Maah di Dal, Kaali Dal or Urad Dalwith skin – ThisDaal has so many different names which only indicates how widely loved and popular it is. “Maah di Daal” is a famous lentil curry savored with rice or roti in the Northern parts of India. Made with black lentils, mainly Urad, and flavored with flagrant spices, is indeed a treat to be enjoyed. The typical Punjabi name for this daal is “Maah choliyan di daal” is almost same as kaali dal except it is made from split urad dal and chana dal. Maah means urad dal and chole dal means chana dal i.e. a combo of Urad dal (Maah/split black gram) and Chana dal (Choliyan/bengal gram). Traditionally this daal is prepared in earthen pots on a clay stove which impart an earthy taste and creamy texture to it.
Maah choliyan di daal is similar to Dal makhani in many ways as it uses the same lentils. However this daal is much lighter in terms of its preparation and gets most of its flavors from the slow cooking over hours.There are as many variations of Maah di Daal found on the internet — there is a great deal of confusion over what exactly goes into it. Some recipes use cream, others use butter, and most use ghee. But every version out there uses urad dal as the lentil base but some use whole lentil, others use the split lentil, but with the black skin on. Some add a second lentil to it, usually chana dal, and yet others confuse it with its more famous cousin that’s often found on Indian restaurant menus, the lusciousDal Makhani, which has rajma or kidney beans added to it. The Chana dal adds a bit more texture and a slightly different flavor to this daal.
This daal isn’t a commonly made Daal in eastern parts of the country . So my association with this daal before is with “restaurant” food .For a long time, I hadMaah Di Daalin dhabas and restaurants only.I can completely understand if a lot of you will not associate with the way I have made this recipe, without a lots of butter or cream, but this is the way I have been making this daal on a regular basis without feeling guilty and keeping as much as the creamy texture and taste without going overboard with cream / butter.
Lentils not only are an excellent source of protein for vegetarians , they also make low fat and low calorie meals and they are super tasty.Typically, the ginger-garlic paste is not added to this daal,but chopped and fried with lots of onions till everything caramelize together. The use of Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) really bring in an amazing flavour to this daal and not to forget the garnish of fresh coriander leaves.