Chapatis or Jeera Rice.