April 6, 2014

Dilli se Dal Makhni - Jeera Rice | Restaurant style Dal Makhni

Delhi brings back to me so many memories of food, friends and lots of work and fun. I have travelled to the National Capital several times, and although the nightlife isn’t considered safe even by the locals, I quite like the home cooked food, and the street food of Delhi.

When Delhi was in turmoil in the mid Nineteenth Century, just about every artiste was heading for the greener pastures. Poet Zauq, however, wouldn't give up the charmed streets of Delhi for all the wealth and tranquility of LucknowHyderabad,RampurJaunpurFaizabadCalcutta, or wherever his contemporaries sought refuge.


An intrinsic part of the charm of Delhi's streets was its food. Every devastation-and ruination-of the city triggered enforced migrations of its princes and paupers, poets and prostitutes, philosophers and soldiers, artistes and chefs to provincial capitals in search of safety. Some returned to the city when normalcy was restored, others, it is said, stayed on to make invaluable contributions to their adopted homelands. By the same token, those who returned enriched the cultural and culinary traditions of the First City.
The origins of the city are traced to mythological references recorded in the epic Mahabharat. The townships mentioned are Indraprastha and Hastinapur. The name Delhi derives from Dhillika. Scholars trace the city's etymological roots to Dehali - literally, the threshold. Nestling in the lap of the Aravalli, Delhi indeed is the threshold for both, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, on the one side, and the Thar, on the other. We believe that Delhi was also the threshold of the Punjab to the North and Madhya Bharat to the South. Delhi's culinary uniqueness lies in the fact that food here cannot be branded as regional or parochial, which is the case with most other Cuisine - Indian or foreign.
 The seat of Imperial power has for centuries attracted the best maharaj,rikaabdaarhalwaibawarchi and chefs. The rulers-emperors and the nobles, the viceroys and the sahib - provided generous patronage and contributed the cultivation of fine taste. They also displayed eclectic and sophisticated temprament.

Source : Delhi Tourism
Source - Google images

Parathewala Galli in Old Delhi is one of its kind, and the extensive parks and open spaces that one sees, especially in South Delhi makes me yearn for that space –both physically and metaphorically for the metropolis that I call home. As a city-state, Delhi’s food map is also influenced by the neighbouring states of Punjab, HP, Rajasthan and even UP. It’s a melting pot pourri of Mughal culture, the Nizams, and the rulers who were part of the Delhi’s erstwhile past.
 
Source : Google Images
Chaats are quintessential to Delhi, and even the upmarket and South Delhi babu log and locals swear by what is dished out at Old Delhi and Chandni Chowk Areas. For more info, click here

For a lot of people I know, home cooked food in Delhi means Rajma-Chawal, to others its Paratha, to many others its Butter Chicken, to a lot more its Chaat(Street Food) – so basically playing on that ‘creative liberty’ as an author of this blog, I chose simple home made stuff but a hearty combo that never fails to please me from the kitchens of the most authentic hotel – ITC Maurya Sheraton : Dal Makhani – Jeera Rice. Way back in 2008, when the husband took me on a whirlwind trip to Delhi, we dined at ITC where I was blown away with the simple earthiness that this dish presented.


As it’s a signature recipe that the hotel prides itself upon, no coaxing could prevail upon the chef to reveal the secret of this smooth-as-silk Dal Makhani, but a little help from a friend’s aunt gave me what pretty much came close to the real Mc Coy..

