Chana Daal with Tamarind and Tomatoes recipe image

Chana Daal with Tamarind and Tomatoes

  • 250g TRS chana daal
  • 900 ml water
  • 1 tsp TRS cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp TRS brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp TRS red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp TRS turmeric powder
  • 2-3 cm piece of cassia bark
  • 1 tsp TRS crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp TRS crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 TRS Indian bay leaf
  • 1 tsp TRS asafoetida
  • 2 tbs tamarind pulp
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of fenugreek leaves, soaked in 2 tbs of hot water
  • 2 tbs clarified butter (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp TRS pulped garlic
  • 2 tsp TRS pulped ginger
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp grated jaggery
  • 1 tbs natural yogurt
  • 3 whole green chillies, pierced on both sides
  • 1 tsp sea salt or rock salt
  • One small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of a small lime
  • Tempering ( Optional)
  • 2 tsp groundnut oil
  • 1/2 tsp TRS brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp TRS cumin seeds
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 dry TRS Kashmiri red chilli


  • 1

    Wash and add the lentils to a large pan containing 900ml of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer and skim off any starch or froth that appears on the surface with a spoon.

  • 2

    Add ½ tsp of asafoetida, place the lid on the pan and simmer, stirring regularly, for 45 -50 minutes.

  • 3

    Remove the lentils from the heat and gently give them a light mash. If the lentils seem a little dry, add some more water, and then set aside.

  • 4

    Place the clarified butter in a cold saucepan, and gently heat on a low heat. Then add all the key spices and the remaining ½ tsp of asafoetida. Warm through for 50 seconds.

  • 5

    Add the garlic and ginger, saute for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and jaggery.

  • 6

    Cook and reduce for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for one minute.

  • 7

    Stir in the yogurt well, add the green chillies, and bring the pan back to the boil. Then, immediately reduce to a low heat, cooking out the yogurt for 5 minutes

  • 8

    Add the soaked fenugreek leaves and stir. Take the saucepan and add the contents to the lentils, stirring well. Add the tamarind pulp, and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. If the lentils become thick you can just add a little more water to loosen them up.

  • 9

    Remove from the heat. Season with salt and add the fresh coriander, lime zest and lime juice.

  • 10

    If it’s a special occasion, why not temper the dal just before taking it to the table. To do this, simply heat the groundnut oil, in a small pan, on a medium heat. Add the TRS brown mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Then add the TRS cumin seeds allowing them to sizzle, pop in the curry leaves and red chillies. Once the curry leaves start to splutter, pour the whole mixture over the lentils.

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