Monday, October 19, 2009

Lucknowi Chana Daal

My Mother cooks with toor /arhar, mostly. I have wonderful memories of Mom ladling hot 'amti' , mixing it with steaming rice and a drizzle of ghee. I remember my best friend once asking, "do you always eat only arhar daal?" I said yes, unsure what arhar was! Hey, Mom cooks, I eat - that was the equation in those days!

And then I began blogging and a wonderful world opened up! So much to learn and explore! I found myself exploring new ingredients and delighting in them. During my brief stay in Dallas I joined the library there. Not surprising that I instinctively made a beeline for the cook book section and found this! The problem however was, limited grocery items in stock, our stay was uncertain and though everything was available in the Indian stores, I was not too happy about buying and then trashing it all .

I leafed thru the book, drooled at the pictures and my hands itched to try some of the recipes. In the end, M got me a notebook and I jotted down the recipes I wanted, carefully packed the notebook and came home.

Daal-rice is a must on our dinner table. In fact, M would be happy if only daal-rice is served every single day, the only variation he does not object to is plain daal today, sambar tomorrow, rasam the day after....

This daal is s-i-m-p-l-e , when I jotted the recipe I did raise an eyebrow, about 1/8th of an inch... just that? nothing else? hmm... but there was one thing I was dead sure of, Bee says Raghavan Iyer’s recipes are too perfect to mess with and I trust her judgement.

The daal is simplicity itself, but don't fall into the error of thinking the same about the taste! One morsel and you are convinced, Raghavan Iyer knows his stuff !!
The husband was totally bowled over by this daal and it is a keeper!

Here is what you need to make 4 servings:

1 Cup Chana Daal
6 Cups Water
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
2 Tbs Ghee
6med Red Onions cut in half and thinly sliced
1 tsp. Cumin seeds, crushed
2-3 Green Chiles
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Cilantro

Cook Chana daal (I used the pressure cooker)
Heat ghee on med-high. Add onions and cook to a golden-brown
Add crushed cumin and chiles
Stir fry till chiles have a pungent aroma
Stir this mix into the daal
Partially cover and simmer (2-3mins) to blend flavors
Garnish with cilantro

Serve with rice.

That's it for the present....See you soon :)
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  1. Chana dal looks is one of my fav dals tooo:)

  2. Chana Daal was the first daal I made and the most addictive. I have the Madhur Jaffrey recipe and it is very similar to this one. O yum. This is my comfort food!

  3. When i saw the pic i thought there is two variety of dal.
    This looks so so delish, i am always hunting for new chickpea recipes as daughter and hubby loves chickpea.

  4. Yum! I have Raghavan Iyer's cookbook but havent even opened it yet! Guess it's time to do so :)

  5. This sounds interesting will try it out soon, nice click!!!

  6. I love chana dal!!!! I make it with a slight variation. The ghee tadka really adds the zing.

    I have seen so many friends surprised to know that you can actually serve chanda dal with rice. :)

  7. Oh my god, im eating some chana dal right now! love it!

  8. Hi Supriya, It's my fav too now!

    Hi Joy, I have yet to try Madhur Jaffery's recipe, but it will be on my list! Which book is it in?

    Hi Happy Cook, do try this one, u won't be disappointed.

    Hi Shyam, It is time indeed!

    hi Mythreyi, Thank U! I do hope u will try it!

    Hi Tee, Do let me know about the variation, I'd like to try it too.

    Hi Sala, what a coincidence!

  9. I crave this daal is just SO good! The simplest of the recipes are the best of all!

    the spice who loved me

  10. Hmmm... toor/arhar... and on rare occasions, moong... never seen Amma make daal with anything else.

    This looks lovely

  11. That looks yummy!!

    As a child I was also unsure of differences between diff dals and took once toor dal for grinding to besan heheh!!

    I have never tried this dal!! must try now!!

  12. i sometimes make dal with chana dal too, its a welcome change :)

  13. sooper yummy channal dal. I always put the red chilli, i wil try with green chillies too.


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