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Indian Cooking Tips: How To Make Punjabi Maa Ki Dal, The Easy Way


  • Maa ki dal is also known as kali dal
  • Maa ki dal is a Punjabi preparation
  • Maa ki dal is a hit across age groups

The prevalence of lentils and legumes in our diet is perhaps what makes Indian cuisine one of the healthiest cuisines around the world. While the world is just waking up to the versatility of these lentils, the countless desi dal preparations are proof that Indians have never shied away from being creative. From curries, to stuffing for breads, to cheelas, and halwas- you can find dal anywhere and everywhere in a typical Indian household, especially in a Punjabi household. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that everyone of us have tried dal makhani at least once in our life; or have at least heard about it. It is possibly one of the most iconic veg preparations hailing from North India.

The black urad recipe, flavoured with heaps of cream, can serve as a perfect pick-me-up after a long day. But did you know there is another dal preparation from Punjab that looks much like Dal Makhani but is in fact much comforting and creamier in comparison. Many people use different dals, or a different combination of dals to make Maa Ki Dal too. There are many recipes of ‘Maa Ki Dal‘.

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Maa ki Dal, also known as Kali dal, is basically a slow-cooked dal recipe that is made with generous amounts of butter, garlic, cream and curd. It is mainstay at all the Punjabi dhabas across the highway; and if you have had it once you are surely charmed forever. If you are also daydreaming about that lovely ‘Maa Ki Dal’ you had in your last road-trip, then it is time to wear those aprons and get started, for we have just the right recipe that could cheer you up.

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How To Mak Maa Ki Dal:

The trick to make perfect Maa Ki Dal is to be patient. Rushing through things may cost you the lovely velvety texture that makes ‘Maa Ki Dal’ stand out in the lot. Soak black urad dal overnight. You can also use a combination of dals in this recipe. Pressure-cook it with water, ginger, salt and garlic, so that the dal comes out flavourful and robust. Cook this dal again on medium heat with water, until thick and luscious.


Desi ghee is a healthy fat you can add to your dal
Photo Credit: iStock


Finally, no dal recipe is a success without a brilliant tadka. For the tadka of ‘Maa Ki Dal’, this recipe uses a scintillating mix of ghee, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, green chillies, turmeric, tomatoes, cumin powder, red chilli powder, curd, cream, butter and lime. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, green chillies, cream and butter and serve.

Here is the step-by-step recipe of the Maa Ki Dal. Try it and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.

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