Black Lentils with Red Kidney Beans
Chetna's Healthy Indian
Chetna Makan stole our hearts during Season 5 of “The Great British Bake Off” with her flawless technical execution, and thrilling flavor combinations. A native of central India, Makan’s culinary prowess goes far beyond baking as proven by the release of her third cookbook, “Chetna’s Healthy Indian.” In it, Chetna reveals how much her two children love this rich lentil dish in particular, and cooking the black lentils slowly over low heat brings out their flavor, as well as that of black cardamom (one of her favorite spices). The dish can be served as a side or vegetarian main course—a perfect healthy lunch that tastes even better the next day, so be sure to make a little extra. Chetna recommends serving with rice, naan, or chapatti.
- 300 grams (10½ ounces) whole black lentils (urad dal)
- 100 grams (3½ ounces) dried red kidney beans
- roughly 500ml (18fl ounces) water, for soaking
- 1.4 litres (2½ pints) water
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 black cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 100–200 ml (3½–7fl ounces) boiling water, to loosen, if required
- 1 tablespoon double cream
- rice, naan or chapatti, to serve
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
- 1 small green chilli, thinly sliced
1Soak the lentils and beans in the measured soaking water for 4–5 hours.
2Transfer the pulses and their soaking water to a deep saucepan and add the measured water, plus the salt and black cardamom pods. Bring the liquid to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until the lentils and beans are cooked.
3In a separate large saucepan, heat the ghee over low heat, then add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato purée, garam masala and chilli powder and cook for another minute.
4Tip the cooked lentils and beans into the pan of spices, mixing well. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat for 1–1½ hours, stirring every 10–15 minutes
to ensure the mixture does not stick to the base of the pan. If the lentils become too thick during cooking, add just enough of the measured boiling water to loosen the mixture.
5Finally, when the dal is ready, add the cream and mix well. Garnish with the coriander and sliced chilli and serve immediately with rice, naan or chapatti.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Everyday Meals. Effortlessly Good for You. by Chetna Makan, published by Octopus © March 2019. Photography by Nassima Rothacker.
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