Last weekend we went to watch a movie. The movie was a must-watch, and little DD enjoyed it thoroughly along with her caramel popcorn accompanied with some ice peach tea. When we were out from the movie theater, it was already dinner time. So instead of going back home and slogging in the kitchen, I thought of taking a break and decided to eat dinner outside. DD and DH become hardcore carnivores when they are dining outside!! And DH was in a mood to enjoy a warm bowl of Nihari! So we thought of checking into a Pakistani restaurant which was just a few blocks down the lane outside the cinemas. While DH ordered his Nihari with Butter naan, I kept pondering on what to order. Finally after much speculation I zeroed down to this item on their menu – Keema Chana Dal. Minced mutton with chana dal was actually a new dish for me…..as I had eaten keema aloo, keema matar but one with lentils?…..not yet!!. So I thought I would give it a try. And oh man!! It was indeed so delicious!! The addition of chana dal into keema gave richness to the curry and made every bite so yummy. It was simple satisfying and packed with proteins.
So good that few days after we came back home, I started craving for it like a baby!! And I decided to remake the dish at home – my version – with limited use of oil which makes it much more healthy. I would not say that this dish would top the health charts when it come to nutrition, but hey, it is OK to pamper yourself at times! Right? I am sure you would agree on that one! 🙂
Minced mutton – 1/2kg
Chana Dal / Split Bengal Gram – 1/2 cup (washed & soaked for 15 mins)
Bay leaves – 2-3
Whole black peppercorns – 5-6
Cloves – 4-6
Onions – 1 large thinly sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 big tbsp
Greek yogurt – 3-4 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 3-4 slit
Salt – as per taste
Take oil in a pressure cooker. Once the oil is hot, add the whole garam masala – bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Stir for a few seconds. Then add the sliced onions. When the onions turn golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste. Fry up for around 1-2 mins till the raw smell of ginger-garlic is no more.
Then put the minced mutton into the pressure cooker. Fry the mince for a few mins. Put in all the spice powders, except garam masala. Keep frying until the mince is well fried, masala is well cooked and you can see oil separating out.
Now add in the yogurt. Mix again and keep stirring the masala until you see oil separating out. Then add the chana dal with 1 cup of water. The amount of water can be varied according to the consistency you want but don’t add too much water in the beginning or else the gravy might turn out watery. Add green chillies, garam masala powder, chopped coriander leaves. Mix it up.
Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked. The dal has to be cooked through, but it still needs to hold its texture. At last, add salt according to taste.
P.S> Do not add salt in the beginning else lentils will take longer time to cook.
Enjoy with rice or home made rotis / parathas.