Thursday, 3 October 2013

Cholar Daal

Cholar daal (or chana daal) is a common dish served in most bengali households and mine is no different. While I always go in for a very simple version, sans the traditional ingredients, which makes it taste like any other daal I make on a regular basis, today since I had a little time at hand and also all the ingredients I decided to go for the traditional recipe with some minor tweaks.

1 cup chana daal
1/3 cup toor daal (this is my mother's variation of the original recipe which was passed on to her by her mom)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp desiccated/grated coconut  
1 each of bay leaf, cinnamon, and cardamom
2 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp ghee
Salt to taste

Wash and soak the daal for about an hour. Later, pressure cook the daal with salt, turmeric powder, sugar, and bay leaf for 3-4 whistles. Remove from heat and let it cool.
In another pan, add the ghee, dry red chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent. Next, add the desiccated coconut and fry till the oil from the coconut starts separating. Tip in the grated ginger and fry for few more minutes. Add the chilli and garam masala powder and fry everything well. Lastly, add the boiled daal. With the back of the spatula, press down on the daal gently so that a part of it gets mashed and gives it a thick consistency. You do not need to mash the daal completely. Check for seasoning and let it simmer for few more minutes. Serve hot with puri, parantha, pulao, or just plain rice.

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