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Black Daal

This recipe for black daal is courtesy of actor Anil Kapoor -- it's a family favorite.

  • Servings: 4
Black Daal

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April Spring 2009


  • 1 cup split urad dal (black lentils)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 green Serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh peeled ginger, juilienned
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Naan, for serving


  1. Place lentils in a large bowl. Cover with water and let stand overnight.

  2. Drain lentils and add to a large saucepan along with 3 cups water, 1 sliced onion, chiles, and asafetida; season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes.

  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion and cook, stirring, until soft. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, coriander, ground cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes are softened and mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes.

  4. Drain lentils, reserving cooking water. Add lentils to skillet along with enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick gravy-like consistency. Let simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until well combined; remove from heat.

  5. In a small saucepan, heat ghee until hot. Carefully add cumin seeds and cook until they stop popping. Carefully pour mixture over lentils (it will sizzle) and mix to combine. Serve immediately with naan.

Reviews (2)

  • mejan 2 Apr, 2009

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! It will be a family favourite from now on.

    I soaked my urad dal for 24 hours, but still had to cook it for longer than 30 minutes, and with more than 3 cups of water to get it to a tender state.

  • mejan 1 Apr, 2009

    THANK YOU for this recipe!!! I have been looking for one like this for a couple of years; I have all of the ingredients in my cupboard. Loved the guest.

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