Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simple Palak Chana Dal Recipe with Pictures

Today I want to give you the recipe for Chana Dal. I wanted to cook it as authentic as possible. Chana is simply chickpea and that is what Chana Dal is. The black chickpeas are peeled and cut in half so that you can have the yellowish halves that taste great even in combination with only a few spices.

Chana Dal is also called Cholar Dal in Bengali, Buta Dali in Oriya, Senaga Pappu in Telugu, Kadale Bele in Kannada, Kaḍala Parippu in Malayalam, Harbhara Daal in Marathi and Kaḍalai Paruppu in Tamil.


Chana Dal has the same Ayurvedic values as whole chickpeas. In addition, chickpea is a good source of folic acid and protein. They are low in fat.

Chana Dal is my hot favorite, so why not combine chickpeas and spinach? Out came this delicious Palak Chana Dal, which my Mom herself prefers me to cook it for her every time. During Diwali, I also mixed it up with the garam masala, grounded with my new coffee grinder.

I had purchased the Amchur, which is a powder made from raw dried mango that give the Dal a tangy flavor. This is however also possible by adding lemon juice. It complements the dal perfectly! A classic Chana Dal recipe can also be prepared by adding vinegar. In addition, I have added ghee that gives this nice slightly buttery taste and it is easy to make. By default, there is also something called asafoetida or Devil's Dung. This spice makes the dish easier to digest.

Chana Dal images

Before I come to the recipe, I must say that it is always good to thoroughly wash any kind of Dal before you cook it. So wash the chick peas and soak them overnight in a pot of water.

Just place this pot on the stove. Add some salt and the turmeric and heat the water. This recipe does not require much work, but it takes some time and patience.

Meanwhile, garlic and ginger should be finely chopped, if necessary diced very finely or crushed in the mortar until a paste is formed. Mix both.

It will take about 45 minutes for your Chana Dal to soften in the boiling water. When the chick-pea halves are soft, you can lower the heat and begin the preparations for the Tadka.

For this heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the cumin, asafoetida and garlic-ginger paste. Asafoetida has a strong smell that unfolds its complete aroma as you stir and fry it briefly in the hot oil. Add onions and fry until golden. Once the typical scent develops add the chopped tomatoes. Then add chili, coriander, garam masala, and amchur.

Boil the mixture until the tomatoes are softly boiled and oil settles on the edge of the pan. This step is particularly important, as then only the aromas of the spices can unfold fully.

Before it burns, add the mixture to the pot with the dal. Add spinach and stir. If necessary add some water. Then add coconut milk and lemon juice. Season with salt. Leave to simmer for at least 5 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. Mix it well and serve your delicious Chana Dal with rice and vegetables and maybe some Indian bread for a delicious Indian meal. Garnish with coriander leaves and yogurt.
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