Awadhi cuisine belongs to the royal city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The cuisine boasts of rich flavours, use of milk, cream, yogurt and the delicious aroma which comes from the use of saffron, cardamom and other whole spices in most preparations.
Awadhi cuisine (Mughlai cuisine) is hugely influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, namely dum style (cooking food on low flame for long hours) to infuse the flavours! Similar cooking patterns of cooking are found Hyderabad and parts of Punjab too.
Lucknow is very famous for non- vegetarian fare ..namely biryanis, kebabs and other meat preparations. However, most households in Uttar Pradesh are pure vegetarians and do not eat meat and that is where you will find flavoursome vegetarian mughlai or awadhi food. Paneer (cottage cheese), fried potatoes, pulses, etc form the base of such vegetarian meals that are essentially flavoured with whole spice and slow cooked. One such mouthwatering, rich preparation is Awadhi Dal a.k.a. Dal Sultani or Lucknowi Dal.
This dal is an extremely flavourful, aromatic and a rich preparation. Simple cooking techniques that are fast and ensure authentic taste.
If you are looking to give your everyday dal Chawal a regal makeover, then this is the recipe for you! Everyday ingredients and a bit of magic is all that goes into making this bowl which makes you feel no less than a royalty yourself 😀
Yield: serves 2
Equipment: a pressure cooker, small pan, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.
1/2 cup tur dal (split pigeon peas)
2 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1″ cinnamon stick (dalchini)
2 nos. bay leaves (tej pata)
2-3 nos. cloves (laung)
2 nos. green cardamom (choti Elaichi)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup fresh yogurt (dahi)
1/4 cup milk
5-6 strands of Kesar (saffron)
chopped coriander to garnish
For the tempering:
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp jeera dana (cumin seeds)
1 tsp chopped green chillies
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Wash the dal and soak it in 2 cups of water for 15 mins.
In a pressure cooker, add the water and the soaked dal. Season with salt, red chillie powder, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste.
Mix them all well. Turn on the flame and let the dal and the spices come to a slow boil (take about 10 mins). Put the lid of the pressure cooker and cook it for 2-3 whistles.
Let the steam release slowly on it’s own from the cooker.
In the mean while, soak Kesar in 1 tsp of milk and let it rest.
Also, whisk curd until smooth and add the remaining milk to it. Whisk again to make a smooth paste. Set it aside.
Open the pressure cooker, remove all the whole spices. Now, add the saffron (Kesar) infused milk to the dal. Mix them well and mash the dal with the back of your spoon as you mix.
Now, let the dal cool down a bit for 5 mins. Then, add the whisked milk and curd paste. Mix it well with the dal. Boil the dal for another 4-5 mins on low flame. Turn off the flame.
Prepare the tempering:
Heat ghee in a pan, add jeera, hing and chopped chillies and let all splutter for 1 min.
Add this tempering to the dal, garnish with chopped coriander and serve piping hot with plain rice, Tehri (North Indian mixed veg rice) or with Laccha Parathas. Add a squirt of lime juice for that extra tang with the spiciness of the green chillies 😊