Bengal Gram Curry

The slurpy Curry.

Chana daal or Bengal gram, is a yellow lentil. This multipurpose lentil is used in making gram flour (besan) or the base of a curry as a paste form or chutney as a side dish. We Indians include many types of grams in our diet. Right from split to whole red gram, green gram, yellow and black gram and each has its own nutritional value.

This recipe was particularly made by my grandmother in winters. In this dish, the curry is made from tomato puree which is slurped while eating. The addition of cinnamon gives it a distinct flavor that is struck right at the first bite. The mild taste of the curry leaves sublimes the overall experience and also makes you feel full. The gram is full of proteins too. Along with the crunchy bite and the slurpy curry, this dish makes for a perfect enjoyment on a cold winter night.

Pre-preparation time: 2 hours + 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total Time:  2 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 3

Things needed

  • 250 gm Bengal Gram (Split)
  • 1 Medium sized Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Curry leaves
  • Handful of Coriander
  • Garlic-ginger paste
  • 3 tbsp. of oil
  • 1/4 tbsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp. Black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp. Asafeotida
  • A small piece of Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tbsp. Chilli powder
  • 1/2  tbsp. Turmeric
  • Salt


  1. Soak 250 grams of Bengal Gram in 4 cups of water for about 2 hrs (you can even keep it overnight). Take a seed of this gram and check if it breaks, if it does then the gram/daal is soaked well.
  2. Drain the water from the bowl and keep aside the soaked gram.
  3. Chop the onion and a handful of coriander.
  4. Cut 2 tomatoes and put them in the mixer grinder to make a fine puree. (Add a little amount of water).
  5. Grind 4-5 cloves of garlic with a small piece of ginger in a grinder to make a paste.

How to prepare

  1. Heat 3 tbsp. of groundnut oil in a wok for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  2. Add black mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them temper. Also put a small piece of cinnamon. Sauté for a minute. (You will know the oil is heated if black mustard seeds and cumin seeds jump out of the wok, they release their temper. That’s why it’s rightly called ‘tempering!’ 😛)
  3. As the aroma of cinnamon rises, add the chopped onion. Fry till its pale brown. Then add curry leaves, the garlic-ginger paste and the tomato puree. Saute this for 3 minutes. (The aroma that rises from this entire mixture is just mouth-watering!)
  4. Put chili powder and turmeric powder. Mix well again for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the soaked gram and mix well. Add 1 ½ cup of water and let the gram boil for 10 minutes on low flame with the lid on. Open the lid and mix after first 5 minutes and then again close it. (Add water if the gram seems too dry).
  6. After 10 minutes, add salt as per your taste.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with cooked rice or roti. Goes well with both of them and also tastes yum! 🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks delicious!… One of my favorite dals…thanks for the recipe.
    When you are free do visit my blog
    please follow if you like my stuff. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nivedita Dafade says:

      Anytime. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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