My mom and MIL swear by their pressure cooker. I think a lot Indian women do. I, on the other hand, am scared of it. What I’m about to say is not logical at all. My fear is that the top of the pressure cooker will fly off once it starts whistling and the steam will burn my face off. Again, completely devoid of logic.
Give me a slow cooker any day. Slow and steady wins the race for me.
Combining the rich black lentils (urad dal) and rajma (red kidney beans) with several spices in a slow simmer for 8+ hours pretty much guarantees comfort in a bowl.
I had every intention of eating this as a side with my rice or roti. However, what started as a taste turned into me just pouring a bowl for dinner. And for many dinners after that. I served with a side of onions and tomatoes splashed with lemon juice. Delicious, nutritious and easy-peasy. And, if you didn’t want to use the slow cooker, or don’t have one, you can just as easily cook this over the stove using the same heat settings.
Urad Dal Curry
- 1 cup urad dal (dry black lentils), washed
- 1/2 cup rajma (dry red kidney beans), washed
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (Adjust to taste. If you don’t prefer that spicy, start with 1 tsp.)
- 1/4 cup ghee (or butter)
- salt to taste
- chopped cilantro to garnish (some people prefer to mix it in but if you don’t, omit altogether)
- Soak the urad dal and rajma in a bowl of water overnight (at least 8 hours).
- The next morning, place everything except the salt and cilantro in the slow cooker. Fill with enough water where you have at least two inches above the beans.
- Cook on high for 4 hours. After 4 hours, add salt, starting with 1 tsp and increasing to your liking.*
- Turn the heat to low and cook for another 4 hours.
- Serve with chopped cilantro.
*At this point, I add a little less salt than I think the dish calls for. As the dish continues to simmer, the salt gets concentrated so I hold back until after the full 8 hours to add more.