2-3 Small Onions
6-7 Garlic Cloves
2 cm / 1 inch of Ginger
3 ½ – 4dl of dry Chana Dal
1 Package of Crushed Tomatoes (390g)
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 can of Coconut Milk
1 Organic Vegetable Stock (equivalent of 0.5l liquid stock)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp jeera
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
Chili powder (as much as you’d prefer)
½ tsp hing or asafoetida powder
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
These are all the ingredients for the chana dal. Start off by putting the dry chana dal in water to soak for 1 to 1½ hour.
Extra virgin Olive Oil
Meanwhile the chana dal are soaking in water, I chop up the onions, garlic and ginger together in a mixer.
I use this method because I find it easier and quicker, but you can of course chop them up by hand and also add them one by one in the frying pan.
Onion, Garlic and Ginger
After the chana dal have soaked in water I bring 2 litres of water to a boil with 1 tsp of turmeric,
1 piece of vegetable stock and salt, in which I add the lentils to boil for around 35-40 minutes on medium heat.
While the lentils are boiling we’re going to create the masala which will later go into the boiling lentils.
To make the masala, you start by adding your choice of vegetable oil (I use olive oil). When the oil is warm enough
you can pour in the jeera seeds so they start splutter.
Then you add the onion mixture to the oil and fry it on medium heat for about 5 minutes before adding spices.
The spices we add are visible in the image below. I use this Indian tray of spices to store my spices,
and it’s a very convenient way to keep them fresh and to only fill them up when they’re finished.
If you’re interested in buying a similar, I’ve found great ones over at Ebay.
So we’ll add the coriander powder, turmeric, chili and jeera powder. Mix it together with the onion mixture
and let it fry for another two-three minutes.
Afterwards, you’ll add the hing powder. This is optional, if you don’t have hing at home, you can skip this step.
Continue with adding the tomato paste to the masala mixture, and blend well.
Also, we have added the crushed tomatoes to the masala and we’ll let it cook for another 5 minutes before
it’s ready to be poured into the chana dal.
When the 35-40 minutes of boiling the chana dal have passed and the lentils feel a bit more soft, you can go ahead
and add the masala to the boiling chana dal. Keep the heat at medium-low and let it simmer so that it blends well.
In addition, we add the kasori methi, also called as fenugreek seeds in English. If you don’t have this at home,
you may skip this step.
Optional: I added a piece of butter to my chana dal at this stage. If you want to keep it vegan, you don’t have
to add the butter.
To make the chana Dal a bit more creamier, I add one can of coconut milk and you can see the colour change
to a more creamy yellow (image below).
The final step is to add some freshly chopped coriander/cilantro and turn off the heat.
Voilá! Here we have the final result (below). I like to serve it with a small click of butter in my bowl and
eat a nice home baked bread or chapati/roti to go with the dal.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you’ve tried it out yourself. If you have any of your own suggestions,
please leave them in the comments so others can benefit from your tips and tricks. Check out my Youtube channel to see more recipes in the future and be sure to hit the subscribe button if you want to stay in touch.
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Peace and Love,