I am really enjoying lentil dishes at the moment and decided to try some lentils that I have never had before – Beluga Lentils. I bought these from Amazon, I love shopping on Amazon for food as there is so much variety and using Prime, most food arrives the next day.
I ordered some fresh Thai chillies last week and they arrived within a couple of days and were super fresh. I love keeping these in the freezer and just getting a couple when I need them, they defrost as you chop them.
The beluga lentils are very small and black and feel firmer than red or brown lentils. They get their name from their resemblance to beluga caviar and are typically grown in Canada or North America. They are, as other lentils, packed with nutrients, fibre and vitamins and you cook them the same way you cook other lentils, although slightly longer than red lentils.
I decided to use these lentils to make a Dal Makhani. Dal Makhani is one of the most popular dals from India. It is known for it’s rich, buttery, creamy texture and is traditionally made with black lentils – urad dal, and kidney beans. You can make this as spicy as you like with the use of kashmiri chilli powder – just add more if you want more of a kick.
To get the creamy consistency, I used coconut oil and a tin of coconut milk along with a tin of tomatoes. I pre-cooked the lentils for 10 minutes whilst I made the masala sauce, then added the lentils to the masala and cooked over a low heat for around 45 minutes.
The lentils were perfect for this dish. The texture is wonderful and they went really well with the kidney beans (I have just ordered more). Paul’s only complaint was that I didn’t make enough, so if you have a family that loves dal, I would recommend doubling up on the recipe!
I hope you enjoy!
Creamy Dal Makhani
For the lentils
- 300 grams beluga lentils
- 1/2 tsp salt
- water to cover lentils around 2 inch above in pan
For the masala
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium pepper diced
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin coconut milk
- chopped coriander
- salt to taste
- Simmer the beluga lentils in the water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes whilst preparing the masala.
- In a separate large curry pan, heat the coconut oil.
- Add the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, fenugreek powder and asafoetida to the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the onion, pepper, ginger and garlic, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder and cok for a further 3 minutes stirring.
- Add the tomatoes and coconut milk to the pan and stir.
- Rinse the lentils and stir these in to the masala.
- Simmer over a low heat for 30-45 minutes until you get the required texture.
- Stir in coriander and salt to taste.
- Serve with brown basmati rice or naan and tomato salad.