Feb 28, 2015

Dal Makhani

I am dedicating this post to my new friend, Janardhan Srinivasan. He’s a cardiologist whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a medical convention here in western North Carolina, called Plant-based Prevention of Disease. Part of a handful of medical doctors who are now armed with the truth about the power of nutritional excellence and its vital role in the prevention of heart disease, Dr. Srinivasan is a true pioneer in his field. Thank you, Janardhan, for all that you do!

The reason for my dedication today is because a couple of days ago, I had a phone call with disturbing news. A dear friend of the family had a heart attack. When I heard this I fell into despair. KNOWING that heart disease is preventable AND reversible, it saddens me when a loved one falls prey to this insipid, diet-related tragedy. But, of course, “everyone knows” that this is “normal”… “it runs in the family”… and “it’s just a product of aging.” New science proves that these adages are nonsense. Dietary choices run in the family! Aging does NOT have to hold hands with chronic disease. But, alas, people are addicted to their foods of choice and continue eating artery-clogging animal products. It is their choice after all. And they have that right. HOWEVER, they also have the right of an informed choice. And, sadly, there are too many people who are simply uninformed!

Ultimately I will press forward with this blog’s health-promoting recipes, nutritional articles, my upcoming cookbooks and my own continuing education in the field of nutrition in the hopes that I can help to prevent even ONE more heart attack by sharing my knowledge and delicious, nutrient-rich food creations.

So sorry for the ranting today. I just needed to share with you and THANK YOU for visiting my blog and for taking responsibility for your own health and the health of our planet by the food choices you make. You are creating a difference and an awareness. You rock!

Here is this comforting, popular Punjabi recipe. Traditionally made with ghee and heavy cream, this recipe offers of all the taste with none of those health-stealing ingredients…


  • 1 cup split black lentils (known as urad dal—find online here or at Indian markets where it is a lot cheaper!)
  • 1½ cups cooked kidney beans (or one 15-oz. can, salt-free)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (or one can diced tomato, salt-free)
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 TBS grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 cup raw cashews + 1½ cups water


  1. Rinse the dal and soak overnight. Rinse again until the water runs clear and cook until tender. I used a pressure cooker. This legume takes a LONG time to cook so if you have a pressure cooker, this is the best way to go. Use 2 cups of water and follow your cooker’s instructions, using the maximum time allotted for beans. If cooking on the stovetop, use 4 cups water and simmer, covered, until tender. Be prepared to cook for 3 hours or more. Add more water as needed while cooking.
  2. Combine the cooked dal with the remaining ingredients, except the cashews, and simmer for 30 minutes to one hour. Alternately, you can use a slow cooker for the final cooking, which is a great way to get a really creamy result.
  3. Blend the cashews and water until smooth. Add to the dal and stir well to combine.
  4. Garnish with some additional chopped cilantro and a drizzle of cashew milk.

Serve 6. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

7 responses to “Dal Makhani”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry to hear of your friend's passing. Oh, Helyn, I hope you know that you have already saved lives with this blog. My husband's total cholesterol has dropped from 263 to 143 without any medication in a large part because of the joy you have brought to our kitchen. His LDL dropped from the 175 to 86. Your blog has been our bridge from life saving nutritional science to pure pleasure. Thank you!

  2. Helyn says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words. It means the world to me to help others!!! 🙂

  3. Helyn says:

    Oh, and our friend did not die. They put 4 stents in his arteries. So sad 🙁

  4. Anonymous says:

    This sounds so good! I like to use Urad beans in my meatless tacos…they really have a meaty type texture.


  5. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Suzanne! Wow, what a great idea to use these beans in tacos! Let me know if you'd like to share that recipe!! 🙂

  6. shawna says:

    Hi Helyn

    Do you think I can use urad dal without the skin? I have some organic ones on my shelf I have been waiting to use when I found a recipe. Thanks.

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