And presenting Delhi to you, dear readers through the humble but super delish combo. Don’t scrimp on the Makhan (or butter) – its what makes this creamy dish worth the wait . We can count the calories some other day
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BM : 39 ~ Indian State : Delhi ~
Recipe : Restaurant Style Dal Makhni – Jeera Rice
Dish type : Main Course Combo, Indian
Spice Level : Medium
Accompaniment : Nan or Indian Flat bread. 
But when served as a combo, doesn’t need any accompaniment except may be mango or lime pickle.
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Soaking time : 8 hours | Prep time : 30 mins | Cooking time : 20 mins | Serves : 4

Ingredients:

(A) Dal Makhani Recipe

  • Whole black Urad dal (whole black lentil) – 1 cup
  • Rajma (or Kidney beans) – ¼ cup
  • Garlic – crushed – 4 large pods
  • Ginger – grated – 2 tsp
  • Homemade Tomato Puree – ¾ to 1 cup (I used approx 1 cup)
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli powder – 1 – 1.5 TBSP (adjust spice)
  • Oil – 3 TBSP
  • White Butter – 2 TBSP
  • Cream – for garnish (I didnt use)
  • Salt – to taste
      Method:
1.    Wash and soak the lentils overnight or minimum 8-10 hours
2.    Drain. Change the water twice over and add 3-4 cups of water and pressure cook for 15-20 mins over medium flame, release the pressure and let it simmer for further 5-10 mins on very low flame till most of the water evaporates, but there is still some left.
3.    In a large kadai, add oil. Saute ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Fry till the raw smell disappears.
4.    Add the cooked lentils, salt and red chilli powder and simmer slowly for 10-15 mins more. The more it cooks, the richer it gets.
5.    Now add butter just before finishing.
 To serve : Add a dollop of cream and coriander leaves.Serve hot with Roti / Nan / Kulcha . Tastes best with Jeera Rice


(B) Jeera Rice Recipe

Ingredients:
  • Cooked rice – 2 cups, fluffed to separate the grains.
  • Oil – 3 TBSP
  • Jeera / Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Bay leaf – 1 no
      Method:
1.    In a large pan, heat oil. Add the bay leaf and cumin and sauté till cumin turns slightly brown.
2.    Add the salt and cooked rice and stir vigorously till a nice aroma arises.
3.    Transfer to serving bowl.

Notes:
If not using cooked rice : In a large pan, heat oil and season with cumin and bay leaf, add soaked and drained raw rice, Fry for a min or two. Then add salt and mix. Add slightly warm water in the ratio 1:2 (1 cup rice : 2 cups water) and cook covered till rice is done. Fluff with fork taking care not to break the grains.






Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39

18 comments:

  1. So rich and delicious dal Makhani and with Jeera rice it would do wonders....

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  2. This is such a comforting food. Love it.

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  3. Warm and comforting a treat on a rainy day

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  4. Both looks very comforting.. A prefect meal to enjoy without any guilt.

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  5. such a warm comforting meal..

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  6. Kalyani this is The Daal !!..The Bukhara Daal at Mauraya Sheraton..oh what a daal it is simply amazing ..and you have presented it so well just want to get in that screen to grab a bite..though I would prefer a crisp tandoori roti with a little butter!!...and I love those images..trust me this is the most famous of all the Paratha wala shops in this gali and mom and I have relished a meal here..what man!..ab toh Dilli jaana padega:))

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  7. That is one classic combination. Both the dishes look amazing.

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  8. delicious combo!!! so drooling here!!!

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  9. Delicious looking combo,perfectly made and I am drooling ..

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  10. Fabulous virtual feast. Absolutely delicious combo...

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  11. Mmmmm... I want to grab it off the screen Kalyani its awesome.Been ages since I have had dal makhani

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  12. hahah..Vaishali's comments on all delhi posts are making me get so nostalgic for sure..:)...Kalyani, I am going to check out this recipe now..will be making it sometime soon..such a lovely combo!

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  13. This is such a perfect recipe! So delicious and love it.

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  14. what a simple but homey combo

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  15. Dal Makhni is one dish, that i haven't tried @ home, though i make jeera rice @ home often! This combo looks so homey and comforting!!!!

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  16. Yummy combo of dishes.. Lovely..

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  17. That's an irresistible combo.

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hi there ! Thanks for stopping by. Would love to hear what you thought of this post.. your support is invaluable for this blog..

Cheers
Kalyani

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