Monday, October 22, 2012

Chholar Dal and Luchi for Durga Puja!

It's the third day of Durga Puja- Ashtami. Bengalis all over are flocking to puja pandals to catch a glimpse of the goddess and then there are people like me who will go anywhere to eat puja food. The Calcuttan inside me suffers bouts of depression if I don't see and hear some Durga Puja sounds every year- I'm sure all my Bong readers empathise with this sentiment. 

To stay true to tradition, here's a recipe for a Bengali favourite- Chholar Dal and Luchi.



1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 green chillies slit down the middle
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
3 bay leaves
1/4 small cubes of coconut
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 dry red chilli
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tsp sugar
250 gms bengal gram (chana dal)
1 tbsp cumin powder
Salt to taste 

How to make Chholar Dal :

Wash the chana dal well. Boil it with 4 cups of water. Add the turmeric, cumin, garam masala and green chillies. 

Add salt and sugar to taste. (This dal is supposed to be sweet so don't worry about adding all the sugar). Mix well and stir till the dal is thick and well cooked. 

Time for the tadka. Heat oil in a small wok. Add the bay leaves, dry red chilli and garam masala. When it stops spluttering, add the tadka to the dal. 

Add the coconut pieces to hot oil and fry till golden brown. Add this to the dal once fried. 

And just like that, this sweet, spicy, coconutty dal is ready to eat with luchis. And in case you don't know how to make luchis, here's the recipe.


1 1/3 cup Flour (Maida)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water or as needed
Oil for deep frying


Blend the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add a bit of oil and water and knead to a firm dough. Cover the dough and set aside for about 30 minutes. Knead the dough again for a bit. Make small balls of the dough and cover with a damp cloth. 

Take one ball of the dough and dip one side of it into the oil and roll in out into a 4 inch flat circle. Repeat for the remaining balls. 

Heat the oil in a wok till its quite hot. Add the luchis to the hot oil and make sure that is it covered in oil. Flip it over and let it cook on the other side till its golden brown. Serve hot with chholar dal or alur dom. (The alur dom recipe is coming up tomorrow!)

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