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Cholar Dal

23 Jul

Masala Senagapappu Pappu.

Cholar dal is a traditional Bengali dal which appears without fail during festive season along with luchi. Cholar dal or chana dal is cooked along with some whole spices into soft mushy dal. Freshly chopped coconut are fried till golden brown and cholar dal is garnished with the fried chopped coconut.
Makes: app. 2 Cups of Cholar Dal


Chana Dal 1 Cup
Fresh Coconut 1/2 piece
Green Chili 4
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cloves 3 – 4
Cinnamon 2 (2 inch long)
Broken Dried Red Chiles 4
Bay Leaf 2
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Wash chana dal under water thoroughly and strain the chana dal.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Wash thoroughly and chop coconut into small pieces.

Heat half a tsp of oil in a pan, add coconut pieces and fry them till light golden color and remove from heat.
Heat remaining oil in a pressure cooker, add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, dried red chiles, bay leaf and green chiles. Fry for few seconds and add chana dal, turmeric powder, 2 1/2 cups of water and salt.
Pressure cook for 2 – 3 whistles or until chana dal is cooked well.
Alternatively, cook the dal in a heavy sauce pot with an extra cup of water for a good amount of time.
Mash up some of the dal or leave it as a whole.

Remove the cooked cholar dal onto a serving bowl.
Garnish with fried coconut pieces and serve cholar dal with luchi or paratha.
Notes: Make sure dal is cooked and to your preferred consistency. Once cholar dal comes to room temperature, it tends to solidify a bit.

Suggestions: If chana dal is uncooked, put the dal on stove, add half a cup or more of water and cook on medium flame till dal is soft.
Variations: Chopped or grated ginger can be added to the tempering. Finish off with few pinches of sugar or add raisins while dal is cooking. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Other Names: Bengali Chana Dal, Cholar Dal Narkel Diye.