– Whole urad dal – Dried kidney beans – Baking soda – Grapeseed oil – Cinnamon stick – Green cardamom pods – Whole cloves – Bay leaf – Cumin seeds – Red onion – Ginger – Garlic cloves – Tomato paste – Nutmeg – Coriander – Indian red chile powder – Kosher salt – Black pepper – Tomatoes
Start by rinsing the dried whole urad dal and kidney beans several times, scrubbing them as you go.
Add to a large bowl, cover with water, and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Soak 8 hours, or overnight. Drain the pulses and rinse several times until the water runs clear.
Drain the pulses, reserving the cooking liquid. Measure out the cooking liquid and add enough water to make 3 1/2 to 4 cups. Roughly mash the pulses. Heat a deep sauté pan with a bit of oil. Once hot, add the whole spices.
Stir in the ground spices (coriander, nutmeg, Indian red chile powder), salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook down for 60-90 seconds, stirring frequently. Add the diced tomatoes (and their juices). Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Pour in the bean liquid/water, mashed pulses, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a gentle simmer and simmer for 70 to 90 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If it starts to dry up, add freshly boiled water from a kettle.
This is what it looked like after 80 minutes. Once the dal is quite thick, add the coconut milk or cashew cream. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking
Stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice, and taste for seasonings, adding salt as needed. Fish out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Make the tadka. Heat the vegan butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once melted and frothy, crush the kasoori methi with your hands into the dal, and add the garam masala and Indian red chile powder.