Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chatpata Chana

It is a North Indian dish. Bengal gram has a very low glycemic index which makes it suitable for people with blood sugar problems
It is a healthy tea time or coffee break snack.

  • 1 cup Bengal Gram (Kala Chana) with skin
  • ½ cup onion finely cut into cubes
  • 2 green chillies finely cut
  • ½ cup coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Soak Kala Chana for at least 3-4 hours.
  • Pressure cook it with salt in 3-4 cups of water so that it is just done ( 2-3 whistles).If some water is left then cook in an open vessel till all the water is evaporated.
  • Take out boiled chana in a bowl. Cool it.
  • Garnish with all the ingredients and serve as a snack.

Do You Know?
Lemon is reported to be an excellent potent antiseptic. Lemons feature properties that are considered to be great for treating colds, coughs and sore throats. They contain high amounts of anti - cancer properties and are reported to help in dissolving gallstones. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and potassium.

Puran Poli

It is a ‘stuffed roti-like dessert’ prepared in Gujarat,Maharashtra & South India. Traditionally, it is made from jaggery (molasses or gur), yellow bengal gram (chana dal), grated coconut, ghee and plain all purpose flour.

250 gms split Bengal Gram (chana dal)
250 gms Jaggery ( both jaggery and chana dal should be in equal quantities)
2 cups All Purpose Flour or maida
1 cup water
2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cardamom powder
100 gms freshly grated coconut

Make a dough of All Purpose Flour/ Maida with water and ½ cup ghee. The dough should be supple and the batter should not stick to your palms. Cover & keep aside for 1 hour.
Pressure cook chana dal till it is thoroughly cooked.
Mash jaggery and mix it with freshly grated coconut.
Take a deep vessel, preferably non stick. Add 2 tbsp of ghee. Heat it, add chana dal and jaggery coconut mixture . Keep stirring till the mixture thickens and consistency is enough to be made in to small balls. Powdered cardamom and some saffron (soaked for a few minutes in milk) are added to this mixture to impart further fragrance and flavor.
To make sure you have heated the mixture enough, try the spoon test. Try to place a steel spoon in the middle of the mixture, if it stands, you can remove mixture from stove, else keep stirring the mixture until it thickens further (takes about 25 minutes). Now stuffing is ready.
Take a small amount of all purpose flour dough and roll it in to the shape of a small disc. A small amount of stuffing is placed at the center of this disc, wrap the ends of the dough around the stuffing to make a ball. This ball is then rolled carefully using a rolling pin into a large, thin circular pancake shape. The procedure is same like that of any stuffed paratha. If you feel that the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, then sprinkle some more all-purpose flour/maida and continue rolling.
Heat a griddle over a medium flame, grease it. Shallow fry puran poli using a little oil on both sides .
In a traditional way puran poli are rolled on plantain leaf before transferring onto a heated griddle.
Serve hot with ghee.

Mixed Dal Fritters ( Mixed Lentils Fritters)

These mixed lentils fritters go well with evening tea.

  • ½ cup skinned split chick pea (chana dal)
  • ½ cup skinned split black lentil (urad dal)
  • ½ cup skinned split pigeon pea (toor dal)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • ½ chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Soak all the dals together for about 2-3 hours in 6 cups of water.
  • Drain out excess of water and blend the dals to a coarse paste in a food processor along with all the ingredients.
  • Mix well. Shape in to small oval flat patty like structures.
  • Coat these fritters in semolina or breadcrumbs. Keep in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Deep fry in oil on medium flame. Drain well.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney or green coriander chutney or ketchup.

Do You Know:?
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. The word comes from the Latin *frīctūra (frying") by way of Old French and Middle English.

Chana Dal Halwa

Spelled "halvah" in English, is used to describe many distinct types of sweet confections, across the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and the Balkans.

It is a warm satisfying dessert, typically eaten at the end of the meal in India.

