Chef Vikas Khanna brings simple and easy-to-make recipes that you can try out from the comfort of your home.
1 cup split pigeon pea lentils, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Salt to taste
½ cup yogurt
½ cup cream
½ cup whole milk
4 fresh betelnut leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a few drops for smoking coal
6 to 8 cloves
4 green cardamom pods
A pinch saffron
1 green chilli, finely chopped
5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
a few sprigs fresh mint
A few pieces of charcoal
• Transfer soaked pigeon peas (with soaking water) to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium flame. Add 1 cup water, chilli powder and salt and bring to a boil again. When mixture begins to boil, reduce the flame to low and cook the lentils till mushy, stirring occasionally and skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
• Meanwhile, combine yogurt with cream and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk till smooth. Keep aside.
• When lentils are cooked, transfer to a strainer placed over a bowl and rub mixture through the sieve. Alternatively, transfer to a blender or processor and blend till smooth.
• Place the charcoal on a wire rack and place over a high flame till red hot.
• Transfer the strained (or blended) lentils to a clean saucepan and place betel leaves on the surface.
• Drizzle the hot coal with a few drops of oil and as it smokes, place the smoking coal on the betel leaves using tongs. Cover the saucepan tightly and keep aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, gently remove charcoal and carefully lift the betel leaves and discard. Place pan over medium flame.
• Combine cloves with cardamom pods in a mortar pestle and crush coarsely. Add to the lentils.
• Add saffron with yogurt-cream-milk mixture and whisk well.
• Add green chilli and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
• Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin and when garlic is fragrant, pour the mixture into the simmering lentils. Cover and remove from flame.
• Mix gently and serve hot garnished with mint sprigs.