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Can’t-Miss Cookbooks

Jan/06/2024 / by team-seema

 3 inspired books to inspire and elevate your home cooking


Pratibha Karan takes on a journey of dal discovery with her third book, The Book of Dals (Penguin Random House India). Organized regionally throughout India and beyond, Karan teaches about the diverse array of dals from and offers locally influenced (and delicious) dal-based dishes. While the book includes recipes like lentils in coconut milk, dals are the star, which Karan posits are an integral part of Indian cuisine.

Try one of Seema’s favorite dal recipes:

Dal Bukhara At Home

Dal Bukhara is rich and creamy, it is also surprisingly easy to make, despite it only using minimum ingredients and playing on the fact that less is more. Slow cooking over a prolonged time is one of the reasons this dal turns out so creamy. 


  • 1.5 cups of whole urad dal (or black gram dal)
  • 250 g tomatoes or three large tomatoes
  • 1 inch of ginger 
  •  4 garlic cloves 

Note: The garlic and the ginger must be finely crushed using a mortar and pestle) 

  • ½ garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (kashmiri)
  • 100g butter 
  • 4 tablespoons of whipping cream or 8 tablespoons low fat cream
  • 4 cups of water (water in which the lentils had cooked)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of water 
  • Ginger (garnish optional) in julienne
  • Butter or cream (garnish optional)
  • Salt to taste

Serving suggestions: Serve your dal bukhara with jeera rice, flat bread, or roti.


Soak the lentils overnight in water.  Drain the soaked lentil water and add into a pressure cooker. Cook the lentils for around 20 minutes. 

Use a blender to make a tomato puree, using the tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. After allowing the pressure cooker to settle, open the lid. 

Next, add the tomato paste that you made in the blender to the pressure cooker mix of dal. Now add the salt, chili powder, butter, and cream and 1 cup of water. 

Mix well and allow the mixture to cook over low heat in the pressure cooker without the lid (for about an hour)

Stir the mixture continuously, preventing it from sticking to the base and sides. Allow the lentils to cook until it thickens and once it’s thicker, add salt and chili as needed to taste.

Add garam masala (if you don’t have, you can leave this out). Dot the lentils with butter. Add the ginger to garnish.

Go Maya!Maya Kaimal is a not just a chef or an author or an entrepreneur. She is a force. With her popular line of simmer sauces sold in grocery stores from tikka masala to spicy vindaloo, Kaimal’s brand continues to expand. Last month, her cookbook, Indian Flavor Every Day, was included in the New York Times roundup of the best cookbooks of 2023, lauded its creative use of Indian-inspired ingredients to create cross-cuisine meals and desserts. Her recipes are designed to be tasty and accessible, to give even those with limited experience the confidence to delve into Indian cuisine.

[BOX] Chef’s Pantry: Kaimal says you can make just about anything in her new cookbook if you stock your pantry with eight spices, including black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, and turmeric.

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