Dhal Makhani and Aloo Methi

250 grams black urad dhal (whole)

2 handfuls of dried red kidney beans

4 tablespoons ghee

200 grams onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons garlic and ginger chopped finely

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon chilli powder

200 grams canned tomatoes and juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1 green chilli finely chopped

100 ml cream

Salt to taste

Wash the black lentils and kidney beans, soak in water overnight, drain and rinse well.

Place the beans and lentils in a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer then cook, cover for an hour or hour and a half until the beans are softened. To save time, alternatively, you may pressure cook.

In another large pan, heat the ghee and fry the onion till golden. Then add the ginger and garlic and continue frying for a further five minutes. Add the turmeric and chilli powder, fry for a few minutes. If you feel the bottom of the pan is burning add a teaspoon of water. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice. Cook this for five minutes before adding the cooked beans along with the cooking liquid.

Add salt, pepper and garam masala, stir everything together and simmer, uncovered for about an hour. The dhal should be thick. If it’s too liquid, cook for a bit longer to evaporate some liquid.

Check for seasoning, stir in the fresh green chilli and cream. Serve hot with rice.


Fresh fenugreek or methi

It is a commonly held belief in India, that fenugreek (methi), the herb has a number of health benefits. Fresh fenugreek has a very earthy flavour and every time I eat it, I feel I am putting some goodness into my body. Simply put aloo methi is fenugreek stir fried with some potatoes. Please take the time to prepare the methi well otherwise you will end up with a fibrous inedible mess. Like with any greens, wash thoroughly and dry. Keep the tender tops and leaves and discard tough bottom bits.

400 grams of potatoes like Vivaldi boiled with skin on and peeled

2 large bunches of fenugreek prepared (prepared weight 300 grams)

2 plump garlic sliced thinly

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon chilli powder

2 tablespoons ghee

Salt to taste


Depending on size of your potatoes, either quarter or cut into eighths. Finely chop all the fenugreek and set aside. Heat the ghee in a fry pan and fry the garlic until the smell is evident. Be careful to adjust heat so garlic does not burn. Then add the cumin seeds and when they start to turn brown, add the potatoes. At the same time sprinkle salt and chilli powder. Fry for thirty seconds to a minute and then add the fenugreek. Stir fry continuously (may need to add a spoonful of water) until all the fenugreek is cooked and sticking to the potatoes. Serve hot as a side dish to your Indian meal.