Sunday, 3 February 2013

Narkel diye Cholar Daal ( Chana Daal)

This sweet and ravishing Bengali daal is a candidate for any special occasions or during festivals in a Bengali Household. It has a royal air about it and definitely not a everyday dish. It pairs up best with fulko luchis or motorshutir kochuri, but is also taken along with rice and vegetable fritters. The mild heat from the fragrant dried red chillies, the subtle sweetness from the assorted dry fruits, the crunchiness of the ghee fried coconut and the alluring aroma of the ghee and freshly grounded garam masala weaves a magic that makes everyone succumb to its delectable taste.  I may as well put it this way that this is the King of all Daals. Have it once and you will never forget its lip licking taste.

My mother didn't like coconut in her dishes hence whenever she used to prepare cholar daal it would be the simpler version without dry fruits and coconut. But it would also taste super and go with any of the day to day vegetables sides like chorchori or ghonto. Specially cholar daal with badhakopir ghonto was one of my hot favorites. Now a days balancing work and home becomes so tedious that to make such a lavish daal meticulously you need much time at hand. Which is why I rarely make this one. Also Cholar daal is a heavy daal because of the big list of ingredients that go into the making of it, hence cant be consumed on a daily basis especially in this age of highly health conscious people. But once in a while indulgence is allowed and much needed too.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Cuisine: Bengali

  • Chan Daal - 250 gm
  • Ginger -  2 tsp
  • Hing Powder- 1 tsp
  • Corriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Jeera Powder - 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaf- 2
  • Dried Red Chilli - 2
  • Tomato - 1 medium sized
  • Fresh coconut - Palm sized piece
  • Cardamom - 4
  • Cinnamon stick - 1  "
  • Clove - 4
  • Kismis - 8-9 
  • Turmeric powder - a small pinch
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Sugar - 4 tsp 
  • Refined oil - 1/2 cup
  • Ghee - 4 tsp


1. Soak the Chana daal for an hour before cooking.

2. Grate the ginger and keep it in a small bowl. Add the coriander, jeera powder and 1 tsp water and mix well.

3.  Soak the hing powder in 1 tsp water and keep aside.

4. Chop the  fresh coconut into 1/2" pieces.

5. Heat 1 tsp ghee and fry the chopped coconut pieces till they turn a dark shade of brown. Take out the coconut pieces from ghee.

6. Pressure cook the chana daal and fried coconut pieces.

7Grind the cardamom, cinnamon stick and clove coarsely in a mortar pestle.

8. Heat oil and 2 tsp ghee in a deep bottomed pan. Add the Bay leaf, red chilli, jeera, grounded spices into the oil.

9. Chop the tomato finely into small pieces.

10. When the spices are fragrant add the chopped tomatoes.

Tomato adds to the beautiful yellow hue of the chana dal.

11. Add the ginger paste made in step 2.

12. Cook till the tomato is all mushy and oil separates. 

13. Add the hing mix made in step 3. 

14. Add the Kismis into the wok. Add the pressure cooked chana daal into the wok. Add turmeric powder.

15. Adjust the salt and sugar. This daal is supposed to be more on the sweeter side so adjust the sugar accordingly. 

16. Stir well and let it cook till done.

17. Add 1 tsp of ghee and sprinkle 1 tsp of garam masala powder uniformly over the boiling dal. Stir well. Cover and remove from the heat. 

Serve it with rice with Brinjal or potato fritters as sides.


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