Cholar Dal - Bengali Style Bengal Gram is a delicious lentil dish made with Bengal gram. This is slightly sweet and fragrant due to the addition of sugar and whole spices or garam masala. This dal is mildly spicy, packed with nutrients and lots of seasoning. This is also rich in proteins.
Happy Tantalizing day to you all.
Why Tantalizing? Because my today’s recipe is ready to tantalize your taste buds. And this would seriously make you to want this exquisite dish.
The recipe is none other than the very popular Bengali ‘Cholar Dal’.
I am in love with this particular dish since my childhood. Whenever I feel like having something festive and healthy dish, I make this extraordinary cholar dal.
Some recipes make me excited, and this is one of those. What? I know It sounds strange, but it’s true. I am getting so excited, even if I am simply writing about this recipe only. I am so intensely connected with this recipe.
This recipe goes with tons of my childhood memories! Ah those days childhood days were just AWESOME!
All my memories came alive when I was making this glamorous dish yesterday. By reading this post, you would really understand just how much I love this dish.
One of my mom’s friends was from West Bengal. She stayed in Jaipur with her family for 4 years. I used to call her Mukherjee Aunty, as their surname was Mukherjee.
Her husband and my father used to work for the same Bank. They were our neighbours at that time.
Their daughter and I were the same age. Every evening we used to play together. We had a mutual arrangement—either I will go to her place or she would come to mine.
Mukherjee Aunty and my mom were so close. They always used to go for shopping together. 😀
I have told you in my earlier posts that my mom is a great cook. And like my mom, she was an excellent cook too.
She introduced my mom to the awesome Bengali cuisine. My mom and her had an untold bond that whenever one of them would cook something authentic or new, they will share the recipe/dish with each other.
I still remember the day when I first had this delicious ‘Cholar Dal’. On the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja, Mukherjee family invited us for dinner.
Aunty made ‘Luchi’, ‘Cholar ‘Dal’ and some ‘Rice’. Also there was some ‘Baigun Bhaja’, (an eggplant dish), and some ‘Kheer’ (rice pudding) for dessert. I must say the platter was so authentic.
I took my first bite of Luchi (a version of Bengali Puri) dipped in the thick ‘Cholar Dal’. OH MY GOSH! It was beyond words, I had never tasted something like that before.
It was just so AMAZING. I was not so fond of lentils back then, but this dal had a distinctive flavour, which I loved so much. I emptied the whole bowl and asked for more. My parents were so amazed to see that. They gave all of the credit to Mukherjee aunty. I am sure she deserved much more than that! 😀
After that day, whenever we craved for something other than the regular dal, my mom used to cook that same cholar dal.
There was a ritual at my home for dinner — there has to be one lentil dish and one curry or stir fry. So this Cholar Dal was a frequent visitor at our home. My mom made this often because it was very simple to prepare, and tasted so DIVINE at the same time. 😛
So yeah, you can clearly see that I am thrilled about this recipe.
I have never dared to experiment with the authentic flavours of this dal yet. Somehow I don’t feel like making any changes to this dal. May be I am so obsessed with the original flavours. 😛 This dal is just to die for!
This is a no onion-garlic festive dal recipe. This dal is prepared at the time of durga puja and other festivals. And simply served with luchi (a version of Bengali Puri) prepared with all purpose flour. And if served with Paratha, this would make a humble weekend dinner.
Cholar Dal is a delicious lentil dish made with Bengal gram. This is slightly sweet and fragrant due to the addition of sugar and whole spices or garam masala. This dal is mildly spicy, packed with nutrients and lots of seasoning. This is also rich in proteins.
Coconut adds an awesome richness to this dal and provides a great texture too. I should say the coconut is really a shining star in this recipe.
When you take a spoonful bite, you will clearly feel the rich-creamy coconut flavour.
Traditionally, cholar dal is accompanied with Luchi. But I was not in the mood of having fried bread, so I simply made plain chapati and steamed rice to accompany this awesome DAL.
The dal is equally delicious with both rice and flatbread. Awesomeness of this dal would always be the same.
Another plus of making this dal is that this is super quick. If the Bengal Gram is pressure cooked, this dish would be ready to be served within a few minutes.
This dish has quite a unique taste because of the nuts like raisins and cashews. And then there’s the richness from the coconut which makes the dal creamy and luscious. It is simply ETHEREAL.
Let’s learn to make this very Authentic Cholar Dal.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, dried red chili and sauté for 20-30 seconds.
Add cashew nuts, and raisins and fry for few seconds, or ‘till cashew turns slightly brown.
Add chopped coconut, desiccated coconut and shallow fry them until coconut slices turn light brown.
Add cooked dal, salt, sugar, slit green chili along with water, and cook covered for 5-6 minutes over medium heat or ‘till dal become slightly thick.
Stir in between occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove from heat, and garnish with coconut shavings, raisins, and basil leaves. Serve hot with any flat bread or rice.
- chana dal/bengal gram, cooked - 1 cup
- dried red chili - 3
- raisins - 2 tbsp
- cashew nuts - 10-12
- sugar - 1 tsp
- green chili cut lengthwise - 2
- coconut chopped - 2 tbsp
- dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp
- salt, as per taste
- cumin seeds - 2 tsp
- bay leaf - 1
- cinnamon stick - 1
- ghee/clarified butter - 2 tbsp
- coconut shavings, raisins, and basil leaves for garnishing
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, dried red chili and sauté for 20-30 seconds.
- Add cashew nuts, and raisins and fry for few seconds, or ‘till cashew turns slightly brown.
- Add chopped coconut, desiccated coconut and shallow fry them until coconut slices turn light brown. Drain excess oil and transfer them to a plate.
- Add cooked dal, salt, sugar, slit green chili along with water, and cook covered for 5-6 minutes over medium heat or ‘till dal become slightly thick.
- Stir in between occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Remove from heat, and garnish with coconut shavings, raisins, and basil leaves. Serve hot with any flat bread or rice.