Sultani Dal is actually a royal dal from the kitchens of the Nawabs of UP. This dal is rich & creamy in texture with a tantalizing aroma. A king's favorite!
I was excited! Our Date Day had finally arrived. I and KR have decided that we would plan to do one new activity together, once every month. The onus of planning this date day is on both of us. We will be taking turns each month and plan a surprise date for the other. We started it off this month and it was KR who had to plan it. I had no idea what we were going to but was excited nevertheless. I faintly got the hint when he told me to put on some old clothes for the date. By the time we reached the art studio, I was squeaking with joy. The board read Awesome Pottery and I was smiling ear to ear. This was the best gift!
KR had planned for 2 hours of wheel pottery fun for us which is much more exciting than it sounds! Its was 6 years since I had tried my hands at wheel pottery. All those wonderful memories came gushing back. However for KR, it was his first. It indeed was a cute sight to see him explore his creativity and enjoy making the pots in his own way. We got to make 3 pots each and paint them as well. When I told the studio owner that I am a food blogger and that I would use the bowls I make here as serve ware, she got pretty excited and let me make an extra bowl just for that. It definitely was one of the most enjoyable things we have done together. I recommend wheel pottery to all of you out there. It helps you unleash your creativity and channelize it in the right way. Plus you get to spend some quality time with your partner and get to see their creative side as well.
Since KR had outdone himself by planning such an awesome date day for us, I wanted to surprise him with a special meal the next day. Normally Sundays are reserved for something Indian like Paruppu Rasam, Poricha Kootu (Vegetable and Lentils gravy), Traditional Curd Rice, Avial - Mixed veggies cooked in curd & coconut gravy with rice. That's because all through the week we try to follow a low carb diet. Sundays are reserved to cheat on them. We both are voracious rice eaters and hence most of my cooking revolves around dishes which can be served with rice. I had planned to make Pink Lentils cooked with Spinach along with regular potato curry for side and rice. This is his favorite meal.
While I got busy with the prep, a call from a friend diverted my attention. She had called to invite for a game night at her place the following weekend. She told me that she planned to cook us a North Indian meal. At the mention of food, I couldn't help asking her on what she planned on making. Now let me tell you something about her. She is from Lucknow, the largest city in Uttar Pradesh which is a popular state up north in India. Their style of cooking is very different from South India. Something I have not yet ventured into but would love to. Every dish she mentioned sounded interesting and I couldn't wait to taste them. I definitely plan to make them all very soon. There was one particular dish in her menu that stood out for me. It was called Sultani Dal. I had never ever heard of this dal. Since I too was making dal at that very moment. I asked her for this recipe. Talk about being inquisitive!
She enlightened me with the fact that Sultani Dal is actually a royal dal from the kitchens of the Nawabs of UP. She told me that this is one of those recipes that is passed on from generations to generations. This dal is rich and creamy in texture and is considered to be 'Shahi' because of its tantalizing aroma and hence was deemed fit for the kings back then. She also mentioned that this dal was reserved for special family occasions and was a celebrated dish. Wow! That was simply fascinating to know! She then gave me her grandma's recipe and I just had to make it for my king! After all he had earned it.
After I thanked her profusely for sharing her family recipe with me and for the timely phone call, I instantly changed my plan and started working towards making Sultani Dal. The most unique feature of this dal is that you add milk, cream and yogurt in it. So here is what you need to do. Boil tur dal with turmeric powder and salt in a pressure cooker. Once it's cooked, let the steam out. Keeping it hot and still in the cooker, add milk, yogurt and fresh cream. Whisk it all together.
Heat ghee in a tadka pan. Fry garlic, ginger and green chillies till the raw smell goes away. Now fry onions till they turn translucent. Add dried red chillies and saute for another minute. Take the pan off the flame and add chilly powder.
Pour the contents of the pan over the dal. Garnish with cilantro. Sultani Dal is ready!
Serve with plain rice or naan/roti. I of course served it with rice since both of us love dal and rice combo.
- Boil tur dal with turmeric powder and salt in a pressure cooker. Once it's cooked, let the steam out. Keeping it hot and still in the cooker, add milk, yogurt and fresh cream. whisk it all together.
- Heat ghee in a tadka pan and temper cumin seeds. Fry garlic, ginger and green chillies till the raw smell goes away. Now fry onions till they turn translucent. Add dried red chillies and saute for another minute. Take the pan off the flame and add chilly powder.
- Pour the contents of the pan over the dal. Garnish with cilantro. Sultani Dal is ready!
The dal was ready, rice was nice and hot in the cooker, the papads were roasted and the table was set. KR was working upstairs all this time. The aroma of the dal spread like wildfire and that made him rush downstairs. We sat down for lunch and KR was already drooling. We overate! Now he tells me that it's a sign of great food when one overeats. This Sultani Dal is truly palatable. We loved it so much that KR wants me to make this dal every week and I ain't complaining!