Monday, May 16, 2011

Cholar Dal (Chana Dal in a Spicy Gravy spiked with Coconuts)

Oh the simple pleasures of life! To come back home after a particularly tiring day and happily gulping down hot dal n rice while simultaneously eyeballing a favourite show on TV - is BLISS ! Happily perched on the favourite corner, the eating experience gets a whole new meaning when the dal is  the very uber Chana Dal dunked in a spicy gravy with tiny pieces of coconut giving it the necessary crunch ! The whole spices lend an earthy texture to the dish instead of the garam masala and the slightly sweetish taste adds a zing to the otherwise spiced up dal ! This dish is a speciality of the Bengali cuisine and mostly prepared on special occassions or on festivals, though I don't see any reason why not to indulge in it any time you like !
Usually served with Luchis (which is nothing but the flaky Maida Puris) the combo is one rocking affair. I enjoyed the dal immensely with piping hot rice too

What goes :-
  • Chana Dal (Bengal gram/Split chickpea) - 175 gms
  • Onions - 2 - finely chopped
  • Ginger - a small piece - julienned
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - 1/2 to 1 tsp - to taste
  • Red chillis - 2 - to taste
  • Green chilli - 1- sliced diagonally and halved - to taste
  • Clarified Butter (ghee) - 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Whole Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom - 2 each
  • Fresh Coconut pieces - a fistful - finely diced
  • Water - enough to soak & pressure cook


Soak the lentils for 30 odd minutes. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder till it is done well but not too mushy ! 

In a pan add the ghee and after it warms, add the bay leaves, red chillis and the whole spices and saute for a few seconds.
Now add the ginger and the onions and saute till it turns a pretty shade of brown. Tip in the coconut pieces and stir well.
Now dunk the cooked lentils with little water and bring it to a boil. Add the salt & sugar to taste. Sprinkle the cumin powder and the slit green chillis and let it simmer till it thickens considerably.
Serve Hot with puris or rice or any other Indian flat bread!

With Luchis - 

With piping hot rice --

Enjoy !!
Linking it to MLLA #35 hosted by Kannada Cuisine, event by Susan and to Priya Mitharwal's Flavours of Bengal , event announcement by Naina


  1. very new version of Dal.looks yummy.

  2. Wow..that platter of food makes me hungry..looks delicious!

  3. Nice daal Priya...ultimate comfort.

  4. inviting healthy protein rich it!

  5. Looks yummy..would like to have with hot rice..healthy one!!

  6. Simply bliss... adding coconut pieces gives a wonderful crunch..

  7. i nvr knw thet they cook pappu with coconut...i thnk its a great combination....
    Plz stop at my blog some time :)

  8. Looks awesome, anything with coconut is my weakness, I am in for this simple dish.

  9. simple dish......yet unbeatable taste........

  10. Say now: Lovely recipe. I am new here.
    I say, please, the widget and teddy bear are very distracting; they hide the text.
    Otherwise, I love this blog.

  11. thanks for sharing with us.
    It's looks yum.

  12. I had no idea what this dish was about, but the description and pics made me want to try it myself, that's how good it looks!

  13. Wow this spicy dal would definitely fill my soul and stomach.

  14. Love this dal dear ~ I feel like grabbing the platter right from the pic :)
    US Masala

  15. U always come up with some innovative recipes..definitely a spicy dal

  16. Dal looks different and unique.super ponga.

  17. The dal is yummy! It's very flavourful and awesome too!

  18. love the dal recipe priya- will try and recreate it!

  19. Dal looks super delicious,flavourful and comforting..

  20. Nice dal recipe....looks great.

  21. Simple and comforting dal....looks yum!!

  22. Yummy dal, it's very flavorful & delicious..

  23. as u said bliss!...very homey and nothing is better that dal and rice after a tiring day!

  24. Rice and dal is always nice...

  25. that looks like a very flavorful and aromatic dal, given all the ingredients going in to it :)

  26. Hello Priya..

    Thanks for the wonderful entry.. It is a hardy and of course good for a week night meal :)