Bengali Niramish Cholar Dal recipe | Bengali Style Chana Dal (no onion garlic)

Bengali niramish cholar dal recipe – a Bengali style no onion garlic chana dal (Bengali veg chana dal) recipe – an easy-to-cook dal recipe with simple step-by-step detailed pictures. This classic Bengali veg chana dal is for all vegetarians, especially for Bengali vegetarians and Jain (both do not have onion and garlic), even for vegans if ghee is not used in this dal.

Cholar dal is a slightly sweet authentic Bengali chana dal recipe prepared using split Bengal gram pulse(lentils) with coconut, garam masala, hing, and ghee without onion & garlic. Luchi, kochuri, dal puri, or even radhaballavi, and even paratha go best with this Bengali chana dal recipe, especially for Bengali breakfast. To celebrate Bengali festivals or occasions (biye bari to puja bari) cholar dal is a highly rated popular dish. Serve with khasta luchi and begun bhaja (deep-fried eggplant).

image of cholar dal and bengali luchi image of  bengali luchi and cholar dalFor making cholar dal, boiled chana dal (split bengal gram pulse) is cooked with tomato, ginger-green chilli paste, grated coconut (narkel) accompanied by tempering of whole cumin, bay leaf, red chilli, and whole garam masala in ghee. However, If you don’t consume coconut or have some health problem with coconut then just skip it. This chana dal won’t be bad in taste without coconut. But must add ghee and garam masala powder to enhance the flavor and make this dal scrumptious like other niramish bengali recipes.

Coconut enhances the taste of cholar dal and also made a connection with my Grandma’s Bengali style chana dal cooking. Like my grandma, twice I used coconut for making this dal, first I added coconut (grated) while roasting the masala and lastly, I added some small pieces of fried coconut (fried in ghee) for garnishing which makes this dish more scrumptious.

I prepare this yummy chana dal to make a surprise breakfast or dinner for my family with luchi (bengali poori), roti, or paratha. Even we all prefer this dal more than any niramish tarkari or vegetable curry. Because of the sweet taste and slight dry gravy, this chana dal is generally not served with rice like other dal recipes. However, in my house, my mom serves this chana dal with no onion garlic sweet yellow pulao, or Bengali fried rice for pujor bhog prasad during Durga puja. That is amazing too.

chholar dal for making cholar dal recipechholar dal for making cholar dal recipe

Benefits of cholar daal/chana dal/Bengal gram pulse – Cholar dal or chana dal is itself, a great source of iron and protein, and is rich in fiber which helps in weight loss and reduces cholesterol. And adding coconut actually helps to boost metabolism with an addition of fat loss. So the combination of this dal with coconut is as healthy as tasty as well. 

In spite of being pure non-vegetarians, we Bengalis(especially Indian Bengalis) have a lot more favorite veg recipes and this chana dal is one of them. Any occasion (Bengali Durga puja to Bengali biye bari), especially all of our Bengali festivals is incomplete without luchi and cholar dal or without luchi and aloor dum recipe.

You make this cholar dal at home and can taste with

You may also try some other simple and popular Bengali vegetarian recipes

Bengali niramish cholar dal recipe | Bengali Style Chana Dal (no onion garlic)

Ingredients of cholar dal

  • 1 cup Cholar dal/ Chana dal/ Split Bengal gram
  • 1 1/4 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1 Green Chili 
  • 1 medium size Tomato(chopped)
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2  tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 3 tbsp Freshly grated Coconut( Kurano narkel)
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • Water (as required)

Ingredients for making cholar dalIngredients for making cholar dal

For tempering this dal

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Whole Red Chilies
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Green Cardamom(shredded)
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1-inch Cinnamon stick

Spices for making bengali cholar dal recipeSpices for making bengali cholar dal recipe

Garam Masala Powder for cholar dal

  • 4-5 Green Cardamom
  • 6 Cloves
  • 1-inch Cinnamon stick

garam masala for making cholar dal recipegaram masala for making cholar dal recipe

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Served in: 40-45 mins

Cuisine: Bengali

Course: Breakfast | Dinner

Served for: 5 people

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make Bengali niramish cholar dal recipe step by step with pictures


