Last week, I was taking a lazy stroll in youtube when I came across this recipe of chana dal. I have had chana dal before, as a kid, but it was something I hadn’t thought about making it myself. I realized I haven’t been experimenting with different types of lentils. As we get comfortable with our routines, we tend to forget about our options or to try something new.
This dal is a tradiional receipe from Bengal and is quite flavourlful and has a very unique taste since we add coconut and sugar(yes, sugar!).I did not soak the dal and I cooked it over stove top. Cooking it using pressure cooker will save time, but i prefer cooking it in a saucepan when I have time to spare.
The recipe is simple and is similar to making any other lentils except for tadka(tempering).I prefer tempering it twice. First I temper it with all whole spices and shredded coconut and then once the whole dish is done, I give it a second thadka with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies and hing.Why temper it twice? I give the first tempering when the dal is halfway cooked so that all of the whole spices cook along with lentils and the flavors the entire dish. I give secong thadka just before serving, so that the crispiness of red chili and fresh aroma of mustard seeds, cumin and hing along with chopped coriander leaves adds a fresh, lovely touch and to see ghee floating on your dal with mustard seeds are just simple pleasures of your day.The recipe asks for two teaspoons of sugar which you can reduce to half a teaspoon or avoid it. This dal was a great compliment along with chicken curry which was quiet spicy(but not hot) and rice.
Bengal gram – split chana dal recipe Serves 3 to 4
Bengal gram or chana dal – 400 grams
Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar – 2 teaspoons
Salt – to taste
Cardamon – 4 pods
Cloves – 3 to 4 nos.
Cinnamon stick – 2 inches roughly
Bay leaf – 1
Shredded coconut – 2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Dried chili – 3 nos.
Coriander leaves – Roughly chopped to garnish
1. Wash chana dal and put it in a saucepan. Add 800 ml of water or a little over until all the dal is soaked. Let it come to a boil, add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and sugar and salt.Close lid and let it boil.
2. Once dal is halfway cooked, about 20 mins in, make your first tadka, place a small pan on medium heat, add a teaspoon of ghee, once it is hot, add cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and shredded coconut. Fry until coconut turns soft brown and it to the cooking dal.
3.Lentils are done once they are soft to squeeze between your fingers, (about 45 mins in). Turn off heat and add coriander leaves. Make a second tadka with a teaspoon of ghee in a pan on medium high heat, once ghee is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies and hing. Add it immediately to the cooked dal and serve.