Dal Makhani 

This is a rich, creamy dal from northern India’s Punjab state. It’s my husband’s fave and having tried it for the first time while visiting India last month, it’s now my fave too! I’m working on perfecting a recipe that matches the complexity and richness of what I so enjoyed on our trip. This one comes close and I’ll continue refining, but here, I present my first attempt.

Dal Makhani

2 Tbls avocado oil

1 medium yellow onion chopped 

4 small cloves or 2 large garlic, finely chopped

1 generous Tbls fresh ginger

2 jalapeño pepper, seeds/membranes removed, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala 

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 pink Himalayan salt or sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 can (15 oz)  fire roasted tomatoes 

1 cup uncooked black caviar lentils

1 can (15 oz) white beans drained & blended  (cannalini or great northern)

1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and blended

 5 cups water

1 bay leaf

A squeeze of fresh lime

1 cup half & half

2 Tbls ghee

*Optional toppings:

Fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, Greek yogurt

*Serve with brown basmati saffron rice.

First, blend the beans separately using a food processor and set aside. 

Blend the white beans until smooth & creamy, add little water as needed 

Blend the kidney beans, pulsing to create a course texture add a splash of water as needed.

In a large pot or Dutch Oven, warm the oil and add onion, garlic, ginger & jalapeño, cook until softened, stirring occasionally for about 5 mins

Stir in the Garam Masala, cumin, coriander & salt then season generously with black pepper, cook for another minute or so.

Add the tomatoes with their juices, cook for another 1 min or so. Keep stirring and add the lentils, blended beans, water and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 35 mins.

Remove the bay leaf. Transfer 2 cups of the stew to food processor and blend until smooth, then transfer back to the pot, stirring to combine. 

Add the ghee and half & half, squeeze of lime, salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine, keep on low heat for another 3- 5 mins, time for the ghee to melt.

Ready, set, serve! 

Saffron Brown Basmati Rice is a nice combo with this Dal. 

Cook 1 cup Brown Basmati rice with 2 cups well salted water, add a few pinches of saffron and cook according to package instructions, or until water is absorbed completely.

More Heart Centered Deep Dive Recipes…

Featured here: homespun pita chips, dal makhani, beet purée, vegan-paleo cookies and hummus with spiced ground beef. Seth and I shared this lunch the day before our Heart Centered Deep Dive on Sunday, but because I didn’t take any pics of our lunch spread at the studio (oops), I hope this combo inspires. 

Heart Healthy Goodness


Almost homemade PITA CHIPS

Bake time: 15 mins. Temp: 350

1 package of store bought whole wheat pita bread 

About 1 Tbls olive oil a a few pinches of salt

Using a large bread knife, pierce an edge with tip of knife & while steadying the center of bread with fingertips, use the other hand to gently run the knife around the edges, circling all the way round to half the bread.

Once all pieces of bread are halved, stack them quarter them with four cuts so they become triangle shapes. Place the triangles on a lined baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil and bake for 10 mins, then switch to broil setting for the last 5 mins of cooking time. Sprinkle with salt the moment they come out of the oven.

Beet Purée Spread

inspired by the cookbook Jerusalem 

About 5 large beets, boiled & peeled

2 cloves garlic

1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

1 1/2 date syrup

3 Tbls olive oil

1 Tbls Za’atar

1/4 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

*Optional topping:

1 spring onion

A sprinkle of toasted, halved pistachios

A drizzle of date syrup 

A sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese

A sprinkle of salt

Salt the beet water and boil until beets fully cooked through and tender then let cool.

Place the cooked, peeled beets (tops and tails removed) into a food processor along with the garlic, and yogurt. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the chili powder, date syrup, olive oil and za’atar and a tsp salt.

Use as a sandwich spread, a dip or generously smear on a platter as a bed for your roasted vegetables.


1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight.

1 clove garlic

1/8 cup tahini (sesame paste)

3+Tbls olive 

1 tsp baking soda

5+ cups water

The juice of one fresh lemon

*Optional garnish ideas: chopped parley, drizzle of chili oil or olive oil, dash of paprika, or smoked paprika, sprinkle of chili flakes. The possibilities are endless…

Cook garbanzos in a large saucepan (I use a cast iron skillet). Submerge the beans completely in salted water. Add the baking soda and boil until the beans are very soft.

Once cooled, place the beans and a bit of the liquid, tahini, lemon juice & garlic in a food processor. Push play and as it whirling, add in the olive oil. The consistency should be very creamy, but add  more of the cooking liquid, (or water) if too thick. Add salt to taste, or add more lemon juice to taste. 

Enjoy with the pita chips above 🙂

**So, here’s something fun. What i did for lunch the other day for my family is, I added spiced ground beef atop a generous serving of hummus (see photo above). I got the idea from a restaurant in Capitol Hill called Aviv, which is delish!!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 lb ground organic beef

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried oregano 

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt 

2 Tbls fresh parlsley chopped

1-2 tsp Baharat  (here’s how to make baharat: mix 2 tsp each: smoked paprika & ground cumin, 1 tsp each: ground pepper & coriander, 1/2 tsp each: nutmeg & cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each: coriander & clove)

Here’s how you do it: sauteé the onion & garlic in a bit of olive oil. When onion becomes translucent, add the beef. Once the beef begins to brown, add all the dry spices and combine well. When beef is cooked, mix in the 

fresh parsley, sprinkle a bit of course salt to taste (i love using salt flakes-Maldon brand)

Then heap a generous scoop of beef atop a bed of hummus-YUM!

Enjoy with fresh pita, or just a spoon.

 Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Inspiration from detoxinista.com

Cooking time: 12-13 mins Temp: 350

1 1/2 pecan piece

13 Medjool dated, pitted & halved

6 Tbls cocoa powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

Egg replacement: 1 Tbls ground flax well mixed with 3 Tbls water 

1/4 and a little more, dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven & line your baking sheet. 

In the bowl of food processor, add the pecans and dates. Pulse to blend so the dates are well chopped and blended with the pecans (don’t over mix). Then add the cocoa, salt, baking soda, vanilla and binder (egg replacement mix). Then add the choc chips (you may do this by hand depending on how blended your mix has become)

Mold circles or rectangular shapes and place on baking sheet. You may need to wet your fingers a bit to prevent sticking. You can fit a lot of cookies on the the sheet as they don’t expand much. 

Once cooked (12-13 mins or until edges are firmed up)-allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a good 10 mins before you place on cookies on a cooling rack.

You can store these delicious nuggets in a sealed container in the fridge for freshness and to enjoy throughout the week. You can also freeze for several months.

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