Do you have people in your life you feel like you were fated to meet? We’re lucky to have several of those people in our lives, and one of them is Dan. We like to joke that Dan is more of a brother than a friend – so much so that we created a new word for it (yep, he’s our briend).
Our briend Dan lives two houses down, and is always up for a front-porch chat or a walk to the corner brewpub. While I was in Cambodia, Dan kept Alex company, and convinced Alex to try a dish he’d been craving from his recent trip to India. With Dan at the helm, they created this dal makhani, a spicy lentil and bean stew. It might not be exactly traditional, but it’s intensely flavorful and delicious. Upon my return, they couldn’t wait to make it again for me. We topped it with sour cream and sopped it up with whole wheat pita, but if we’d had naan on hand we’d have gone with that.
We couldn’t wait to share this with you — and while it’s transitioning out of stew weather here, it’s never too hot to enjoy some good Indian food. Maybe with a briend (or frister)?
And, Happy Birthday, Dan!
- 1 large yellow onion
- 8 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup minced ginger
- 2 15-ounce cans black lentils (or if desired, 3 cups cooked black lentils)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2½ cups milk (separated)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1½ tablespoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Naan or pita bread, for serving
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
- Mince the 1 onion, 8 cloves garlic, and enough for ¼ cup ginger.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tomato paste and ½ cup milk until smooth.
- In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook 2 teaspoons cumin seeds until they just start to brown, for about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup ginger, garlic, and onion, and saute 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1½ tablespoons garam masala, ½ teaspoon cayenne, 2 tablespoons butter, tomato paste and milk mixture, and another ½ cup milk. Add the beans and lentils and about 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (use less salt if not kosher ); make sure to taste so as not to over salt.
- Heat and stir, gradually adding the remainder of the milk (1½ cups, or more) over a few minutes until a thick sauce forms.
- Serve warm, with naan or pita bread for dipping. Top with sour cream and chopped cilantro.