Wednesday 16 January 2019

Recipe 61: Chana Dal Bengali Style

Chana Dal or Split Bengal Gram is a loved by the Bengali community very much.

Nutritious and tasty, this dal can be served with luchi/puri for breakfast or served with pulao in lunch and dinner.

Traditionally Chana Dal or as Bengali's say Cholar Dal is prepared with fresh coconut cut into small dices. But due to non-availability to fresh coconut, I have often made the same recipe with store-bought dried coconut flakes. The taste has been slightly different but not at all depressing. And, this has always been my motto, go ahead with whatever you have and experiment!

Extremely simple to make with very few ingredients, Chana Dal cooked in Bengali Style must be tried.


  1. 1 cup Chana Dal
  2. 1/4 cup fresh coconut pieces or dried coconut flakes (click to buy Urban Platter Dried Coconut Flakes)
  3. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  4. 4 green chillies
  5. 1 tsp. haldi/turmeric
  6. 1 tsp. dhania/coriander powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. hing/asafoetida
  8. 2 tsp. sugar
  9. 1 tsp. zeera/cumin seeds
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 3 cardamom
  12. 1 elaichi/cinnamon stick
  13. 3-4 laung/cloves
  14. 2 dried red chillies
  15. salt to taste
  16. Ghee for cooking


Soak Chana Dal in water for 3-4 hours prior to cooking.
In a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal, salt, bay leaves and water.
Cook till dal is soft.
Ensure that dal is not completely mushy and it must retain its shape.
Now, in a kadhai heat some ghee.
Temper hing and red chillies for 5-6 seconds.
Add zeera, elaichi, dalchini and laung.
When the spices begin to emit a strong aroma, add haldi, dhania powder, ginger paste and coconut pieces.
Fry till coconut develops a brown toasty color.
Now add the cooked dal along with its water.
If required add more water to reach your desired consistency.
Add salt, sugar and green chillies.
Simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
(optional) Garnish with fresh dhania pattta/coriander leaves.
 Serve warm with steam rice or pulao.

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