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 Post subject: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:41 pm 
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I went to an Indian restaurant recently and had a lengthy discussion about dairy allergies, Veganism, and recommendations from their menu. What the man suggested was Dal Makhani. I followed his suggestion, ate it, loved it, looked it up online to make it at home (as is per my custom), and found out that the man fed me butter and heavy cream. I don't know why people forget that butter comes from cows, but this particular man also sold me a stirfry in that same meal that had cheese in it (and the dessert following which is made with more butter). JEEZE! I don't think he understood what dairy meant in general. Either that, or he was trying to kill me. Anyways, extremely disappointed that I would not get to re-order that dish, I set about trying to make it without all that stuff. Pretty easy, actually. I mean we have Earth Balance and cashew cream, so it was a snap!

But it was still my first time making it, and so it came out not so much like I had remembered. Made for a tasty lentil dish anyway. So, I'll post it. If anyone has a tried and tested version, I'd love to hear it!

"Dal Makhani" (but not really):
Soak overnight-
1/2 C Black Lentils
1/4 C Red beans (or kidney beans)
1/2 C yellow split peas (Or if you're in a city where you can find an actual Indian market, I think the real stuff you can use is channa dal)

boil-
1/4 " ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 green chilli
salt (to taste)
Along with the soaked beans

heat-
2 TB vegitable oil

Add-
1/2 TS cumin seeds
2 cardamon pods
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 Cinnimon stick
until the spices changed their color.

Then add-
1/2 onion (finely chopped) fry until translucent
1 tomato (chopped)
salt (pinch)
until well cooked and mushy.

Combine-
Bean mixture and the oil mixture. Mash the beans up a bit so it becomes creamy.

Bring to a boil- Then stir in some cashew cream and simmer



And now, the Rava Kesari (again, not perfected, but good):

1C Cream of wheat
1C Sugar
2 TBS Earth Balance
1-2C hot water
10 Cashews
2 Cardamon pods +1 opened and crushed into powder.
*1 drop each of red and yellow food colors.

*You're supposed to have safron, but it's too expensive for me, so I just cheated and used some food coloring.

Heat up the butter. Fry up the cashews and Cardamom. Take them out and set aside. Then dump in the farina and stir as it toasts a little. Add the hot water and sugar. I used 2 cups water, but the one I had at the restaurant was grainier and I think less water might do that. I added in some cardamom powder here as well because I like the flavor. Once it's thickened, toss the cashews and pods back in and stir. You can let it cool down and then pour it into little dessert dishes and chill, or they say you can eat it warm.

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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Do you know for sure the dal makhni you had at the restaurant actually contained cream and butter? I've been to some Indian restaurants that make dal makhni similarly to how you described your recipe without using cream or butter. I made a pretty kick-ass version one time but I don't think I managed to be smart and write it down. Mine definitely used coconut milk though.

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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:53 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Do you know for sure the dal makhni you had at the restaurant actually contained cream and butter? I've been to some Indian restaurants that make dal makhni similarly to how you described your recipe without using cream or butter. I made a pretty kick-ass version one time but I don't think I managed to be smart and write it down. Mine definitely used coconut milk though.



Ooooh, coconut milk. I will try that. I don't know it contained butter and cream for sure, but given his other dishes that had outright paneer in them, the odds are stacked against them. I will ask though. Maybe I will get lucky. Thanks for the encouragement.

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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:30 am 
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No, paneer is pretty common in Indian food, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be dairy products in foods that don't specifically contain paneer. Often, the menus will say "creamy sauce" if a dish that doesn't obviously contain cream actually does. It's true, dal makhni is more likely to contain cream than, say, channa masala or dal tadka, but it's definitely worth asking (and always worth learning to make your own!)

Also, one of the very few cheese related products that can adequately be replicated with vegan ingredients (in my experience) is paneer, if you ever want to try that! I wish I had my hands on my recipe, yeesh. I really need to start writing stuff down and paying attention when I cook things like this.

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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:12 am 
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choirqueer wrote:
Also, one of the very few cheese related products that can adequately be replicated with vegan ingredients (in my experience) is paneer,


I agree - you can replicate it pretty well with tofu.


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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:16 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Also, one of the very few cheese related products that can adequately be replicated with vegan ingredients (in my experience) is paneer, if you ever want to try that! I wish I had my hands on my recipe, yeesh. I really need to start writing stuff down and paying attention when I cook things like this.


That actually sounds like it would come out great! *searches internet for recipes* Thanks for the suggestion.

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 Post subject: Re: My failed Dal Makhaki +dessert
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:08 am 
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My two cents on the recipe: you really, REALLY need to use urad dal for the dal makhani, they are the only pulses I know of that have this special consistency (creamy, not grainy at all) that is absolutely necessary for a good dal makhani. Black lentils are not the same at all. Also I have not seen any recipe yet that used channa dal, but who knows.

Other than that I absolutely agree that taking any old traditional recipe and replacing the usual suspects with oil (ghee), margarine (butter), coconut milk (milk/cream) should work just fine.

Here is one recipe I made and remember to be pretty good (not vegan, needs to be veganized).
http://www.hookedonheat.com/2007/11/14/recreating-perfection/


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