Dal Bukhara recipe – a dish that is related to Dal makhani and made popular by the ITC Maurya hotel in New Delhi.
The Dal Bukhara recipe consists of minimum ingredients and this is what brings out the best in it. Unlike dal makhani, dal bukhara is made only from whole urad lentils and not rajma. In addition, the dal bukhara is slowly cooked overnight in the tandoor.
I first discovered this simple, creamy lentil dish in Femina magazine many years ago. The recipes section included recipes for the maurya sheraton and amazingly, the ITC Maurya Sheraton chefs had shared dal bukhara recipe with the other recipes.
When I first read the dal bukhara recipe, I was amazed to find that it looked much similar to butter chicken or paneer makhani. Dal makhani was not in my collection at the time. Now I can say that the sauce made for Dal Bukhara and Dal Makhani is alike to Butter Chicken.
I had kept the dal makhani recipe cutouts in a safe and secure book. We have changed houses a few times and with the usual changes that occur throughout life. Dal Bukhara has been forgotten for many years. So when I started blogging about food, I went to check out the recipe and was surprised. Of the 3-4 pages I had kept, only 2 pages remained. Somehow the other pages had gone astray. And one of the missing pages contained the native authentic dal bukhara recipe from ITC Maurya Sheraton chefs.
▢ 1.5 cups whole black gram
▢ 250 grams of tomatoes
▢ 1 inch of ginger + 4 to 5 medium garlic cloves – finely crushed in a mortar-pestle
▢ 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder – if using a hotter variety, use ½ teaspoon
▢ ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
▢ 90 to 100 grams of white butter or plain butter – about 6 to 7 tablespoons of white butter
▢ 7 to 8 tablespoons low fat cream or 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
▢ 4.5 to 5 cups water for pressure cooking lentils
▢ 1 to 1.5 cups of water to add later
▢ 1 inch julienned ginger – for garnish (optional)
▢ 1 tablespoon of butter or cream for garnish (optional)
▢ salt as needed
Preparation for Dal Bukhara
- Soak the lentils in enough water overnight or for 7-8 hours.
- Drain them later and add the drained lentils to a 3 or 4 liter pressure cooker.
- Add 4.5 to 5 cups of water and pressure cook the lentils for 16 to 18 whistles.
- Meanwhile, when the lentils are cooking, make a tomato puree in a blender, and grate the ginger and garlic into a paste in a mortar-pestle.
Making Dal Bukhara
- When the pressure calms down on its own, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Then add the garlic and ginger paste, tomato puree, Kashmiri red pepper powder, butter, cream and salt. Also add the remaining water (1 to 1.5 cups of water).
- Stir very well and keep the pressure cooker without its lid on low. Simmer the dal for about 1 hour or 1 hour 30 minutes.
- During this time, continue to stir often so that the lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker. Also crush some lentils while stirring.
- If the dal bukhara becomes thick, add hot water. Once done, check the taste and add more red chili powder or salt if needed.
- Finally, sprinkle with garam masala powder and stir well. When serving the dal bukhara, sprinkle with butter or cream. Garnish with julienned ginger.
- Serve hot with cumin rice or with Indian flatbreads such as naan, paratha or rotis.