Black Lentils (Kaali Daal)

Soak the lentils in a bowl of water, overnight. Boil the soaked lentils with 3 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, green chillies, asafetida and salt to taste till they are very tender.

In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the second onion till soft. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin and red chili powders and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the boiled lentils and enough water to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Turn off the fire. In another small pan, heat the ghee and when hot add the cumin seeds and cook till they stop spluttering. Pour this into the lentils (it will all sizzle) and mix well.

Kaali Daal, also known as Ma Ki Daal (mom's lentils) or Daal Makkhani is often served with a vegetable side dish, naan (tandoor baked flatbread), and butter chicken.