“Have one more Luchi with the Cholar Dal Dolon!” having the Luchi and Narkel diye Cholar Dal at Dida’s had never ever been done with a single serving. I was remembering her while tempering the Narkel Diye Cholar Dal day before yesterday. A true blue Bengali dish, what can be better than the Niramish Cholar Dal on Poila Boishak?
Cooking vegetarian food especially the no-onion no-garlic ones are challenging for me, always. I can make a comforting non-vegetarian dish within no time, however, when it comes to vegetarian food I take my time; I think and then I cook the food realizing I can’t cook vegetarian dishes like Dida and Mammam, ever! Narkel diye Cholar Dal aka Bengali Cholar Dal, is something both the ladies; Dida (my grandmother from mother’s side) and Mammam (my aunt from Baba’s side) were amazing considering they used to cook it.
The smell of Ghee, little mussy along with several intact lentils (read Bengal Gram); along with fried coconut and properly cooed Raisin; and the light aroma of Asafoetida; Cholar Dal is pure bliss. Oh, I just have mentioned, every little detail about Narkel Diye Cholar Dal, it seems. The cooking process was same in both the houses; though Mammam’s Cholar Dal used to be more richer while Dida’s Bengali Cholar Dal was comforting.
The day before yesterday Maa called and asked whether I remember that the next day is Nil Shoshthi or not! That one question by my mother was enough to make me worried. Needless to say, I forgot, and that exactly what expected of me. I am horrible at remembering the days meant for eating vegetarian food for whatever reason and Nil shoshthi was no exception. Moreover, I am not much of a religious person. However, my mother is there to pinch me with the details I want or not.
I was about to leave home for the office. There was no preparation for a vegetarian spread. I asked my “Rannar Didi” (the cook) to make Egg Curry and Rice for Pasta’s lunch and decided to cook the dinner myself. The Dinner was a typical Bengali vegetarian spread with Narkel diye Cholar Dal, Dantiwala Begun Bhaja (fried aubergine), Luchi and Rosogolla.
Nil shoshthi is the Bengali ritual of worshiping Siva on the last month of Bengali Calander. Nil depicts for the blue color while Shoshthi stands for the 6th day. The Puja is for the wellbeing of the children and hence even the almost irreligious I also can’t ignore the same 🙂 .
Coming to Narkel Diye Cholar Dal, it is a famous Bengali delicacy. This particular variety of Bengali Dal is a favorite side with Luchi. This is no way a comforting Dal instead a rich, aromatic festive dish prepared with no onion and no garlic.
- Serves: 4 People
- Serving size: 50g
- Calories: 554
- Fat: 13.8g
- Saturated fat: 5.5g
- Carbohydrates: 107.1g
- Sugar: 67.9g
- Sodium: 502mg
- Fiber: 8.9g
- Protein: 11g
- Cholesterol: 7mg
- Cholar Dal / Split Bengal Gram: 150g (1 cup)
- Coconut: ½
- Cashew Nut: 10-15
- Raisin: 15-20
- Ghee: 1 Tbsp.
- Mustard Oil: 1 Tbsp.
- Ginger Paste: 1 Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Asafoetida: ½ Tsp.
- Cumin Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Bengali Garam Masala Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Red Chili Powder: ½ Tsp. (optional)
- Salt: To taste
- Sugar: 1 Tbsp.
- Dry Red Chili: 1
- Bay Leaf: 1
- Cinnamon Stick: 1"
- Black Cardamom: 1
- Green Cardamom: 2-3
- Cumin Seed: ½ Tsp.
- Wash Cholar Dal under running water.
- Take washed Dal along with half of the Turmeric Powder and ½ Tsp. of salt in a pressure cooker.
- Add 1 liter of water and cover the Cooker with the lid with the vent weight on.
- Cook over the high flame until the pressure builds and then reduce the flame and cook till 4 whistles come out.
- Switch the flame off and open the lid when the pressure drops completely.
- Now take a pan and heat the Mustard Oil.
- Fry coconut chunks, cashew nuts, and raisins one by one.
- In the remaining oil add ½ of the Ghee.
- Temper the oil-ghee with Dry Red Chili, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom and Cumin Seed.
- Now add Asafoetida and mix.
- Add Ginger paste and cook on low flame.
- Add 1 2 Tbsp. of water and keep cooking till the oil comes out from the mixture.
- Now add rest of the turmeric powder, red chili powder, ½ of the cumin powder, ½ of the Garam masala powder and sugar and mix thoroughly.
- Add cooked Dal along with the water.
- Now add fried coconut, cashew nut, and Raisins. You may keep a little for garnishing.
- Adjust the salt and by covering the pan cook for around 5 minutes on low flame.
- Finish the dal with rest of the Ghee and Garam Masala Powder.
- Dry roast remaining cumin powder and add it to the Dal.
- Serve Narkel Diye Cholar Dal hot with Luchi!
You may skip the Ghee to make less calorie version.
Instead of a Pressure cooker, the Dal can be cooked in a pan however, it may lead to extra time for cooking.
No-onion no-garlic Bengali Recipes apart from Narkel diye Cholar Dal from Debjanir Rannaghar:
- Sada Aloo Chorchori
- Panch Mishali Tarkari
- Kumror Chakka
- Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni
- Katoya Data Chorchori
- Natun Aloor Dum
- Papor er Dalna
- Kochu Saag er Ghonto | Mashed Taro Leaves Curry
Have you tried the Narkel diye Cholar Dal aka Bengali Cholar Dal Recipe from Debjanir Rannachar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. On Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or you, in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
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**Wish you all Subho Poila Baishakh!