If you go to any Indian restaurant, some form of “dal makhani” will always be on the menu.
This dish of lentils (“dal”) and cream is traditionally slow cooked overnight in clay pots with tons of spices and ghee (clarified butter). To say that it is a rich (and tasty) dish is an understatement.
When I make it at home, I usually veganize it by just not adding cream or ghee. When cooked well, the natural creaminess of the lentils is more than sufficient.
The combination and quantity of spices is one of the most important things in Indian cooking. In Dal Makhani, I like to balance sour (tomatoes), bitter (dried fenugreek leaves or powder), sweet (cardamom/cinnamon) along with the traditional spice blend “garam masala.” Making this dish will likely require a trip to an Indian grocery store. However, these are common ingredients in most northern indian dishes so you will have uses for them again.
The great thing about Dal Makhani is that it is very easy to make large quantities, without any additional effort.
Great for potlucks, or just make a batch on the weekend for a quick weeknight dinner. Just serve with some rice or flatbread (like these Spinach Whole Wheat Parathas).