Naani Maa ki Kaali Urad- Grannies style black lentil

It would not be an exaggeration if I say, I am in love with the flavors of Urad Lentils.  When you come to India and visit the markets you will witness many many varieties of lentils stacked up in front of our spices and grocery stores.  Indian customers like to first touch and feel the grains, lentils, whole spices to check the quality.

20180211_183504.jpgIn our classes we choose different lentils to make everytime but the most favorite is black lentil.   The most favorite lentil recipe around the globe in Indian Restaurant is Daal Makhani which is made with whole black beans of Urad, which is just one lentil that got popular.   And what we will try today is much more popular in Northern Indian homes and tastes closest to Daal Makhani.  Though its personal choice, but I prefer my Naani Maa’s version.

 Daals have a separate entity in Indian Culinary system.  There are N number of ways you can do lentils.   Generally speaking, split lentils are better as they are easier to cook (means less preparation time) and easier to be digested in comparison to whole beans like Whole  Green Moong beans, Black Urad Beans, Black Soya bean, Red Kidney beans, Black Eyed peas, Chickpeas

Here I am giving a favorite of my Nani Maa (Maternal Grandmother).  She made it with absolute perfection every time she cooked.. even when she couldn’t see much she cooked the food with so much flavor..  I am sure it was not always the best of the ingredients but it used to be her love that simmered with the spices in her food.    This recipe is dedicated to her.


  • 1 cup split Black Urad lentil, soaked for at least 30 minutes.
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger or crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 1 Medium tomatoes fine chopped
  • ½ tsp whole Coriander seeds
  • 1 or 2 whole Red chilies
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • salt as required
  • 2 tbspGhee for tempering


  1. Soak lentils and drain the water that it has soaked with.
  2. Add them in a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook for around 10 minutes on a Medium flame
  3. Alternatively cook in a pan with 3 cups of water till the daal is cooked thoroughly and softened. If they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup boiling water again.
  4. Always cook on medium to low heat.
  5. When the Daal is done take another pan, heat 2 tbsp Ghee.
  6. Add coriander seeds (crush within your palms for breaking open the flavors)
  7. Add whole red chilies
  8. Immediately add the Onions.  Golden fry the chopped onions.
  9. Sprinkle water if the pan is getting too hot.  Do not dark brown the onions they will be bad in flavor
  10. Now add ginger grated or fine chopped
  11. Add tomatoes, Red chilli powder and cook the masala for a few minutes till it is completely done.
  12. Now add the cooked lentils. let it simmer for a few 2-3 minutes.  Do not overcook

Garnish with green fresh coriander and serve with hand made chapati or Naan.

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s