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Chana Dal (Curried Chick-Peas)

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Indian Vegetables


  • 1 c Chana dal (dried chick-peas; or garbanzos)
  • 1 ts Tea leaves
  • 1 ts Salt
  • 5 c Water; plus
  • 1 tb Water
  • 1 1/2 tb Ghee (clairifed butter); may be doubled
  • 1/2 ts Cumin seed
  • 1/4 c Finely chopped onion
  • 1 tb Fresh ginger root; scraped, finely chopped
  • 1/2 ts Turmeric
  • 1/2 ts Ground cumin
  • 1/2 ts Ground coriander
  • 1/2 ts Garam masala
  • 1/4 ts Ground red pepper; hot
  • 1 tb Fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  • Cooked rice


In a large sieve or colander, wash the chick-peas under cold running water until the draining water runs clear. Drop the chick-peas into a large bowl or pan, pour in enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches, and let them soak at room temperature uncovered for 12 hours or overnight. Drain the chick-peas in a large sieve or colander, place them in a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, and add the tea leaves, salt and 4 cups of the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, partially cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
In a separate 3- to 4-quart saucepan, heat the ghee over high heat until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly. Add the cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds, then add the onions and ginger. Lower the heat to moderate and, stirring constantly, fry the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly.
Stir in the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, red pepper and 1 tablespoon of water, and fry for 1 minute. Then add the chick-peas their cooking liquid and the remaining 1 cup of water. Stirring constantly bring to a boil over high heat, cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the chick-peas are tender but still intact.
Taste for seasoning, ladle the entire contents of the pan into a heated bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander and serve at once. Serves 4 to 6; one of many dishes. Serve with rice. PER SIXTH: 156.6 cals, 5.5 g fat (30.8% cff); with rice 289 cals, 5.8 g fat, 18.1%
CREDITS (1969) Time-Life Books, New York: Foods of the World (Series) Recipes: The Cooking of India (Reprinted 1975). kitpatH's bookshelf.
Recipe by: Time Life Foods of the World (1969;75)
Posted to Digest eat-lf.v097.n297 by KitPATh <> on Nov 22, 1997