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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keema Diye Cholar Daal (Chaana Daal with minced meat)


While growing up I had heard many times from my dad about the cholar daal my dida made for him with left over chicken pieces. My dida was never moved even on surprise visit, she could just pick up whatever was in the home and churn out something yummy for her son-in-law.
I later learned this recipe from my aunt. This time when my dad came over for a visit, I made it and asked for a comparison. Even though his memory has obviously faded, he still took the side of his mom-in-law :|


  1. 1 cup cholar dal (chana dal ) washed and soaked in water for 1hr
  2. 200gms chicken OR mutton keema (I used small boneless pieces of meat)
  3. 1 large onion finely chopped
  4. 1 medium tomato coarsely chopped
  5. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  6. 1 tsp. garlic paste
  7. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  8. 1 tbsp. chili powder
  9. 1 tsp. cumin powder
  10. 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  11. 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  12. 1 tsp. bhajaa masala ( dry roast 1tsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. cumin seeds and 2 whole red chilies and then coarsely grind them in a grinder )
  13. 1 tsp. sugar
  14. Salt
  15. Oil
  16. Ghee
  17. For Tempering
    1. 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
    2. 2,3 bay leaves / tejpatta
    3. 3,4 dry red chilies
    4. Whole garam masala ( 1' cinnamon stick, 2,3 green cardamom, 3,4 cloves )


Wash dal thoroughly and soak it in water for half an hour. If you have a pressure cooked then use it to cook the dal till the first whistle. Let the pressure release on its own. If you don’t have a pressure cooker then boil the daal in a covered pan with 3 cups of water. Don't overcook it.
Heat oil in a kadai or pan and add all the ingredients for tempering. When the oil becomes fragrant add onion to it and fry on low heat till it takes a pinkish hue. Add ginger and garlic paste to it. Sauté on low heat for some time.
Next add chopped tomatoes along with the dry spice powder(turmeric + chili + cumin + coriander). Fry on medium heat till they loose their raw smell.
Its time for the keema or meat pieces to go in. Sauté along with the masala and season with salt and sugar.
Cook it covered till done. Add boiled dal to it and mix well. This dal will be thick not runny so adjust water level accordingly. Check the seasoning and adjust.
Sprinkle garam masala powder and bhajaa masala. Add a spoonful of ghee and remove from heat. Keep it covered till you serve to retain the aroma of ghee and bhajaa masala.
Best enjoyed with luchi or parantha.

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