Bursting with flavours and packed with nutrients, the dal makhani, also fondly known as Maa ki Dal, (give this dal makhani recipe a try) is a staple in almost every North-Indian home, and we can’t blame them. The lentil dish gets its rich and flavoursome goodness from the urad dal, rajma (kidney beans), butter, cream and a range of traditional spices. While the dal makhani is best enjoyed with steamed rice or hot off-the-tava parathas, you can play around with it as long as you’re open to experimentation. If you don’t know where to start, worry not. Hours of scrolling and a quick trip to the nearest North-Indian restaurant later, we bring you some of the best and unique renditions of India’s comfort food, dal makhani, courtesy of Instagram.
Dal Makhani Shots
Dal makhani served in a bowl is passé. Make way for the dal makhani at Chatter House, Khan Market, where it is presented in a non-traditional avatar—shot glasses. Paired with blue cheese naans, the dal makhani shots are enough to convince you to give up the sugary drinks and raise a toast to good health with this savoury and nutritious treat. Bottoms up, er?
Dal Makhani Fondue
Say goodbye to your cheese and chocolate fondues. A desi alternative—the dal makhani fondue at Pebble Street, Kailash Colony, New Delhi allows you to turn your fondue into a guilt-free meal as you dive into it each time. For an even healthier treat, you could reach out for steamed or roasted veggies as they work as perfect companions to this desi fondue.
Dal Makhani Paratha
The dal makhani paratha from Dilli Deli in the suburb of Andheri in Mumbai makes for a complete meal in itself. Perfect as an on-the-go snack, these dal makhani parathas can easily be replicated at home. As you would make a stuffed paratha, you’ve got to fill your chapati dough with a generous amount of almost-dry dal makhani to prevent the parathas from breaking. Serve hot with a dollop of butter or ghee, and enjoy; a little indulgence once in a while doesn’t hurt.
Dal Makhani Spaghetti
This Dal Makhani Spaghetti at The Burans Resto & Bar, Pune is the perfect alternative to the usual spaghetti and meatballs. If you’re looking for a quick meal on a busy day, all you’ve got to do is toss your leftover dal makhani into your al dente spaghetti and enjoy the dish as it is or throw in other elements – veggies, spices and seasonings of your choice.
How to use leftover dal makhani
Dal Makhani in a Bun
These buns filled with the spicy and creamy dal makhani at The Drunken Botanist, CyberCity Gurgaon are a treat. Instead of having your buns with the same old butter (learn how to make butter at home) and cheese, pair them with some dal makhani and watch your kids finish these in no time!
(Also read: 5 Hacks Every Butter Lover Needs to Know )
Dal Makhani Kulcha
Marrying two of North India’s favourite dishes—dal makhani and kulchas—Philtre The Bistro brings us dal makhani kulchas. These kulchas go well with pickle or chutney or can be relished along with a bowl of curd. You can make these kulchas at home too. Simply follow this kulcha recipe, but replace the potato filling with dal makhani.
Dal Makhani Foam
Instagram doesn’t disappoint when you’re looking for #foodinspiration. This dal makhani foam at Gravity Space Bar takes the traditional dish a notch higher, leaving us drooling. This picture-perfect dish doesn’t make us want to dig in! Who knew the foam of the dal makhani could make an altogether new dish?
Dal Makhani Croquettes
Let the dal makhani croquettes at Ardor 2.1 tease your taste buds by giving you a taste of dal makhani with a cheesy twist. Paired with the goodness of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, the dal makhani is served in the form of a croquette, making it a must-try dish. You could make your very own dal makhani croquettes simply by adding some dal makhani to your croquette mix (either mashed potatoes or minced meat, along with veggies and spices of your choice), shape them as you’d want, roll in some breadcrumbs and when ready to eat, bake or shallow-fry them. These can be served with any dips or chutneys of your choice.
(Also read: How to make coriander chutney at home)
Dal Makhani Kheema
A non-vegetarian take on the dal makhani, dal makhani kheema is every meat-lovers dream come true. And when served alongside buttery Afghani naan, this makes for a meal that’ll be a hit amongst adults and kids alike. In case you want to give this dish a try at home, simply add your cooked minced meat – chicken, mutton or beef – to your leftover dal makhani and cook until the gravy completely dries off or reduces. You could also throw in a few more onions, tomatoes or other veggies of your choice to break away from the meatiness.
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