Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Creamy Chana Daal

Chana Daal isn't the daal of choice in most maharashtrian homes, so I came about this only more recently and very quickly fell in love with the creamy texture of the daal you get when you overcook it. You could consider this an originally north-indian recipe.

I'm a garlic person when it comes to flavoring daals. I really tend to pick sides with everything and I'm not a ginger(ly!) person. However, this daal is one exception to that rule. Ginger is definitely the way to go with this daal and the tempering could be taken in any direction you like after you've cooked the daal,onion and tomatoes together.
I used curry leaves in the tempering, very un-north indianly. Sort of east meets west - or maybe north meets south.
I think it works well - mostly because of the awesome aroma of curry leaves.  Whole red chillies can easily be replaced for fresh green chillies and the flavor will be a lot lighter than this earthy version.
Lastly, I've stumbled upon this daal trick that always works for me. Adding a little lemon juice has always elevated all daals for me. Totally optional, but I recommend trying it.I'm pretty generous with the lemon juice and I've always had people ask me what's different in my daals when I do that. I hope you like it too.

Chana daal is also a very good source of protein (more so than other daals) and fiber. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient and Curry Leaves are touted for their hormone stabilizing effect. I like to think I'm treating my body well while I savour the daal with some brown rice.

The creamy texture of this daal comes from overcooking it and it doesn't have any added cream.

So here goes the recipe

1 cup Chana Daal
1/2 Onion
1 small Tomato
1/2 inch Ginger

Chilli Powder
Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder)
Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)

Clarified butter (Ghee)
Curry Leaves
Cumin seeds
Dry Red Chillies

- Wash and put the chana daal in a pressure cooker. (if you dont use a pressure cooker, cook daal in a pan with 3 cups of water for 45-60 mins. Towards the last 15 mins, add the ingredients in the next step)
- Add turmeric,onions and tomatoes to the pressure cooker and cook for 5-6 whistles. Its important that the daal cook very well so after you check the daal and if it hasnt become mushy, cook it for 2 more whistles in the cooker.(tip: if you dont want your cooker to be colored by the turmeric, skip it at this stage and add to tempering)
- Once cooled , add chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt and boil the daal for 3-5 more mins.
- For the tempering, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and when hot, add cumin seeds. After they splutter, add curry leaves and turn the heat off.
- Add tempering to the cooked daal on top and mix gently. You could add the tempering after transferring the cooked daal to your serving dish. Makes for nice presentation when the tempering floats on top.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and juice of half a lemon.Completely optional.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Archana!!! I enjoy a good channa daal curr, yours looks really nice.