CHANA DAL (CHOLAR DAL IN BENGAL)
Made from split black/ horse gram, this dal will, more often than not, will be found on special occasions and festivals in West Bengal. In Bengal sugar is added to this recipe contrary to the natives of Bangladesh where it is equally famous. As this dal is heavy, asafetida is added to counter flatulence and heaviness.
1 ½ cup chana dal
1tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
1 tbsp golden raisin
Salt to taste
1 bay leaf
½ tsp cumin seed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small knob ginger, scraped and chopped
2 green chili (optional), chopped
2 red chili dry
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato (optional), chopped
½ tsp sugar (optional)
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
Coconut slivers for garnish
Wash the dal until water runs almost clear. Soak for about 30minutes.
In a suitably large ladle heat ghee and fry raisins until puffed, drain on kitchen towel reserving the ghee.
If using pressure cooker, cook the dal with water and turmeric for 5 minutes (3-4 whistles), allow the pressure to escape completely before opening the lid, and remove the dal from cooker and place in a serving container. If using a vessel to cook the dal, cook in a suitably large container on medium heat for 20-25minutes until soft, checking in between to ensure that they have cooked well.
Heat the reserved ghee in a pan and sauté asafetida diluted with 1tsp water, cinnamon and bayleaf (they leave their aroma very well to the hot oil), cumin, garlic, ginger and green chili. After a couple of minutes add red chili and turmeric powder and cook for a minute. Next add tomato and cook for 2-3minutes.
Add this mixture to the boiled dal with sugar and bring to boil. Simmer for another 5-8minutes until dal is completely cooked and thickened. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander, fried raisin and coconut sliver.
Tags: bhatura, curries, kebab, indian curry, paneer, naan, desi, handi, balti, idli