cholar dhal
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: indian
cuisine: vegan
serves: 4
  • 1 cup channa dal
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil as it has a high smoke point)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • ¼ cup golden raisins (i used dried cranberries which worked well)
  • ¼ cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp grated jaggery (substitute with brown sugar if you can't find this)
  • 3-4 slivers of fresh coconut (optional).
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  1. In a pressure cooker or in a saucepan, combine the dhal with bay leaves and turmeric. 1a. If using a saucepan: cover the lentils with an inch of water, bring to a boil, and let the lentils cook at a simmer, covered. Check frequently to ensure they don't dry up and add more water if needed. Cook the lentils until they are really soft and tender.1 b. If using a pressure cooker: add 3 cups of water to the 1 cup of dhal, bring to high pressure, and cook for 6 minutes.
  2. In another saucepan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
  4. Saute a minute until the cardamom looks puffy, then add the slivers of coconut, if using, and saute until they get lightly golden brown.
  5. Add the raisins and ginger, saute for 30 seconds, then add the cooked dhal. Stir well to mix.
  6. Add some water if the dhal is too dry. You want it to have a thicker consistency than most dhals do, but not so thick that it's dry.
  7. Add the jaggery (i used brown sugar) and coconut milk and heat the dhal through.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Recipe by quinces and kale at