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The maash dal (urad dal) or the black beans were a relatively late addition to the dastarkhwan of Lucknow. But when they were introduction in this region, around the late nineteenth century, the preparation that the housewives dashed out were myriad. Mostly considered home fare, this dal is prepared whole with the skin or without it, which is called the dhuli (washed) mash ki dal. The word ‘khasgi’ is suggestive of the rich ingredients such as cream used to give it a ‘special’ flavour, to be served as a part of the ‘Khasa’.



Washed urad dal                   ½ kg

Milk                                        ½ litre

Curd                                        250 gms

Cream or balai                125 gms

Onions (medium sized)   2

Coriander powder                        2 tsp

Chilli powder                          ½ tsp

Ginger                                     1” piece 


Black peppercorns                1 tsp

Cinnamon                               1 stick

Cloves                                     5

Cardamoms                            5


Mint leaves                            2-3 sprigs

Pure ghee                               25 gms

Saffron                                    1 tsp

Green chillies                         2

Salt                                          to taste


Pick, wash and soak the dal for 15 minutes. Finely slice the onions. Grind the ingredients under masala A to a fine paste. Finely chop the ginger, green chillies and mint leaves. Heat the ghee and fry the sliced onions till crisp and golden. Remove and keep aside for the garnish. In the same ghee add the dal, chilli and coriander powder and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add milk, cream, salt, masala A and approx. 2 cups of water or sufficient to cook the dal. . The dal should be covered and cooked in a patili or deep vessel, on a slow flame till it is done. The quantity of water can be increased if the grains are not cooked properly. When the dal is done there should be no surplus moisture and each grain should appear separate. Remove from the flame. Sieve the curd through muslin and pour evenly on the cooked dal. Put the vessel on a slow flame and tilt it gently from side to side so as to blend the curd with the dal. Do not stir with the spoon. Now dissolve the saffron in a tbsp of hot milk and sprinkle on the dal. Again blend by rotating the utensil but not stirring. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes and then serve hot garnished with the chopped ginger, chillies, mint leaves, topped with the crisp fried onions. Tastes delicious if served along with vegetables and chapattis or arbi naan.