• 2 cups whole urad dal
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional), or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder (or 1 teaspoon powder and 1 teaspoon seed)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, (optional, but worth having on hand for Indian cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi) or 1 tbsp leaves (Kasoori methi) (optional-an Indian spice)
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes; I used petite dice fire roasted
  • Water, 6 cups
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup plant yogurt; I used Trader Joes Cultured Cashew Yogurt
  • Cilantro and more yogurt for garish
  • May use a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.

Considered Indian comfort food, Makhani dal, made from whole Urad dal (aka black gram dal, or mungo bean–not the same as the green mung bean), is a super-star in omega 3 fatty acids as well as other nutritional necessities. It is a little black bean with a creamy white interior. I bought whole Urad dal (may be spelled urid) at an Indian grocers. Walmart sells 8 lbs on line for about $20 plus shipping.  Find it on Amazon as well. For this recipe used the whole bean, not split.  Buy it split (with or without the black skin) for other recipes (search on-line).

Read more about this superfood bean here:

1. Sort through the beans on a cookie sheet with sides, and pick out any stones or debris.  Using a strainer, rinse very well. Soaking reduces gassiness, and I soaked, covering with several inches of water, overnight (8-10 hours). Discard the soaking water.  If not soaking you will cook longer.

2. Using the ‘saute’ function of the Instant Pot, heat the pan and add the chopped onion. No oil needed. Stir and add a tablespoon or so of water from time to time to prevent burning. When golden, add all of the seasonings up to (but not including) the tomatoes. Stir immediately and add a few more tablespoons of water to prevent burning.  We are lightly toasting the seasonings, and should smell the lovely spices. Don’t burn them. When you can smell the toasted spices,  stir in the tomatoes, and then the 6 cups of water.