Nav Dhan Dal

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Nav Dhan dal is a creamy, and flavorful dal made with a combination of nine different beans and lentils and aromatic Indian spices!! Serve this healthy, and nutritious dal with some jeera rice or laccha paratha for a complete power-packed meal.

 

nav dhan dal

 

NAV DHAN DAL

Dal is a staple in Indian homes. I grew up eating dal every single day. My mom used to make different types of dals. Moong dal, Tidali dal, chana dal, arhar dal, whole urad dal, sai bhaji, dal tadka, and makhani moong dal, are some of my favorite dal recipes.

Nutritious, flavorful, aromatic dal is served with some Tandoori roti, paratha, or phulka, some salad, and a tall glass of lassi (buttermilk). I like to serve some dry subji like bhindi fry, methi aloo, aloo tuk, or baingan fry along with dal.

Dal is made with lentils, like simple arhar dal, dal tadka, or sometimes a combination of lentils and beans, like Dal Makhani, or a combination of lentils and vegetables, like sai bhaji.

I love to include a variety of beans and lentils into my diet. I am pleasantly surprised with the flavors and the texture of this Nav Dhan Dal, that I decided to share this dal recipe on my blog.

If you have tried my Dal Makhani, also known as Madras Lentils, you will love this Nav Dhan dal. 

NAV DHAN DAL (CONTINUED)

Nav Dhan dal is made with a combination of 9 different beans and lentils. Kidney beans, moong whole, Kala chana, black-eye beans, red chori, muth, urad whole/black mapte, Val whole, and toor whole.

Nav Dhan dal is cooked in some onion-tomato gravy and some aromatic Indian spices. Simmered for some time for all the flavors and spices to blend in well. I like to keep my dal very light. I do not use any cream while making this dal. Dal when cooked right brings out the creamy texture since black whole urad dal (black lentils) when cooked adds to the creamy texture and taste of the dish. Feel free to add some cream and butter to suit your taste.

INGREDIENTS FOR NAV DHAN DAL

1 cup Nav Dhan mix, soaked overnight or a minimum of 6 hours

2 1/2 cups water

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

1/2 inch ginger, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 green chili, chopped; adjust to taste

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, as per taste

2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter (optional), For vegan, please refer to the recipe notes

2 tablespoons cream (optional), For vegan, please refer to the recipe notes

salt to taste

Dry spices:

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to taste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon amchur powder (optional)

a pinch of hing (asafetida)

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

(Optional) For Brown Rice:

1 cup brown rice, rinsed

1 1/3 cups water

salt to taste (optional)

1 teaspoon ghee or oil (optional)

For Garnish:

A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Pic Shown: Nav Dhan Dal (Mixed Lentils Dal)

 

nav dhan dal

 

HOW TO MAKE NAV DHAN DAL

I prefer to soak these overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours. Soaking the lentils and beans not only enhances the flavor and cut back on cooking time, but most importantly it also eliminates any impurities there may be in the lentils and/or beans.

SOAKING: Rinse the lentils and beans thoroughly and discard any stones, debris, bad beans, or lentils. Soak in ample water overnight or a minimum of 6 hours.
When beans and lentils re-hydrate they almost double in size. I soak one cup of lentils and beans in 3 cups of water, thus making sure there is enough water for the beans and lentils to re-hydrate.

NO-SOAKING: There are times when I forget to soak the lentils and beans and still what to make dal for dinner. How do I do it? Yes, you can still easily cook this dal.

The instant pot comes to my rescue. I pressure cook the lentils longer for a creamier dal. The recipe card includes details on no-soak Nav Dhan dal.

INSTANT POT NAV DHAN DAL

Turn ON sauté (more). When it displayed “HOT”, add oil, cumin seeds, and asafetida.

Add onions, and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add tomatoes, ginger, green chili, and tomato paste (optional).

Dry spices – coriander powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Optional: You can add half a tablespoon of tomato paste. Tomato paste gives a nice color to this dal.

Add drained and rinsed lentils and beans, and water. Mix well. Turn OFF sauté.

Optional: Place a trivet. In an insert (bowl) add all the ingredients for brown rice and place the insert on the trivet. Close lid, vent sealed.

