This vegan dal makhani is made with black lentils, kidney beans and spices in a creamy coconut tomato sauce. A delicious and comforting Indian-inspired curry that you'd never guess was dairy-free!
Place the lentils and kidney beans into a large pot or bowl and cover them with a few inches of water. Soak them for 4 to 12 hours.
When the lentils and beans are done soaking, drain them and place them into a large pot. Cover them with water and place the pot over high heat.
Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and boil the lentils and beans until they're soft, 60 to 70 minutes.
Drain the beans and lentils into a colander when they're done boiling.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion.
Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft and translucent.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds. Sauté everything for about 1 minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
Stir in the cooked lentils and kidney beans, along with the tomato puree, water, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and sugar.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Add a bit more water if it becomes too thick while cooking. As the beans and lentils become very soft, mash some of them up with a fork or the back of a spoon.
Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the coconut cream and salt. Taste-test the dal and add more salt to taste.
Serve topped with additional coconut cream, if desired, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.