Whole black gram is a mainstay in Indian cooking. In North India, it is referred to as the queen of all dals. When cooked over a low fire, these beautiful black and rich legumes cook down into a rich and hearty dal. Add cream and butter to make Dal Makhani, a staple dish in many Indian restaurants.
Before you cook with any legume, especially these, sort through them and remove any debris. Cook these longer and with more water than other beans and lentils for best results. They cook extremely well in a slow cooker.
Bring one cup of black gram (no need to soak) and 11 cups of water to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour. Add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and red chile powders to taste (about 1 teaspoon each), chopped onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and salt for a wonderfully aromatic soup. Add cream and butter to taste. Serve over rice or quinoa.