250 gms split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)
150 gms ghee ( clarified butter)
150 gms sugar ( modify according to taste)
1 cup full cream dry milk powder
8-10 powdered cardamoms
2 tbsp crushed cashew nuts
1 tsp Rose water
Few strings of Saffron

  • Soak chana dal in water for 1 hr.
  • Blend it with minimum water to a make a thick paste.
  • Fry dal in ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium fire till it becomes light brown in color and starts omitting a delicious toasty aroma.
  • Mix with ricotta cheese and sugar. Stir it for 10 minutes.
  • Add dry milk powder, dry fruits and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add powdered cardamoms, saffron threads and rose water.
  • Serve hot.

Cabbage Chana

It is a simple nutritive side dish. Enjoy it with Dal and Raita of your choice.

  • 1 small green cabbage
  • 5 tbs chana dal
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dry coriander powder ( dhaniya powder)
  • ½ red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

  • Soak chana dal for about an hour.
  • Chop cabbage into small pieces. Wash it and then cook in microwave with little water for about 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Add cumin seeds, dry red chillies. Stir. Add soaked chana dal without water.
  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder, dhaniya powder and salt. Stir it well.
  • Add 2 cups of water and cook for at least 10 minutes with lid on the pan. .
  • Remove the lid, add cooked cabbage and desiccated coconut. Mix well.
  • Cook for some more time without lid till the water evaporates.
  • Serve hot with Parathas.

Mutton Dalcha (Lamb in Lentil Sauce)

It is a main course Hyderabadi dish (South India). Hyderabadi Cuisine, a princely legacy of the Nizams, is a blend of Mughlai and Persian cuisines.


  • To the chana dal add turmeric and enough water to cook till it is soft.
    Mash the dal and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon. Add the chopped onion and fry till brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till darker.
  • Add coriander powder, chilli powder, green chillies, tomatoes and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add mutton pieces and fry well until done. Pressure cook, if required.
  • Add ground dal, salt and ¾ of fried crisp onions. Mix well.
  • Add garam masala and lemon juice. Allow to simmer on a slow fire for a few minutes.
  • Take out in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and remaining fried crisp onion.
  • Serve with Baghara Baingan, salad, rice or roti. Goes well with tandoori roti.

Tips : Dal will cook well, if you add a little sesame oil while cooking.

Do You Know:

Research has shown that cooking garlic with meat reduces carcinogenic chemicals in cooked meat that are believed to be linked to breast cancer in meat-eating women.

Chana Dal Vada (Savory Doughnuts)

It is a savory snack from South India, shaped like a doughnut.

  • 1 cup split skinned Black gram(chana dal)
  • 2 tsp Rice Flour
  • 1 big onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch curry leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp green chili finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep fry

  • Soak the chana dal for one hour.
  • Grind it, taking very little dal at a time, coarsely. Transfer it in a bowl .
  • Add chopped onions, green chili , ginger and garlic , curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt and rice flour.
  • Mix all the ingredients well.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan on medium flame.
  • Make round shape with the hands running through the edges.
  • Drop the vada in the oil, deep fry them till they are golden brown.
  • Take out in a plate on a paper towel so that extra oil is absorbed by the paper towel.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Do You Know?

Rice flour is a form of flour made from finely milled rice.
Rice flour may be made from either White rice or brown rice. To make the flour, the husk of rice or paddy is removed and raw rice is obtained. The raw rice is then ground to form rice powder, also known as rice flour.
Rice flour is a particularly good substitute for wheat flour, which causes irritation in the digestive systems of those who are gluten-intolerant.

Besan Laddu ( Gram Flour Laddu)

This is a common Indian dessert made of besan and ground sugar in the form of balls.

