Saturday, 11 October 2014

Channa Dal/ Bengal Gram Lentil

Channa dal or dar

Lentils, Dar in Gujrati or Dal in Hindi and Urdu; it is also referred to as Kaathor in India. 
The Channa dar/dal  is also commonly called the Bengal gram. 

Also  this dish is a perfect example of how Persian Cuisine and Indian blended together has created the Parsi Cuisine. They have something similar with a blend of their own spices most familiar to the area and pickled lemon to make it sour.

This particular lentil has a sweet and nutty flavour. Split off a whole gram, these can be harder than most and takes slightly longer to cook. It is highly nutritious and is often a protein substitute for vegetarians.
This recipe has meat in it but there is another without. I shall be posting that on my blog later with a link to this page for your convenience. 

Served 6 to 8 persons


2 cups gram lentil
1 tbsp oil
½ kg/1 lb pieces of bone –in meat; lamb/goat/mutton
1 1/2 tsp red chillie powder
1’ piece of ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dhana jeera powder also called dhansak masala
1/4 tsp garam masala 
1 1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
2 green chillies finely cut
6 leaves of fresh mint finely cut
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
2 cups crushed onions, already browned

1 tsp tamarind paste

Heat oil, add in the pieces of meat and braise for 5 minutes. Add all the spices and the washed lentils, fry 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, onions and mint.  Add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. The lentils and meat should be soft but still remain whole. Add 1 tsp of tamarind paste. Simmer for another 30 minutes. 


Use a fresh green mango or two, washed peeled and chopped instead of the tamarind paste. If you do not have access to either you can add the juice of 2 fresh lemons. 
Adding a handful of freshly chopped corriander leaves can also add to the flavour.
Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime, some finely sliced onion and tomato and perhaps a cucumber and beetroot to compliment this dish. 
Generally crisp bread is served on the side, but fresh warm chapatis are a good option.

Read more about Parsi Food and its origins in my cookbook 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

And For more Parsi recipes click to download my e-book

Niloufer's Kitchen: Quick and Easy

Readers Comments.

Vera H
July 20 2017

Turned out good!! Used your recipe. Cooked it for 21 minutes pressured
Lentils and beef cooked in an insta pot.

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