Dal Paktooni; An Interesting Way To Have Your Lentils
Image Credit: Dal Paktooni is a North Indian dal preparation/ Sanjeev Kapoor

Indian cuisine sees a much broad and vast history and if you dig deeper you would get to understand the nuances of this cuisine. Each region has a flavour and taste profile of it’s own. Not to miss that foreign invasions, trade relations and  more has also changed the culinary graph of the country from time to time. Interestingly even a single ingredient can be cooked and made in several way and one such example is Lentils or dal. Lentils happen to be an important part of the Indian, Pakistani and Afghani cuisine. There are variety of dal preparations that we in our culture and one such interesting one is Dal Paktooni, a North Indian dal preparation. This recipe that is similar to something like "dal Makhani, but there’s a unique thing that makes this different. For the uninitiated, Pakhtoon Or Pashtoon happens to be a region from where this Dal Paktooni sees its origin. A well done tomato puree happens to be the base of this dal along with some prominent flavour and aroma of ginger and garlic. 

This dal sees a rich and creamy in texture and the tomato base black gram gives a nice hint of tanginess.  This recipe is much time consuming and needs much patience. 

Dal Pakhtooni recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor

Prep Time : 11-15 minutes, Cook time : 16-20 minutes, Serve : 4 Taste : Mild

Ingredients for Dal Pakhtooni Recipe

    Whole black gram (sabut urad) soaked overnight (dhuli sabut urad) 1 cup

    Ginger 2 inch piece

    Garlic 10-12 cloves

    Salt to taste

    Dried red chillies 4

    Onions, roughly chopped 2 medium

    Oil 2 tablespoons

    Butter 2 tablespoons

    Coriander powder 2 teaspoons

    Cumin powder 1 teaspoon

    Tomato puree 1 cup

    Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon

    Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon

    Fresh cream 1 cup


    Heat a pressure cooker. Drain and add the sabut urad. Add 4 cups water and salt.

    Grind garlic, ginger and red chillies with a little water to a fine paste and add it to the cooker.

    Cover the cooker with the lid and cook under pressure till 4-5 whistles are given out.

    Grind onions.Heat oil and butter in a deep non stick pan.

    Add onion paste and sauté, stirring, till fragrant and golden.

    Add coriander powder and cumin powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

    Add tomato puree and sauté till raw smells disappear and fat surfaces.

    Open the pressure cooker when the pressure reduces completely and add the sautéed masala and mix well.

    Add garam masala powder and adjust salt. Mix well and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

    Add red chilli powder and most of the cream and mix well.

    Transfer into a serving bowl and serve hot decorated with a swirl of cream. It goes well with roti or rice.