Dal is a very important part not only of Bihari cuisine but of Indian cuisine as such – whether it is in form of Dal in North India or Sambar in South India. And Chana Dal is one of my hot favourites. In fact, I often serve it in parties also with very good response.
The quantities given below are approximates, but should be adequate for four per
- Chana dal 150 gms
- Lauki 150 gms
- Onion 1 medium size
- Ginger 10 gms
- Turmeric Powder 1 tea spoon
- Bay Leaves 2
- Black cardamoms 4
- Cloves 8
- Green cardamoms 8
- Red Chillies 2
- Cinamon 2 pieces 1 inch long
- Balck pepper 12
- Vegetable Oil 2 spoons
- Ghee or butter 2 spoons
- Salt to taste
- Peel and cut Lauki into one inch cube or so.
- Chop the onions length-wise.
- Crush the ginger.
- Put two spoons of vegetable oil in frying pan on medium fire and heat it.
- When the oil becomes hot, add bay leaves, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon pieces, black pepper, cloves and red chilies and fry lightly.
- Put the dal into a pressure cooker and add double the quantity of water by measurement. Normal vessel may also be used but it will take longer time.
- Add turmeric powder, crushed ginger, fried spices and salt.
- Cook under pressure for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Open the lid when cool. The dal should be cooked but not too soft.
- Check water. If there is too much water heat it without pressure and dry to your taste.
- Put the dal into a serving bowl.
- Put 2 to 3 spoons of ghee ( or butter as a second choice ) in a ladle spoon and heat it for tadka.
- When the ghee becomes hot, add onions and fry till light brown. This is the tadka for the dal.
- Spread the tadks on the dal and serve.
When ready the dal will look like this.
- In case of those who want to avoid fat – the spices may be added directly to the dal without frying. The tadka may also be avoided. It will still leave the dal very aromatic and tasty.
- Adauri ( i.e. Bariya ) may be used in place of lauki. But the Adauri need to be fried before adding it to the dal.
Chana dal goes well with plain roti, rice and pulao.