Indian Black Lentils (Kaali Daal)

Indian Black Lentils (Kaali Daal)

Kaali daal is a popular North India side dish of black lentils mixed with spices, tomatoes and cream that goes great with butter chicken and naan.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Soak the urad daal (black lentils) in a bowl of water overnight.
  2. Step 2

    Boil the soaked lentils with 3 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, green chilies, asafetida, and salt to taste till they are very tender. Set aside.
  3. Step 3

    In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the other onion until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Step 4

    Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder and fry for another 5 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Add the reserved boiled lentils and enough water to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Turn off the fire.
  7. Step 7

    In another small pan, heat the ghee and when hot add the cumin seeds and cook till they stop spluttering.
  8. Step 8

    Pour this into the lentils (it will all sizzle) and mix well.
  9. Step 9

    Serve hot with a vegetable side dish and naans (tandoor-baked leavened Indian flatbread) or butter chicken and naan.