Vikas@Home: Sultani Dal

'Yahoo brings Vikas @ Home' is a brand new 52-week video series from Yahoo Lifestyle Cuisine. Every week, Masterchef Vikas Khanna will bring you one dish that has made a difference in his life; as he shares the recipe, he will also share his experiences and stories behind that recipe. Stay tuned for an exciting 52-week journey with Chef Vikas.


The simple, humble dal reaches a new level of greatness, as Chef Vikas discovers in this episode. Trust us, no other recipe can surpass this one. Try it out!


1 cup split pigeon pea lentils, washed & soaked for 30 minutes

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Salt to taste

½ cup yogurt

½ cup cream

½ cup whole milk

4 fresh betel nut 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


1.    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.

2.    Meanwhile, combine yogurt with cream and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk till smooth. Keep aside.

3.    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.

4.    Place the charcoal on a wire rack and place over a high flame till red hot.

5.    Transfer the strained (or blended) lentils to a clean saucepan and place betel leaves on the surface.

6.    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.

7.    Combine cloves with cardamom pods in a mortar pestle and crush coarsely. Add to the lentils.

8.    Add saffron with yogurt-cream-milk mixture and whisk well.

9.    Add green chilli and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

10.    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.

11.    Mix gently and serve hot garnished with mint sprigs.

Don't go anywhere just yet. Take a look at why Chef Vikas Khanna chose this recipe for this series in a snippet we call, Beyond The Recipe. Click on the video to watch.

Make this dish at home and let us know how it turned out. Do keep in touch with us by sending in your comments/feedback in the comments space below. See you next week!

Yahoo presents Vikas@Home is a brand new 52-week series hosted by International Masterchef Vikas Khanna. Stayed tuned for latest episodes, every Wednesday at 11 am, only on Yahoo India Lifestyle Cuisine



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