100gm Bengal gram or chana dal
1/4 cup coconut slices or shredded coconut 1\8 cup
2 tbsp raisins
2.5 tsp vegetable oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cardamom (break them a little so that they do not splutter in oil)
2 bay leaves
1 whole red chilli
1\2 tsp turmeric powder
1\8 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1.5 tsp salt
3.5 tsp sugar
1 small tomato (chopped)
1. Soak the dal for at least half an hour before cooking.
2. In a pressure cooker put the soaked dal, enough water to cover the dal, salt, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and put it over a medium flame until it whistles thrice.
3. Check if the dal is soft (check by pressing a few lentil pieces between your fingers, it should break easily).
4.In a kadai (Indian wok), over a low flame add oil, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, whole red chilli , cumin seed and ginger paste. Let it splutter for a bit.
5. Now pour the dal in the karahi and mix with the spices very well. Let it come to a rolling boil over a low flame.
6. Now increase the flame and add the coconut, raisins and let it boil for a minute.
7. Finally, switch off the flame add the ghee and mix it very well.
8. Cover and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Note: Sometimes instead of shreds of coconut, coconut milk is also added to the dal and it gives the same taste.
Cholar Dal can be enjoyed with luchi, Basanti Pulao or simply with chapati, paratha and eggplant fritters.
Note: This article was first published in May, 2021
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