‘Narkol die Cholar dal’ is a traditional Bengali dish. Normally Bongs devour this dal with a full plate of Luchi. If you are having this with rice (just the way I love to eat my cholar dal), add some begun bhaja/fried eggplant slices as a side dish, and carry on with the eating! Beguni (deep fried eggplant fritter) is also a great pair with cholar dal while serving with rice. In most of the Bengali marriage ceremonies or other auspicious celebrations, Cholar dal in general served with Beguni, and relished by all.
The little sweeter taste of this dal is an important and authentic part of the recipe, so don’t skip adding sugar at the time of cooking.
Narkol die Cholar Dal/Bengali style Chana Dal with Coconut
- Cholar dal/Chana dal- 1 cup
- Hing/asafoetida – a small pinch
- Sugar- 2 tsp
- Mustard oil- 4 tbsp
- Ghee/clarified butter- 1 tsp
- Coconut- 1/4 of a whole coconut (cut into small chips or pieces)
- Green chilies- 2 (broken)
- Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
- Ginger paste- 1/2 tsp
- Whole dry red chili- 1
- Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
- Green cardamoms- 3 (lightly crushed)
- Cinnamon- 1 piece (2″)
- Bay leaf- 2
Wash and soak chana dal for minimum 3-4 hours or more. Pressure cook with enough water (water level should be 2″ high from dal), 1/2 tsp salt, green chilies and 1 tsp of mustard oil. Check after 5-6 whistles. You need to cook the dal with the grains visible and mushy at the same time. Open the lid after the pressure has reduced.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan, add coconut chips, fry on medium flame until light brown in color. Remove with a ladle. Keep aside. In the remaining oil temper with all the ingredients mentioned ‘for tempering’. Add boiled dal, 1/2 cup of water (adjust water according to the thickness of dal), salt to taste, sugar, turmeric powder and ginger paste. Mix well. Cook this on high flame for 4-5 minutes. Stir in between. Add hing, ghee and fried coconut chips. Mix well, remove from heat.
Serve hot with luchi/pooris or steamed rice.
The consistency of this dal should be thick not watery.