Turn ON the PRESSURE COOK (high) for 40 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Open the lid.

(Optional) Using tongs, carefully remove the bowl of brown rice and the trivet.

Turn ON sauté (more). Add garam masala, lemon juice, and butter (optional). If required add more water to adjust the consistency.

Note: For vegan, use vegan butter.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking to the bottom.

Turn OFF sauté. Add cream (optional). Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve. Enjoy!!

Note: Cream is optional. I do not add any cream to my dal. If you chose to add cream, add it once the Instant Pot is completely turned off.

Note: For vegan, substitute cream with coconut cream or cashew paste. Soak 8-10 cashews in warm water for cashew paste for 30 minutes. Grind to a paste, and add it at the end.

Pic Shown: Nav Dhan Dal

 

nav dhan dal

 

NAV DHAN DAL WITH BROWN RICE USING PIP (POT-IN-POT)

I love this concept of pot-in-pot cooking. Getting an entire meal done in just one pot. How cool it is?? However, it is important to understand how the pot-in-pot method works.

So basically, pot-in-pot cooking means, that multiple things can be cooked at the same time in the main pot (Instant Pot) using multiple, smaller pots or inserts that easily fit into the main pot.

For pot-in-pot cooking, I use the following stackable egg trivet (just the tall trivet). It’s dual purpose you can use this for pot-in-pot cooking as well as for cooking eggs in Instant Pot. I also use stainless steel inserts or pots that easily fit into 5 quarts or larger Instant Pot.

Food that has a similar cooking time can be cooked using this method. For example, dal makhani, it takes 30 minutes for dal to cook on Bean/Chili mode. Brown rice takes about 22-25 minutes of cooking. So, dal and brown rice can be cooked together using the pot-in-pot method.

Similarly, you can also cook Rajma Masala (kidney beans curry) or Dal Makhani, and brown rice using the pot-in-pot method.

STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER NAV DHAN DAL

Follow the same recipe as discussed earlier. After the first whistle, reduce the heat and pressure cook for 40 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release. The rest of the recipe is the same as Instant Pot.

Pic Shown: Nav Dhan Dal

 

nav dhan dal

 

TIPS FOR DELICIOUS NAV DHAN DAL

I prefer to soak lentils and beans before cooking. I think it not only reduces the cooking time but also enhances the flavor of this dish. You can soak the lentils and beans overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours, as discussed earlier in the post.

The cream is optional. Heavy or light cream may be used. If you chose to add cream, add the cream once the heat is completely turned OFF. Note: I have not used any cream in this recipe.

Butter is optional, you can add more or skip it completely. You can use ghee instead of butter it will still taste great.

Nav Dhan Dal thickens over some time. Add water to adjust the consistency of the dal.

Tomato paste is optional. It gives dal a very nice red color, just like a restaurant one. You can also use Kashmiri red chili powder for the red color in the dal.

Garam masala powder adds a nice aromatic flavor to this dal. Some recipes also use whole garam masala.

I think this dal tastes even better the next day, as all the flavors incorporate well into the dal.

I normally make twice the recipe and freeze it for later use. This makes an excellent make-ahead dish for any occasion.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHERE TO BUY THE NAV DHAN MIX

Nav Dhan mix is available in most Asian or Indian grocery stores. I used the Swad Nav Dhan (9 bean mix) pack for this recipe.

I CAN’T FIND THE NAV DHAN MIX

Nav Dhan mix is made with a combination of 9 different beans and lentils. Kidney beans, moong whole, Kala chana, black-eye beans, red chori, muth, urad whole/black mapte, Val whole, and toor whole.

You can make the mix at home by using the above mentioned beans and lentils. Take approximately 2 tablespoons each of beans and lentils, to make Nav Dhan mix. 

HOW TO MAKE NAV DHAN DAL VEGAN

For vegan dal you can use the following substitute for butter and cream:

Skip the butter and add your choice of plant-based oil or vegan butter.

Instead of cream, you can use coconut cream or cashew paste for the creamy texture.

Soak 8-10 cashews in warm water for cashew paste for 30 minutes. Grind to a smooth paste. Add this cashew paste at the end.

