Green gram makhani – Lentil curry with green gram


10 min


15 min

Legumes are the base for most of the Indian dishes and they are a complete source of proteins for the body. Lentils like green grams, rajma, chickpeas are cooked into creamy puree and served with a “tadka” of spiced oil. Most of the Indian household will serve this dish almost every other day. North Indians eat the flavorful dhal cooked with cardamons, cinnamons and cloves with rotis/rice while the South Indians prepare a less spicier version called “Pappu” or “Thallicha paruppa” . It is a simple mixture of cooked dal with tempered mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chilly.

I once ate dal makhani and roti at a local Indian restaurant in California, they were too clumpy in appearance and bland in taste. I couldn’t enjoy the dish more than a spoonful serving. My home made version of the same dish was way better and tasted fresh with the lovely spices. Traditionally, Dal Makhani is made from rajma and black gram. But I tried the same recipe with Green gram and we ate it as a soup. The seductive kasuri meethi and the warm whole spices blended beautifully with the velvety green gram while the fairly browned onions and reduced tomatoes infused a lovely aroma and there was an explosion of flavors in every spoon. The green chillies added a extra heat to the entire dish perfectly. Do give it a try, it is super simple to cook and doubly tasteful to dig in. The recipe is easy to follow and all the ingredients are available at Indian grocery store around the corner.

As I stand next to my window gazing at the leaves of lovely tall trees that sway in the gentle autumn breeze, I lick through every spoon of this delicate soup with so much satisfaction; hardly realizing that my bowl went empty too quick – Was it the taste of my soup or the timeless beauty of the Mother Nature, the reason behind it? With those doubts in mind, I headed to refill my bowl. A complete warm meal for cold nights!

1/2 cup green gram – soaked overnight
1 cup onions – finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato – finely chopped
3 green chillies
1/4 tbs ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tbs red chilly powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbs coriander powder
1/2 tbs oil
1/2 tbs kasoori meethi
2 tsp amchur powder
1 cup semi-skimmed milk
1/2 cup water (optional)
Salt to taste
1/4 tbs whipped cream (optional)

Whole masalas
1tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
4 cardamons
1/2” cinnamon stick

Soak the green gram in 2 cups of water overnight.

Heat the oil in a cooking pan. Once they get heated up, throw in the ‘whole masalas’ and let it crackle for couple of minutes.

Add the green chillies, onions and salt and cook until the onions brown, 5-8 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears. Add the tomato and cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

Drain the water and add the green gram, turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and amchur powder. Give it a complete mix and cook till the raw smell disappears. Pour in the milk , little water and salt. Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 whistles.

Once the pressure had dropped, open the pan and cook again at medium flame. Now add kasoori meethi (crushed between the palms) to the hot gravy. Taste for salt and add water, if the gravy is too thick for your requirement.

Since I served it as a soup, I added 100 ml water and let it cook for further 10 minutes. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Green gram makhani can be served with roti/ rice/

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  1. Delicious, very creamy Makhani Vijitha…never thought of making out with green gram instead of urad dal..

  2. Ummm, I have to go run and see if I need to hit the Indian market this week. My lentil supply is getting low, and I want this!

  3. This sounds absolutely incredible! I have just started to cook more Indian-style dishes and will definitely give this one a try. Many thanks

  4. Well, your description certainly has me convinced that this is awesome! I am enjoying the color 🙂

  5. there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of rice and dal. this is just perfect for a cold night!

  6. I usually make makhni with urad dhal, loved your variation using green gram instead, looks lovely !

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