Cholar Dal (Bengali style chana dal)


 

Cholar dal is a popular Bengali dal usually prepared on special occasions. This delicious dish is made with Bengal gram, whole spices and coconut, and is on the sweeter side. The aroma from whole spices and the texture from coconut makes it very unique. Cholar dal is a great accompaniment with luchi (Bengali deep fried  puffed bread).

This simple dal full of flavours is perfect for a weekend brunch. Here is how I make Cholar dal. Do try it and let me know how you like it.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Bengal gram or chana dal – 1 cup
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Coconut – 1/4 cup, sliced into small pieces
Cinnamon – 1 small stick
Cardamom – 1-2
Cloves – 1-2
Dry red chilli – 2
Bay leaf – 1-2
Ginger – ½ inch piece, grated or ½ tsp ginger paste
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 2 tsp
Asafoetida or hing – a generous pinch
Salt to taste
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Raisins – a handful

Method:

  1. Soak the chana dal in sufficient water for 1 hour
  2. Rinse thoroughly and boil it in sufficient water along with cardamom, clove, 1 tsp turmeric and salt. Make sure the dal is cooked, but is not mushy and holds its shape
  3. Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan or kadhai. Add the coconut slices and gently fry them until golden. Set aside
  4. In the same pan, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, dry red chilli and fry for a few seconds
  5. Add ginger and hing and saute for a minute
  6. Add the cooked dal, 1 tsp turmeric powder, sugar and raisins. Add water and adjust consistency
  7. Once the dal boils, let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. Check for seasoning and adjust
  8. Add the fried coconut pieces and mix well. Turn off the flame
  9. Serve hot with luchi

Notes:

  • This dal has a sweet taste. You may reduce the sugar if you don’t prefer the sweetness

 

Boil chana dal with spices, turmeric and salt

Boil chana dal with spices, turmeric and salt

 

Heat ghee and prepare the tempering

Heat ghee and prepare the tempering

 

Add cooked dal, raisins, turmeric and sugar

Add cooked dal, raisins, turmeric and sugar

 

Add water and adjust consistency

Add water and adjust consistency

 

Simmer until dal thickens, then add fried coconut pieces

Simmer until dal thickens, then add fried coconut pieces

 

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