HOW TO SERVE NAV DHAN DAL

I like to serve Nav Dhan dal with some Indian flatbread such as tandoori roti, paratha, or naan. But this dal goes well with steamed Basmati white rice or brown rice as well.

I like to serve some dry subji along with this dal. My family loves bhindi, baingan fry, methi aloo, or aloo tuk with this dal. Some lemon wedge and onion salad on the side. Lastly, a glass of lassi or buttermilk.

HOW TO STORE NAV DHAN DAL

Dal stays fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. This dal thickens over some time. Add some water to adjust the consistency of the dal.

Dal freezes well too. Skip the cream if freezing the dal. Freeze the dal in a freezer-safe container. Dal stays good for up to a month in the freezer. Defrost the dal in

the refrigerator overnight. Reheat and serve. If desired add some cream before serving.

Pic Shown: Nav Dhan Dal

 

nav dhan dal

 

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nav dhan dal

Nav Dhan Dal

Jyoti Behrani
Nav Dhan dal is a creamy, and flavorful dal made with a combination of nine different beans and lentils and aromatic Indian spices!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Nav Dhan mix, soaked overnight or a minimum of 6 hours
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 green chili, chopped; adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, as per taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional); For vegan, please refer to the recipe notes
  • 2 tablespoons cream (optional); For vegan, please refer to the recipe notes
  • salt to taste

Dry Spices:

(Optional) For Brown Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • salt to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil (optional)

For Garnish:

  • A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions
 

PREP FOR NAV DHAN DAL

  • Rinse and soak, Nav Dhan mix overnight or a minimum of 6 hours. After 6 hours, drain and rinse the dal, and keep it aside.
    Note: For the no-soak option, refer to the recipe notes.
  • Chop onions, tomatoes, green chili, ginger, and garlic.

INSTANT POT NAV DHAN DAL

  • Turn ON sauté (more). When it displayed “HOT”, add oil, cumin seeds, and asafetida.
  • Add onions, and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, ginger, green chili, and tomato paste (optional).
  • Dry spices – coriander powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add drained and rinsed lentils and beans, and water. Mix well. Turn OFF sauté.
  • Optional: Place a trivet. In an insert (bowl) add all the ingredients for brown rice and place the insert on the trivet. Close lid, vent sealed.
  • Turn ON the PRESSURE COOK (high) for 40 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Open the lid.
  • (Optional) Using tongs, carefully remove the bowl of brown rice and the trivet.
  • Turn ON sauté (more). Add garam masala, lemon juice, and butter (optional). If required add more water to adjust the consistency.
    Note: For vegan, use vegan butter.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking to the bottom.
  • Turn OFF sauté. Add cream (optional). Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve. Enjoy!!
    Note: Add cream once the Instant Pot is completely turned off.
    Note: For vegan, substitute cream with coconut cream or cashew paste.

STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER NAV DHAN DAL

  • Follow the same recipe as discussed earlier. After the first whistle, reduce the heat and pressure cook for 40 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
    The rest of the recipe is the same as Instant Pot.

Notes

  1. For the no-soak option: Add rinsed lentils and beans, along with 3.5 cups of water, and PRESSURE COOK (high) for 60 minutes. The rest of the recipe is the same.
  2. How To Make Dal Vegan - skip the butter and cream in the recipe. You can use your choice of plant-based oil or vegan butter. For cream substitute coconut cream or cashew paste. Soak 8-10 cashews in warm water for cashew paste for 30 minutes. Grind to a paste, and add it at the end.
  3. The dal does thicken over some time. Add some water to adjust the consistency.
  4. Tomato paste is optional. It gives dal a nice red color.
  5. For brown rice, we like the rice well done. Ratio 1:1.25, rice: water can be used.
  6. Please refer to the post earlier for the following:
    • Tips For Delicious Nav Dhan Dal
    • Frequently Asked Questions
Keyword 9 beans and lentils, beans, beans and lentils, daal, dal, indian dal recipe, mixed lentils, nav dhan, nav dhan 9 bean mix recipe, nav dhan dal, nav dhan dal recipe, nav dhan recipe

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nav dhan dal

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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