Shan Chana Dal Curry

So after my adventures making chana dal dumplings for Minos, i was left with a giant bag of the dal.  It was 4 pounds for about $5 at The Patel Brothers, and that recipe did not use anywhere near 4 pounds.  So i needed more dal recipes

One of our friends from college is now a Hindu and lives over near the big temple in Riverdale.  On the first night of Diwali he posted that he had made a chana dal curry before heading over to see the fireworks.  So i asked for a recipe.

His answer: go buy a box of Shan brand Chana Dal Curry Mix.

He claimed that this type of curry mix is a staple of Indian cooking.  Well, fortunately i had picked up a box when i was buying the dal, so i was set.

I followed the recipe on the box, sort of.

1 cup of chana dal
1/2 cup of urad dal preserved in oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 cups of Better Than Bouillon chicken stock
10 fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon nigella
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
powedered cumin to taste
2 tablespoons of Shan Dal Curry spice mix

1.  Soak the 2 types of dal in water for 12 hours.  I set them up to soak in the morning before leaving for work.

2.  Drain the dal and set aside.

3.  Heat ghee in a pan.

4.  Add the finely chopped onion to the hot ghee and stir fry until they start to turn translucent.

5.  Add the curry leaves, all of the spices, and the dal curry mix and stir to distribute.  Cook for a few minutes until the seeds start to pop.

6.  Add the drained dal and stir fry to coat.

7.  Add the stock, and enough water to cover.

8.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, which takes about an hour, depending on how hot your stove it.  You want a long slow simmer, so that the dal have plenty of time to absorb a lot of water and start to disintigrate.


9.  Serve over basmati, with naan bread and your choice of beverage.

This was a delicious curry.  It wasn’t too hot, but there was a lot of flavor to it.  And it was pretty easy, really.

The only thing is, now in addition to having a lot of dal, i have most of a box of Shan Dal Curry mix.  Guess i will be making this again.


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