  • 4 cups gram flour (Besan)
  • 2 cups Ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered Sugar ( modify according to taste)
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • Small pieces of Almonds and Cashew nuts (optional)

  • Warm the ghee in a heavy bottom deep Skillet.
  • Add Gram Flour to it. Mix well.
  • Roast the mixture on medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture till the color changes. Gram flour is ready for use when it turns dark yellow or brown in color and a pleasant toasted aroma fills the area. You have to be very careful while roasting gram flour, it should not stick to the bottom of the skillet at any time.
  • When ghee starts to separate, turn off the flame. Wait for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the sugar to this mixture when it is still more then warm.
  • Mix well sugar and besan by rubbing between both the palms. The mixture should become smooth and even.
  • Add cardamom powder and dry fruits at this stage.
  • Form round balls by pressing firmly and store in air tight containers.
  • Amount of sugar can be modified according to your taste.
  • If you are making laddus to be eaten fresh then reduce the quantity of ghee and add little milk in place of it.

Chick Pea ( Chana)

Chickpea is a helpful source of zinc, folate, and protein. They are also very high in dietary fiber and low in fat, most of which is polyunsaturated.
There are two main kinds of chickpea:

Desi (meaning local in Hindi) is also known as Bengal Gram or Kala Chana. It has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran. It is believed to have originated in Turkey.

Kabuli (meaning from Kabul in Hindi, since they are thought to have come from Afghanistan when first seen in India). These are light colored large seeds with a smooth coat. They are mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan and Chile. It is also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent.

Bengal Grams have a markedly higher fiber content than Kabulis and hence have a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with high blood sugar problems. It is used to make Chana Dal, which is a split black chickpea with the skin removed.

Gram flour is a flour made from ground Chana Dal. It is also known as chana flour (Indian), besan (Hindi), chickpea flour and garbanzo flour (Spanish).

Dahi Pakori (Lentil Balls in Yogurt Sauce)

Yummy dish made with fried lentil balls in Yogurt sauce.....



  • Soak dal for 2 hours.
  • Grind it in a grinder with minimum water. It should form a smooth soft paste of dropping consistency. Add salt and coriander leaves.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan.Drop by spoonfuls in hot oil. Take out when pink in colour
    Soak them in water. These should be completely dipped in water. Keep for 1-2 hours in water till pakori become soft. Take out pakori from water and squeeze out excess of water from them.
  • Churn yogurt; add salt. Add pakori in it.
  • Sprinkle Dahivada-Raita masala over it.
  • Garnish with green coriander chutney and Tamarind Chutney.
  • Serve with main meal or as a filler between two meals.

Tips: Take a bowl of water. Drop a small ball of dal paste in it. If dal floats then it is ready for frying pakori but if it settles down at the bottom of the bowl of water, it should be churned with hand for some more time till it can incorporate enough air to float on the water.

Hara Bhara Kebab ( Green Gram Vegetable Kebab)

Green gram, potato and vegetables are used to make nutritious cutlets.

  • 1 cup of split green gram lentil with skin
  • 1 big boiled and mashed potato
  • 1 cup cut frozen vegetables ( beans peas carrot)
  • 2 chopped green chilies
  • ½ cup chopped spring onion
  • ½ cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Breadcrumb

  • Soak moong dal for 2 hours.
  • Cook in an open pan on slow fire with 4-5 cups of water till it is just tender. Strain if water is left. Cool it.
  • Mash dal with ladder. Now add mashed potato to it.
  • Thaw frozen vegetables, squeeze out water from them by pressing them hard between the palms. Mix them with dal potato mix.
  • Add spring onion, green chili, garam masala, chat masala and salt.
  • Mix it well. Shape them in the form of balls of equal size.
  • Press each ball one by one between the palms and coat it with breadcrumb.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for ½ hour before shallow frying them.
  • Eat as a snack with green chutney or make burger.

Do You Know?

Breadcrumbs or bread crumbs are small particles of dry bread, which are used for breading or crumbing foods, topping casseroles, thickening stews and adding inexpensive bulk to food items.

Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a different blade to make coarse or fine crumbs.
However the crumb of bread also refers to the inner soft part, as distinguished from the crust.

Dry breadcrumbs are made from very dry bread, either several days old or often baked or toasted to remove all remaining moisture, and may have a sandy or even powdery texture. They can be used to make a crisp and crunchy coating for fried foods.
The bread used to make soft or fresh bread crumbs is not quite as dry, so the crumbs are larger and produce a softer coating, crust, or stuffing.

