Monday, March 19, 2007

Creamy royal fare

Perhaps a book can be dedicated solely to it. The gourmets can have conferences over it. The chefs can kill for its much guarded ancient recipe. And if a debate is held about the country that has the credit for its origin, prehaps a war could be fought between the claimants. Such is this delectable dish's fame. I talk about Dal Makhani, the Dal which is also known as Dal Maharani (perhaps named so due to its royal descent), Dal Bukhara, Kaali Dal, Dal Peshwari and so on. It is undoubtedly the most celebrated dish of the Punjabi and Moghul cuisine. No, I do not mean to start a war here. Just penning what I deem true to the best of my knowledge.

The Preparation: Elaborate. That is what the preparation of this Dal can be precisely described as. The Dal has to be cooked on slow heat for long hours. The more it is cooked, the more the flavour intensifies. Traditionally it is cooked over a charcoal-fired clay oven overnight. That is just about the boiling part. The ingredeints which give it the royal creamy taste are the clarified butter (ghee), the white butter and the cream used therein. OODLES of these three ingredients are added. Health freaks can stay away from the pleasure of even 'tasting' this sinful preparation.

I have been a die-hard fan of this Dal myself. So much so that I refuse to allow mommy to cook it at home. Reason? She can't put enough clarified butter leave alone the other fats. My experiment with the Dal Makhani: About 5 days ago, I decided to make my own Dal Makhani. It was my first REAL attempt at it and second general attempt. The result: I 'could' eat it meaning it was ok. R said it tasted as if a Bigdi Buddhi (signifying someone who has a heart that would not have an attack when adding fats to food :) yay!) had made it. P and M loved it. I did not really relish it much. :( But I will not give up till I make 'THE' DAL.

Places where you can get to savour really delectable Dal Makahni: Bukhara at Maurya Sheraton (Delhi), Punjabi by Nature (all branches in Delhi), Invitation (Ashok Vihar), Baujee Ka Dhaba (Gurgaon, Metropolitan Mall), Moti Mahal (they are the ones who are famed to be responsible for introducing the Dal to Delhi's cuisine and making it an integral part thereof) and Bombay Brasserie (Dhole Patil Road, Pune).


FH said...

Hi Miss Skeeter,enjoyed reading your Dal journey! Guess what?! I made Dal Maharani in my last post with Naan!It was wonderful,liked ot a lot.Give it a try lady,see if it matches your (High!:P)expectations!:))
Happy Ugadi or Gudi Padwa.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thanks for your comments...
You have got a nice blog here... keep it up!

Pritika said...

dearest skeeter, you re-invent food for me and make me fall in love with it again! I tend to take dal makhani for granted, but now realising that it is rocket science, i will appreciate it much more in future

Chan said...

hi.. this is GGN daily photo blog visiting! i should write more about the food i agree.. but i need to make more mental notes on the names and stuff, bcos my specialty is usually the eating! but i'm too into cooking, mostly for subsistence! do check out my cooking / eating out pictures here:

Reeta Skeeter said...

Asha: Saw urs.. :)
Ankur Raheja: thx! Happy Blogging!
Pritika: You make me feel soo gud!
Chandrachud a.k.a GGN daily photo blog: then do make mental notes pls.. it will do good to visitors ur blog.. esply me :D yeah will take a look at the pics :) Happy Blogging!

Tushar said...

This is a real nice peice of food writing you have here, and seriously you've left me drooling!

Besides the places you've listed, you can find authentic Dal Makhani at plenty of dhabas on NH1.
Anyhow, keep on with the good work!


Reeta Skeeter said...

tushar: :) thx... vl try to try the dhabas on NH1...its very far from where i stay.. but still will sumday :) Cheers! Happy blogging!