The Bengalis are great food lovers and take pride in their cooking. In fact so fanatical are they about food, that the man of the house goes to the market daily to buy a fresh provide vegetables and fish which is a must in their daily menu. The medium of cooking is mustard oil which adds its own pungency. One more very significant item of Bengali cuisine is the diversity of sweets or mishti as they call them. Most of them are milk based and are prepared from chhena. A meal, for the Bengali, is a ritual in itself. Bengalis spend not only the great deal of time thinking about the food but also on its preparation and eating. Here is the recipe of Yummy, Delicious Cholar Dal:
- Split Bengal gram (chana dal) soaked 1 1/4 cups
- Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar 1 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- Ghee 1 tablespoon
- Fresh coconut cut into 1/2 inch thick slices 1/4
- Cloves 6-8
- Cinnamon 1 inch stick
- Black cardamoms 4
- Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
- Dried red chillies broken 3
- Green chillies roughly chopped 2-3
- Raisins 2 tablespoons
- Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
- Heat 4 cups water in a deep non stick pan. Add chana dal, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp sugar and salt, cover and cook till the dal is cooked.
- Heat ghee in another non stick pan, add coconut slices and fry till golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
- Add cloves, cinnamon, black cardamoms, cumin seeds, dried red chillies, green chillies and raisins to the ghee remaining in the pan and sauté.
- Add chana dal and ginger paste and mix well. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or till the dal thickens. Add half the fried coconut slices and mix well.
- Transfer into a serving bowl, garnish with remaining coconut slices and serve hot.