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Bengali Cholar Dal Recipe (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Cholar Dal

Cholar Dal

This Bengali dish reminds me of lunch with family. A common weekend lunch might include cholar dal, aloo torkari, tomato chutney and lucchis. The chana dal used in cholar dal is a little larger than most lentils and are occasionally referred to as “Bengal Gram” in recipes. They bear a strong resemblance to yellow split peas but aren’t the same thing. Here is a nice write up differentiating the two. When cooked well, Cholar Dal is hearty and satisfying.

1.5 cup chana dal
2 oz coconut flakes (sweetened)*
2 oz raisins
½ onion chopped
3 cloves
4-5 cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 T ginger powder
1 T turmeric
1 T cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Chili Powder to taste
*If sweetened coconut is unavailable, just use regular coconut and a little sugar

In a pot, add in dal and about 4.5 cups of water (chana dal to water ratio is 3:1). Turn on pot to medium and cover. In a pan, add oil (ghee for non-vegan) and caramelize onions until onions start to turn translucent. Next, add all the other ingredients into the same pan and roast for a few minutes. Coconut flakes will brown a little bit. Add the pan contents into the dal pot and mix in. Place cover back on. Dal will take 30-40 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary. (I often end up adding in a little more coconut). Lentils are done when they’re firm but soft to bite into. They should retain their shape. Enjoy

Cholar Dal

Cholar Dal


One comment on “Bengali Cholar Dal Recipe (Gluten Free, Vegan)

  1. […] Here is the original recipe posting in RoodonFood. […]

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