It is a continuation of my past post Radhaballavi, Cholar Dal, Jhaal Jhaal ALur Dom. Here I’ll share the recipe of Cholar Dal which complements the Radhaballavi best. But it makes a good pair with luchi or ruti too.
Cholar dal or Bengal gram is very special and close to the hearts of Bengalis. It is not like rest of the dal to us. We use this only for special occasions not for our daily life. No Bengali feast will be complete without it; especially if you start with the breakfast as Luchi or Radhaballavi.
You go to any Bengali ceremony house in the morning, the first thing you will notice is the aroma of radhaballavi or kochuri or luchi with cholar dal. As I already described my personal feelings and attraction for it in my previous post, I’m letting it go here.
Let’s dunk into the recipe of Cholar Dal directly.
Ingredients for boiling the dal:
Cholar Dal or Bengal Gram: 2 cups
Green cardamom: 5-6
Cinnamon stick: 1”
Salt: 1 tsp
Turmeric: ½ tsp
Water: 3 ½-4 cups
Wash and clean the dal thoroughly under running water.
Soak the dal for 1hr. in room temperature water. (I soaked for 30 mins. or so)
Pour all the ingredients in a pressure cooker including water.
Put the cooker on high flame and bring it to boil. When it starts boiling close the lid with the weight and put the flame to medium high.
Wait for 2-3 whistles or until the dal is cooked.
Once done, sieve the water. Keep the water and grains separately. You will need them in different stages of cooking.
Ingredients for cooking the dal:
Precooked cholar dal
Desiccated or chopped coconut: 2/3 cup
Coconut, cut into thin strips: handful (optional; for decoration)
Raisin: handful (I skipped this)
Cashew: handful (I skipped this too)
Sugar: 1-2 tsp (according to your taste)
Salt to taste (if required)
Bhaja Moshla(dry roasted spices): ½ tsp (optional)
Ingredients for tempering oil:
Ghee: 1 tbsp (See Tips)
Dry red chillies: 2-3
Bay leaves: 1-2 (depending on the size)
Cinnamon stick: 1:
Green cardamom: 5-6
Sugar: 1 pinch
Take a a nonstick pan and dry roast the coconut, raisin and cashew on medium flame individually. (if using any) (See Tips)
Heat the ghee in a nonstick wok on high flame.
When it is hot, add all the ingredients under ‘tempering oil’. Let them splutter.
Add precooked dal into the wok and mix well. (Grains only, don’t add any liquid at this point of time. It will ruin the taste of the dal.)
Sauté it for 1-2 mins. Add dry roasted nuts, raisins and coconut.
Then add the liquid of the dal and mix with the rest.
Bring it to boil and adjust seasoning.
Once it starts to thicken, turn off the flame and transfer the dal to serving bowl immediately.
Your cholar dal is ready to serve. Add few drops of ghee if you wish. Garnish with pre-roasted coconut strips and raisin or cashew or whatever you want to.
If you are using bhaja moshla(roasted spices), sprinkle some on the top.
Cholar dal goes best with luchi, radhaballavi, poori or even simple roti or fulka.
1. If you feel dry roasting the raisin is difficult, use few drops of ghee or white oil. Be cautious about the temperature while dry roasting as high flame can burn the raisins.
2. Use vegetable oil if you want to omit ghee and add few drops of it on the serving bowl.
3. When cooking is done immediately transfer the dal to serving bowl. Since dal is still hot, it will continue to cook on it’s own. If you keep it in the wok, it will be over cooked.