The best Dal Makhani was first introduced to me when I was on my travels in Dubai, its a great dish, especially if you don't like spice. This is more aromatic in flavour with a creamy texture. Not only that but a great source of protein from the lentils.
2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, minced
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala*
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted variety), with their juices
1 cup uncooked black lentils (also called beluga lentils)
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus additional lime wedges for serving
Optional (for additional creaminess): half-and-half, or regular or light coconut milk
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garam masala, cumin, coriander and salt. Season generously with black pepper. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute, while stirring. Add the lentils, kidney beans, water and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are nice and tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Transfer 2 cups of the mixture (make sure to get some liquid with the lentils) to a blender. Securely fasten the lid. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, being careful to avoid the hot steam rising from the blender lid.
Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot and stir to combine. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt (I usually add ½ teaspoon) and pepper. If you would like to temper the flavour and make the mixture even more creamy, stir in a splash of half-and-half or coconut milk, to taste.