Bihari Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram Curry From Bihar)

Chana dal is the vegetarian alternative for guests in Bihar when they cannot serve mutton or chicken during holy months like ‘ Kartik’ , ‘Sawaan’ or during ‘Navrathri’. The reason is probably it is the most spicy and rich dal in Bihari cuisine. In Bihar, just like other parts of the country, the chana dal is cooked separately and then it is tempered with onions and spices that make the difference. It also has a subtle scent of garam masala, which is prepared by roasting Cinamon, Green Cardamom. Cloves and Mace wherein the proportion of cardamom is highest). This chana dal is a versatile side dish and can be served with Steamed Rice, Pulao, Chappati and even Pooris. Originally it does not have any sugar but if you hail from Bengal. Maharshtra or Gujrat and you like little sugar in your curries, just add a pinch of sugar to this Bihari chana dal and you will surely adore this recipe. Here goes the recipe.

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Sapna Shaw's Secret Indian Recipe !

Preparation Time: 
30 Min
Cooking Time: 
30 Min


Chana Dal ( Split Bengal gram) – 150 grams
Onion – 2 medium sized ( Sliced)
Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tablespoon
Cumin powder – 1 tablespoon
Black pepper powder – ½ tablespoon
Red chili powder – ½ tablespoon
Turmeric powder – ½ tablespoon
Garam masala powder – ¼ tablespoon
Bay leaves – 2
Salt to taste
Mustard oil – 4 tablespoon
Ghee – 1 tablespoon
Chopped coriander leaves and green chilies– For garnishing
Wash the channa dal and then put it in a pressure cooker. Add 1 and ½ cup of water, turmeric powder, salt to taste and few drops of mustard oil and pressure cook upto 4 whistles. The dal must be cooked but should not be mushy.
Once the dal is cooked, heat oil in a pan. Break bay leaves into pieces and put in the oil. As it starts releasing the aroma, add the sliced onions. Keep the flame to medium and fry the onions till they become light brown.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and mix. Turn the flame low and sauté till the raw smell of the masala evades. This may take another 3-4 mintues.
Afterwards add the spice powders; cumin powder, black pepper powder, red chili powder and garam masala and sauté for another 3-4 mintues,
As soon as the oil starts separating from the masala, pour the cooked dal and mix. Check and adjust the seasoning. Increase the flame and let it come to a boil.
Switch off the gas and temper the dal with hot ghee. Garnish the dal with chopped coriander and green chilies.
It is recommended to prepare just in time and to serve hot. The dal tends to get thicker if kept for longer time.