Soaking the dal

  • Take a cup of cholar dal/ chana dal or split bengal gram pulse.
  • Wash it 4-5 times thoroughly under running water.
  • Soak the dal in water for about 1 hr before cooking, long hours soaking of dal helps to cook it faster.

soaked chana dal before cooking soaked chana dal before cooking

How to boil the dal in the pressure cooker

sidhdho chholar dal or chana dal, after perfect boiling

  • Take a pressure cooker, and add the soaked dal (after straining the water),1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp turmeric powder.
  • Add 2 cups of water to it, and close the lid of the cooker.
  • Place the cooker on medium-high flame and wait for 3 whistles. 
  • Turn off the flame and let the pressure cooker completely cool down or let automatically release the pressure.

Making Cholar Dal

  1. First, take a deep bottom pan, and add 1+1/2 tbsp ghee to it.
  2. Now add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and whole dried red chili into the pan.
  3. Let’s crackle the cumin seeds. Add a pinch of hing or asafoetida for getting the wonderful aroma.

saute masalas with tomato for making cholar dal recipesaute masalas with tomato for making cholar dal recipe

  • Then add chopped tomato and 1/4 tsp salt to it. Fry and then mash the tomato with the help of your ladle.
  • Add ginger and chili paste. Roast them well.
  • Then it is time to add cumin powder, sugar, and 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut (or desiccated coconut or 1/4 cup coconut milk) to the pan with the roasted spices. Roast the spices until the raw flavor of the spices goes off.

cooking niramish cholar dal recipe with freshly grated coconut (kurano narkel)cooking niramish cholar dal recipe with freshly grated coconut (kurano narkel)

  • Now add the boiled dal to the pan and stir it gently.
  • Add water as required. I add I cup of water, you can add water according to your requirement.
  • When it starts boiling add the garam masala powder, which has been described above. And add the rest of the coconut (1 tbsp of grated coconut). salt as required. Mix it well.

Garam masala flavoured Bengali cholar dalGaram masala flavoured Bengali cholar dal

  • Let boil for a few minutes, though this dal is generally served thick you can make it according to your requirement.
  • Turn off the flame and lastly add 1 tsp ghee to the top of the dal. Gently stir and cover it with a lid to spread the aroma of freshly added ghee all over the dal.

gaoa ghee for making bengali niramish cholar dal recipegaoa ghee for making bengali niramish cholar dal recipe

  • Bengali niramish cholar dal is ready, can garnish this dal with fried coconut in ghee (ghiye bhaja narkel) and cashew nuts(if you wish).

       Serving Tips 

  • Want to serve this dal with rice? Make a thin consistency of this chana dal by adding 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt until get the right consistency.
  • For quick and easy soaking of dal, add 1/2 tsp baking soda while soaking the dal in water for 15 mins and then boil. In Bengali restaurants, cholar dal is boiled in soda, a common practice for quick boiling of dal. Do not use soda in cooking any dal, that method is injurious to health.
  • If you are a beginner and you have overcooked the dal, the quick and simple solution is to keep the dal in the freezer for 15 mins and then cook it. This method prevents dal grain to get mushy for further cooking.
  • Do you want to make this chana dal recipe without soaking the dal? Then after washing the dal, cook it in a pan or in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp turmeric powder. If cooking in pan, cook it on low heat by covering the pan until the dal gets soft. If cooking in a pressure cooker, cook the dal for 20 mins on low heat.

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3 thoughts on “Bengali Niramish Cholar Dal recipe | Bengali Style Chana Dal (no onion garlic)”

  1. Hi Moumita, I made the dal yesterday. It was simply awesome. I followed all the steps you have outlined and the only change I made was that I added an extra 1 tablespoon of sugar after the dal was ready. That is it and it is a personal preference. That dal tasted absolutely fine without it. Thank you so much for the recipe. Now going to make your dum aloo. Not sure where I can rate the recipe, but this recipe gets a 5 out 5 🙂

    • Thank you so much Mitali…really glad to know that you loved my recipe…yes you may add more or less sugar according to your taste…Thank you once again for your valuable feedback and the highest ratings that really motivate me to do a lot more good work😊😊…you may rate it through my website


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