Split gram lentils or, split chickpea/ garbanzo beans called “Chana Dal” in Hindi, are a great source of protein. Most Indian stores sell these lentils in two forms, a raw form and a roasted one. The roasted form is commonly used as a base for making “Chutney” and Dips.
- Split Gram Lentils – 1 cup
- Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Dried Red Chillies – 2 medium sized
- Asafoetida – 1 teaspoon
- Curry Leaves, fresh – 8 to 10
- Turmeric Powder – 1
- Desiccated Coconut – 2 tablespoons
- Salt, to taste
- Water – 1.5 to 2 cups
- Fresh Coriander Leaves & Stalks, minced finely for garnish – 2 tablespoons
- Grated Coconut (optional, but recommended) for topping – 1 tablespoon
- Soak the split gram lentils for 3 to 4 hours, rinse and drain.
- Heat coconut oil in a deep pan (I used my 3 Litre pressure pan).
- Add the mustard seeds to the warm oil and cover till they pop.
- Sprinkle the asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves into the oil. Cover!
- Mix in turmeric powder and desiccated coconut, cook until aromatic.
- Tip in the lentils and season with salt.
- Cover the lentils with water till they are just about under the water line.
- Bring to a boil and close the lid. Cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat immediately and remove steam (or, it turns mushy!).
- Garnish with coriander leaves and/ or, grated coconut.
Tastes great warm or at room temperature. I tend to eat this protein rich dish by itself, but the rest of the family, often pairs it with “Pulao” rice or, flatbread.