Kanika and I met a year ago and we hit it off instantly! Kanika and I have a lot in common – we enjoy partying, eating out, wine-tasting (after a few bottles, I guess its also called drinking), shopping and… shopping 😀 .  She has been my most ardent supporter on SC.com with her constructive feedback and constant encouragement. I admire Kanika for her great sense of fashion and also her amazing cooking! Here take a bite…

I have always valued the importance of friends and cherish each and every moment I get to spend with them. They are a great asset in my life. To come to a new country and find a friend like Vasanti, gave me a feeling of satisfaction and joy. Almost 1 ½ years of our friendship have gone by and seems like I have known her for ages. It’s a pleasure to have Vasanti in my list of special friends.

My journey to real cooking began when I got married and moved to the U.S. I did know the basics of cooking but always had the craving to learn more. Because of this love for food and fondness for cooking, I would call my mother, mother-in-law or sister to share their recipes with me so that I could win my dear husband’s heart – “The way to a man’s heart is blah blah blah”; I am sure you all would have heard of the phrase. But, this craving for unique recipes continued, until I found this link to a blog called ‘Signature Concoctions’ in my mail box from Vasanti. This came to me as a pleasant surprise and since then, Signature Concoctions and moms have been a great inspiration behind all the cooking skills I have now.

So, in order to commemorate this wonderful relationship, I have been invited to share my own concoction with all the food lovers and especially with the lovers of Signature Concoctions.

My recipe of Dal Makhani may not beat the most famous one that is served at Bukhara (a restaurant in ITC Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi) but am sure it’ll be a lip-smacking dish for all you out there!

Wish You All A Happy Friendship Day!


Dal Makhani


Serves 3-4

1 cup Whole black gram (sabut urad dal)

½ cup Red kidney beans (rajma)

1/3 cup Chana Dal

Salt to taste

2 inches Ginger, chopped

3 tbsp Butter or 1/4 cup light cream

3-4 tbsp Oil

4-5 large cloves Garlic, chopped

1 ½ Large Onion, thinly sliced

3 Green chilies slit or chopped

2 medium size Tomatoes, chopped (if using along with tomato puree then 1 large tomato is enough)

½ cup Tomato Puree (optional, to give rich color to Dal Makhani)

4 tsp Garam masala powder

4 tsp Coriander Powder

2-3 tsp Red chili powder

Pinch of Asofoetida (Hing)

Cilantro, chopped, for garnishing

Wash and soak sabut urad and rajma overnight in three cups of water. Drain.


Pressure cook sabut urad and rajma in fresh five cups of water with salt, sliced onions, chopped ginger, chopped garlic & green chillies for three whistles. Open the lid and see if the rajma is totally soft. If not, cook on low heat till the rajma becomes totally soft.

Heat oil in a pan or kadhai. Add hing, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Saute on high heat till the oil separates out and the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp. Add garam masala, coriander powder and red chilly powder. Mix well for another 5-10 mins

Add this tomato puree to the cooked dal and rajma. Add some water if the mixture is too thick. Adjust salt according to taste. Simmer on low heat till the dals are totally soft and well blended for about ½ hr and keep stirring it occasionally. Add light cream or yellow Amul Butter and mix well.

Garnish it with chopped cilantro and a dollop of butter.

Serve hot with tandoori rotis or steamed rice.

Chicken Haldi Waala

chicken haldiwala

2 lbs Chicken (whole bone-in, drumsticks, boneless or thighs)

Salt to taste

2 inches Ginger, chopped

5 large cloves Garlic, chopped

2 -3 Green chilies chopped

3-4 tbsp Oil

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

2 Large Tomatoes

3 tsp Garam masala powder

4 tsp Coriander Powder

2-3 tsp Red chili powder

2 small Black cardamoms

2-3 small sticks of Cinnamon

2-3 cloves

2 Green cardamoms

2-3 Bay Leaves

1 tbsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)

2 tbsp Turmeric Powder, for the marinade

Cilantro, chopped, for garnishing

Clean & prick the chicken pieces with the help of fork and marinate with Haldi (Turmeric Powder). Keep it aside for 30 mins.

Heat oil in a kadhai. Add jeera, black & green cardamom, bay leaves, cloves. When jeera starts to splutter add ginger, garlic and green chilies.

Immediately after garlic changes its colour add sliced onions to it. Saute on high heat until dark brown. Now, add chopped tomatoes and sauté well until it becomes somewhat like a paste.

When the oil separates out from the mixture, add red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well. Add the marinated chicken to this paste and mix well. Cover it with a lid and mix occasionally till it blends well and the chicken is tender enough.

Garnish with chopped coriander and enjoy it with Garma Garam (Hot) rotis!

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4 thoughts on “lip-smacking dishes – by Kanika

  1. hey kanika,
    your recipe rocked!
    i made it for dad’s 60th birthday yesterday. dal makhani is his favorite dish and i wanted to make it especially for him. of course, my go-to recipe was your’s and it worked like a charm! the dal was so rich, creamy and very very tasty with the masala. most importantly the birthday boy i.e. dad loved it!

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