I love toor dal and mung dal so much that I often overlook channa dal. But it is a mistake, really, as channa dal has its own wonderful flavour and texture. It makes a great dal. Here we have used tomatoes and spices to make a base for some garden greens. It is an easy, nutritious and delicious lunch dish or part of an evening meal.
We are here, munching some Masala Vadai for afternoon tea. These vadai are chock-a-block full of herbs – coriander and dill. Dill is an uncommon (but not unusual) herb in Indian cuisine, but its use here is wonderful.
The recipe is adapted from one in the book Tiffin by Rukmini Srinivas. We’ve been enjoying reading from it and now want to cook the recipes. The original includes flax seeds which is a very healthy addition, but we have left them out this time.
The recipe is very adaptable. The paste is made from urad, channa and toor dals with the herbs, onions, chilli and ginger added. I can imagine these made with slightly mashed broad beans (the Western type of broad beans), for example, or a coarse mash of peas. Finely chopped capsicums or finely grated carrots would be a variation if you were sick of the herbs.
A high speed blender like Vitamix is best for grinding the lentils if you don’t have an Indian grinder. Use one that has a tamper if you can, to minimise the number of times you have to scrape the sides down. One of the modern high speed food processors might also work well. Remember that you want a coarse mix, not a fine paste. Also the mix needs to be shaped into patties, so do not add water unless absolutely necessary.
My notes on the recipe for this dish say beautiful, hot, deep complex layers of flavour. We’ve been making this for many years, so I am not sure how we missed posting the recipe for you.
Chana Masala is a spicy Punjabi dish where chickpeas are simmered in a sauce made with tomatoes and 11 spices that are perfectly balanced to provide an experience of each spice, should you care to be aware of them.
Is it chana or channa? Transliteration of any other script is always contentious around spelling and pronunciation, let alone in India where different languages and scripts abound. For decades I have called it channa but the consensus online now seems to be chana. Here, on my blog, you will see both. Chana from now on, but older recipes will be channa.
BTW, anardana seeds are dried, sour pomegranate seeds, available from your North Indian grocery.
Similar recipes include Channa Dal with Greens, Turmeric Chickpeas, Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Turkish Soup with Chickpeas, Roasted Eggplant with Crushed Chickpeas, and Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa.
Here is another gorgeous salad in our series of Koshambari and Kosumalli salads. This one is a combination of carrots, chana dal and spices. I always say it, but it must be repeated – it is utterly delicious! A refreshing and cooling salad for hot Summer days.
You might like to read What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari.
Are you a mango maniac? I have the dish for you. It’s a dish made of soaked chana dal ground with cumin and green chillies, and served with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. And most importantly, there is a generous inclusion of grated raw mango. This dish is a perfect dish for mango lovers, and is served as a snack to people who visit. It is also the best after-school snack during heatwaves.
It is very easy to make, with few ingredients. Perfect for Summer busy lives. The tartness of the mangoes, the sweetness from the coconut, the nuttiness from channa dal, and the spiciness from green chillies means that the flavours both contrast and compliment each other – is your mouth watering yet?
Ambe Dal is a Maharashtrian dish (also known as Amba or Ambyachi Dal). Usually made in Summer, this quick and easy salad is so cooling. Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary, and I can vouch for it as I have good friends from Pune. Maharashtrian cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and can be very mild to very spicy.
Green mangoes come in various levels of sourness, from tart to sweet-sour. Choose one that suits your own preferences. Serve Ambe Dal with rice, Kachumber, Kosumalli, and/or roti, perhaps on a banana or mango leaf. It goes well with Aam Panna.
Are you looking similar dishes? Try Channa Dal with Greens, Matki and Golu Kola Salad with Coconut, Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari, Aamer Dal, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.
Why not browse all of our Mango dishes, all Salads, our Channa Dal dishes, and all of our Maharashtrian recipes? Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our many Mid Summer dishes.
Today our dal is made with split Channa, small chickpeas that have been hulled and split into two. Usually we make dal from mung dal, mung beans, urad dal or toor dal, so it is unusual for us to make it with channa.
In this dal, we have used eggplants. Cut into wedges, they float beautifully in the spicy channa gravy.
Fava is a puree or spread made from yellow split peas, not Fava Beans (Dried Broad Beans). The naming of these Mediterranean dishes is a mine field! A puree made from dried Broad Beans is known as koukofava.
There are many versions of Fava, some with cumin and sumac, but this one is made from split peas which are topped with capers and caramelised onion, eaten warm and served as a starter dip. Ottolenghi, whose recipe this is, says the dish is soothing yet exciting. It is indeed. It is a delight to see Ottolenghi use white pepper in several of his recipes – a rare thing these days but an exquisite taste.
This dish is a vegetarian version of a stew from Afghanistan, Quince Stew or Qorma-e-Behi. It uses lentils in place of the non-vegetarian items. It is a perfect Winter dish, fragrant from the quinces, and comforting and warming. Deeply, deeply warming.
I often use soft chard or other greens in this dish in place of the spinach, it works just as well.
A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils
If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa). They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.
Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.
A simple but exceptional Dal Makhani
The story of this Dal Makhani goes like this:
Some time ago in Bangalore, India, I had a Dal Makhani to die for. It was just a hotel room service meal ordered at a very busy at the time, yet it made me sink back into my couch with a wonderful smile on my face – as if I had transitioned and gone to Dal Heaven.
I rang through to the kitchen and asked for the recipe. Oh what hilarity that caused in the kitchen – much laughter and giggles, and simply hours later, I received a typed up recipe from the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. It is the most wondrous dish, full of butter and cream and takes some time, so a dish for special occasions. Continue reading “Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani”