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Old 08-14-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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ISO - Chana Dahl Recipes

Can someone advise me how to cook 'chana dahl'
I've searched the internet and can't find anything!
I thought I'd find plenty of videos on youtube - but haven't found anything
Also while searching I was surprised not to find any decent cooking forums
(Apart from this one of course!)

Chana dahl - is not the ordinary lentil type, it's thicker and bigger
(And it's not chick peas either - some recipes involved using this)

You get these dishes served in mainly pakistani restaurants in the UK

Any advice would be great



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Old 08-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #2
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Welcome to D.C.
I ran across a couple of articles you might find useful.
David Mendosa-Chana Dal (I am not sure if the different spelling..Dal vs. Dahl affects the search results, but Dal is the spelling used by Mr. Mendosa)

A link to a recipe that might be a good starting point:
Chana Dahl

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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Welcome. Here is a recipe I've used. I like the addition of lime juice at the end. It really brightens up the dish. I also have a recipe in one of my cookbooks at home. I can dig it out tonight, if you like.

  • 2 cups chana dal (Bengal gram or yellow lentils)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 cups tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Cook dal in 4 cups of water until tender. Purée partially, using a hand-held blender or put half in a regular blender. Set aside.

Heat a nonstick pan over moderate heat. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they crackle (about 10 seconds). Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent. Add turmeric, coriander, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for about 20 second, being careful not to burn. Add tomato sauce and garam masala. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 1 minute. Add chopped and puréed chana dal. Cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat. Add lime juice and stir. Garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro), if desired.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
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Nothing to add gentlemen both accurate posts.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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Hello Omar M,

Channa Dal is a lovely indian dish, served with chappatis or nans or even rice. Poppadoms go nicely with this dish!

2 cups - Channa dal (its yellow split lentils)
1 medium cooking Onion
1/2 teaspn tumeric powder
1/2 teaspn chilli powder (red)
3/4 Salt
2 or 3 fresh green chillies
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 small peice of ginger
1/2 teaspn of Garam masala
1 tablespoon - Cooking Oil
1/2 teaspn of mustard seeds
few stems of Fresh Corriander

Firstly check the channa dal has no stones in, take out anything that doesnt look like a yellow lentil. Then wash thoroughly. Put on your gas cooker to boil, when its cooked fully- to check take a few lentils on a spoon and press with fingers, if it squeezes smoothly against the spoon its cooked! Drain some of the water out of the pan but leave some with lentils.
Put the cooking oil in a pan on a small flame on the gas cooker then add the mustard seeds But keep the lid on the pan as the seeds will start spitting out as the cooking oil gets hot. Then add the onion .(chopped in thin long slices), still on a low flame after 5 mins add the tumeric, red chilli powder, salt, put the green chillies, Garlic and Ginger in a chopper or food processor and add to the pan. Keep mixing all the spices added Then pour the lentils with the water to the pan and mix well, add the Garam masala and leave on a small flame on the cooker for atleast 20 mins or a little longer until the water has boiled away, keep the lid on the pan while cooking But just taste if there is enough salt before leaving on the cooker!
When cooked garnish with chopped fresh corriander.
If you want to eat this dal with rice then dont let all the water boil away on the cooker.

Warning- when adding all the spices and especially the fresh chillies to the hot oil KEEP the lid on the pan as the spices will make you cough!

Kind regards!
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:56 AM   #6
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guys, thanks for the replies
i haven't had a chance to reply until now

the first post gave a link that solves the biggest problem: softening the dahl
(and yes, i got the spelling wrong) :)
1/4 baking powder should do the trick - this is what they say

i'm not sure where to get cayenne from
so i'll try the @pinkpanther recipe

i'll post back if things don't work out! :)
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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You can get cayenne in the spice section at your supermarket.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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If he lives in the US, he can. We don't know if that's where he lives, however.

If you can't find cayenne, any ground dried chili with medium heat should suffice.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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You can get cayenne pepper in supermarkets in the U.K. too.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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If you can get whole cayenne fresh peppers, you can dry them and grind them in a spice grinder (I use a dedicated coffee mill). Or, you can take dry ones and grind them in a spice grinder. Just don't take the top off the grinder for a few minutes--otherwise the "dust" will get in your nose (I learned this the hard way). Ditto if you dry garlic and then grind it.

Channa dal is related to the chickpea. If unable to get channa dal, one can substituted split chick peas (if one can find those).
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