Chatpata Cheela ( Green Gram Pancake)

Nutritious, crunchy, pancake is made with soaked ground Green Gram

  • 2 cups split green gram with skin ( Chhilke Wali moong dal ) soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 cup split and skinned green gram lentil (yellow moong dal) soaked for 2 hours
  • 4 green chilies
  • One bunch of green coriander leaves
  • 1”ginger piece
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • oil

  • Wash and drain both types of dal.
  • Grind dal with green chilies, ginger, garlic and green cilantro leaves, in a mixer grinder with minimum water to form a paste.
  • Add jeera, asafetida, salt, chat masala and 1 tbsp of hot oil.
  • Beat the mixture with hand to make it a smooth paste.
  • Prepare pancakes: Heat a non stick griddle and spread a table spoon full of dal mixture on it.
  • Cook on medium low heat till golden and crisp.Drizzle a little oil to crispen it further.
  • Serve hot with cilantro chutney and /or Yogurt Raita

Do You Know?
In India, Moong dal is used to make delicious dals, snacks and curries. Moong lentils in particular is very easy to digest and take on seasonings and spices very well.
In Malaysia a sweet porridge served warm has mung beans as its base, then palm sugar and coconut milk are added. In Sri Lanka, mung beans are mixed with palm sugar to make 'mung kavum'.
Mung beans are easily digested, containing few oligosaccharides which cause flatulence. They contain between 19-25% protein, 60%carbohydrate and 4% fibre. They are also contain lysine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and traces of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Green Gram Lentil ( Moong Dal)

Green Gram Lentil are moong beans, available in Indian market in three forms

1. Whole lentil which is green in color.
2. Skinned and split lentil . They're flat, yellow, and quick-cooking. They're relatively easy to digest.
3. Split lentil with skin. They are green, flat and more nutritious. Take longer to cook then skinned lentils. Skin provides fibre.

Lentils cook more slowly if they're combined with salt or acidic ingredients, so add these last.

Sunshine Dal (Skinned Split Green Gram Lentil)

Extremely nutritious and very easy to prepare, you just need onion and asafetida. Ginger is important for seasoning this dal. Dal is a very comforting food just like chicken soup.

  • Wash and soak dal for 20 minutes
  • Put water to boil in a pan. Add moong dal, garlic, turmeric and one tsp of oil or ghee. Cover the pan. Cook on low heat till well cooked.
  • Meanwhile heat 2-3 tbsp of ghee in a separate pan. Add bay leaf, jeera, cinnamon stick, cloves. Stir it. Add asafetida powder and broken whole red chili; stir fry.
  • Add sliced onions. Stir fry till golden brown, add chopped ginger and stir fry.
  • Add boiled moong dal to it and salt. Stir continue to cook on simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Serve with Sabji, Chutney and hot paratha or roti.
Do you know?

Lentils can be stored a long time, are easy to make, and are one of the cheapest protein sources. Unlike other legumes, you don’t have to soak lentils before cooking. Just rinse them in cold water and simmer in water or broth. Enjoy them plain or spiced with herbs, onions, or garlic.

Hariyali Dal ( Whole Green Gram Lentil Stew)

Thick, spicy stew is prepared from whole green gram lentil.

  • One cup whole green gram lentil (sabit hari moong) washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes.
  • Four green onion finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp green chili paste.
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup green coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice extract
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 pinches of asafaetida powder (Hing powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp refined oil
  • 2 whole red chili
  • 2 tbsp Ghee

  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker
  • Add onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies paste.
  • Add drained moong dal with turmeric.Stir fry for 2 minutes
  • Add 4 cups of water and pressure cook it till 2 whistles. Cool it.
  • In a separate pan add ghee and heat it.
  • Add asafaetida powder, whole red chillies. Stir it.
  • Add diced tomatoes.Stir fry for 2-3 minutes till tomatoes are tender.
  • Add cooked whole green gram dal from pressure cooker.Stir it
  • Add half of the green coriander and lemon juice. Mix it well.
  • Serve in a dish. Sprinkle remaining half of coriander over it
  • Serve with roti (Indian Flat Bread)or rice.

