Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chana Dal (Chholar Dal)

Chana Dal has always been my mom's specialty dish. I still remember the taste of her aromatic chana Dal (Chholar Dal in bengali), topped with fried coconut pieces and roasted garam masala! Whenever I make Chholar Dal or Chana Dal, I go through the memory lane, how I would sit on the kitchen slab and chat with her and she would chat with me while cooking the Dal and multitasking at the same time. It would always be delicious and though what I make nowadays is a pretty decent one, but it is never the same as hers. She was a magician, I have always believed that!. But, here is the one that I cook and as I said before, it is definitely worth a try:)

Chholar Dal (Chana Dal)

3 Cups of Chana Dal
1 Tsp of Turmeric (Haldi)
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder(Lal Mirch)
1 Bay Leaf(Tejpatta)
2 Cardamoms, 1 Cinnamon, 5-6 Cloves (Crushed into tiny pieces)
2 Tbsp of coconut slices (Optional)
2 Tsp of Sugar
1 Tsp of Cumin Seeds

Wash the Chana Dal in flowing water 2 or 3 times and put it in a pressure cooker. Let the whistle blow for 8 to 9 times. Put off the gas and let the Dal to cool down.

Once the Dal is cooled, take a heavy bottom utensil and put the ghee (or oil). Let the ghee get warm. Add the Bay leaf, Cumin seeds, Crushed Garam Masala (Cardamom, Clove and Cinnamon) and stir for 1 min. Add the Turmeric powder and coconut pieces/slices. Now, pour the Chana Dal and let it simmer for 5-6 mins. Add Salt and sugar and Red chilli powder. Let it boil for 7-8mins. Put off the gas. Pour the Dal in the utensil in which you want to serve. You can serve this is Pooris or fragrant Pulao as accompaniments.

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