Cholar Dal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dal
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup chana dal or Bengal Gram Dal
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 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. This is an essential ingredient in the traditional Cholar Dal but it's optional here because it's not always easily available to everyone here in the United States)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  1. In a pressure cooker or in a saucepan, combine the lentils with bay leaves and turmeric. If you're cooking in 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.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Saute a minute until the cardamom looks puffy, then add the slivers of coconut, if using, and saute until they get lightly golden brown.
  3. Add the raisins and ginger, saute for 30 seconds, then add the cooked dal. Stir well to mix. Add some water if the dal is too dry. You want it to have a thicker consistency than most dals do, but not so thick that it's dry.
  4. Add the jaggery and coconut milk and heat the dal through.
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 133 Fiber: 3.5 grams Protein: 6 grams
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at