Chholar Dal

Chholar Dal

Chholar Dal is a traditional Bengali dish that is made using chana dal or Bengal gram. It is a simple yet delicious dish that is often served as a side dish with rice, roti or paratha. Chholar Dal is a popular dish in Bengali households and is often served during festivals and special occasions.

Chholar Dal is easy to prepare and requires minimal ingredients. It is a healthy dish that is packed with protein and essential nutrients. The dish is often seasoned with whole spices like cumin, cinnamon, and bay leaves, which give it a distinct flavor and aroma.


  • 1 cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Soak the chana dal in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the dal in fresh water.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat mustard oil. Add cumin seeds, whole dry red chilies, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Fry for a few seconds until the spices release their aroma.
  3. Add chopped onions and fry until they turn golden brown.
  4. Add ginger paste, garlic paste, and green chilies. Fry for a minute.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and fry until they turn mushy.
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well.
  7. Add the soaked chana dal and mix well. Fry for a minute.
  8. Add 2-3 cups of water and mix well. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles on medium flame.
  9. Let the pressure release naturally.
  10. Open the lid and add sugar. Mix well.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Chholar Dal is ready to serve.


  • Soaking the chana dal helps in cooking it faster and also makes it easy to digest.
  • You can use any cooking oil of your choice instead of mustard oil.
  • Adjust the quantity of green chilies and red chili powder as per your taste.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook the dal in a pot on the stove. It will take longer to cook, but the end result will be the same.


Chholar Dal can be made in different variations. Here are a few popular variations:

  • Chholar Dal with coconut: In this variation, grated coconut is added to the dal to give it a creamy texture and coconutty flavor. Follow the same recipe and add grated coconut along with the chana dal.
  • Chholar Dal with potatoes: In this variation, cubed potatoes are added to the dal to make it a hearty and filling dish. Follow the same recipe and add cubed potatoes along with the chana dal.
  • Chholar Dal with fried coconut: In this variation, grated coconut is fried and added to the dal as a garnish. Follow the same recipe and fry grated coconut until it turns golden brown. Garnish the dal with fried coconut before serving.


Leave a Reply