Do You Know?
Legumes have been respected for their nutritional benefits since ancient times. Containing only a trace of fat, they are one of the best sources of fibre. They are also excellent sources of complete carbohydrates, high quality protein, vitamins and minerals.

Simple Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram )

Thick, spicy stew is prepared from split Bengal Gram.It is a mainstay of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine.

  • 1 cup split skinned chick pea (chana dal)
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp ghee ( Clarified butter)
  • 2 dry red chili
  • Salt to taste

  • Soak dal for 20 minutes
  • Heat one tbsp ghee in a pan or pressure cooker.
  • Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  • Add soaked dal to it. Add turmeric powder and cook it with enough water till it is soft.
  • Now add salt and simmer it for 5 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small pan. Add dry red chili and chili powder. This is called as ‘tadaka’(tempering). Now add this 'tadaka' to the dal.
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add water if required.
  • Switch off the flame.Serve in a bowl.
  • Garnish with coriander.Eat with rice or Roti.
Do You Know?
The actual name of this dal is "chana" or "Bengal Gram" in English; the "dal" part refers to the cooked product.
It is called "Bengal gram dal" in English; "chana dal" in Hindi; "cholar dal" in Bengali; Cicer arietinum is its Scientific Name.
The "gram" in some of the names comes from an old Portuguese word "gram", coming from the Latin "granum", meaning "grain". The modern Portuguese word is grão.
Bengal gram is often stewed with vegetables, especially bitter gourds and squashes.

Chholey Bhaturey(Chickpea Curry with Fried Indian Bread)

Chholey bhature (Hindi) is a combination of Chholey (spicy chick peas curry) and fried Indian Breads called Bhature (made of maida flour).
It is mainly eaten in North India and seems to have originated in Punjab. It is a snack food and is commonly eaten for breakfast.

For chholey
  • 1 small can of garbanzo beans ( chick pea or Kabuli chana)
  • 1 medium sized finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato chunks
  • ½ tsp of ginger paste
  • ½ tsp of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 ½ cups of oil
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 6-7 mint leaves
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp of chili powder
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • ginger juliennes

For Bhaturas :
  • 1 can of Pillsbury unbaked country biscuits only
  • 2 cups of oil to deep fry the bhaturas

Method :

For the Chholey :
  • Take 2 tablespoons of oil in a pressure cooker and heat it.
  • Add cumin seeds, fry till they start spluttering
  • Add bay leaves and cloves
  • Add diced onions. Fry till they are light brown. Add ginger and garlic paste. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Add tomato chunks. Fry for sometime. Add garbanzo beans and water.
  • Close the pressure cooker and wait for 2-3 whistles. Cool it. Transfer into a dish.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes, chopped cilantro and pudina (mint)leaves.

For the Bhaturas :
  • Pour the oil in a 'kadai' (Round Bottomed Pan /Wok). Wait until it is well heated up.
  • Open the Pillsbury biscuit can by twisting it. There will be already made mounds and roll them into 5-6 inch sized bhaturas
  • Fry them in oil. Put them in on an kitchen towel so that extra oil is absorbed.
  • Serve Chhola and Bhatura with sliced onion rings, pickle and green chili.

Tips: Bhaturas absorb less oil when fried in quite hot oil.

Do You Know?
Maida flour is a finely-milled wheat flour ( in South India it is Tapioca). After the flour is ground in a roller mill (Chakki), it is passed through a fine mesh (600 mesh per square inch) to obtain maida.
Foods made of maida are not considered to be particularly healthy. Still, during festive days maida is a common ingredient.
Maida is used to make a wide variety of food items, including puri, chapati, paratha along with pastries and other bakery items such as bread, biscuit, and toast.
Pastry flours available in United States may be used as a substitute for Maida. Pastry flour or cookie flour or cracker flour has slightly higher gluten content than cake flour but lower than all-purpose flour. It is suitable for fine, light-textured pastries.