My Own Chana Dhal Recipe

29 Apr

I have a lot to catch up on with my blog—I know I owe everyone the Tiny Kitchen Remodel unveiling, and I have a few awards and a “tag” to respond to (thank you so much!), but between work, the remodel and my teaching, I’ve had little free time. Oh, and this weekend I’ve been breaking in the new kitchen!

Wednesday I made this dhal. I’d been dreaming of yellow split peas for weeks, and I don’t know if it was the storm that hit SoCal last week or all the other lentil recipes my blogger friends had posted that got me in the mood, but I was so happy to make these!

I had half a cup of chana dhal left in the cupboard and a whole bag of yellow split peas, so I figured I’d use both for more texture. I used up Easter’s ham bone that Dad tried to give to the dog, and we decided that she shouldn’t have bones anymore after some research. So into the pot it went along with a lamb shank bone that was hanging out in the freezer.

That said, this dish is easily vegetarianized/veganized. Just leave out the meat and use “no beef” beef stock or mushroom stock, and for vegans, leave off the feta as a topping.

I’m very pleased with myself because I only consulted a recipe for the ratio of water to lentils, and otherwise threw in the ingredients as I saw fit. And, dear readers, it was wonderful, if I do say so myself. The Husband and I both had seconds! And I was already dreaming about leftovers.

TKS Chana Dhal

1.5 cups dried yellow split peas
.5 cup dried chana dhal (split chick peas)
6 cups water (or stock, for veggie version)
Ham bone/lamb bones
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp coriander seed
2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
4 cloves garlic
3 dried red chiles
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Topping:
2 large shallots, sliced
2 red Fresno chiles (or red jalapeños)
2 tsp cumin seeds
Crumbled feta cheese

I meant to add garlic, but forgot, and I'm glad I did! The caramelized shallots are perfect as is.

Rinse the dried lentils, and set aside. In a stockpot, heat 2 Tbs of coconut oil, and sauté the onion until golden. Add the seeds, cinnamon, garlic and chiles; stir for one minute. Add the water and bones, or stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for two hours until the lentils are tender, adding more water to loosen, if necessary.

When the lentils are cooked, add the cilantro; set aside. In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Sauté the shallots in coconut oil until deep golden brown, then add the chiles and cumin seeds; cook for another 3-5 minutes.

If using the bones, make sure to remove the bones before serving and take any meat off the bones and return it to the lentils. Serve lentils with a few tablespoons of feta and a large dollop of the shallot mixture.

One of the first meals to be cooked in the new kitchen!

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15 Responses to “My Own Chana Dhal Recipe”

  1. An Unrefined Vegan April 29, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Love soups like this! Yours looks scrumptious-delicious! Is it the new kitchen??

  2. Shira April 29, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    This looks so gorgeous – love the topping of caramelized onion too – yummy!

    • tinykitchenstories April 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      It really worked out nicely, I have to say. The Husband was stealing little bits of it as I was trying to put it away! Thanks for the note 🙂

  3. girlinafoodfrenzy April 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    I agree, the photo is gorgeous and it captures all your textures sitting atop the creamy Dahl. I love spice as you know 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories April 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      I know you do, and I was thinking of you as I was posting! The lamb shank in here was a nice flavor, and would encourage you to try it. Spice is the stuff of life! 🙂

  4. debbrunson April 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    This is fantastic, tks! Funny, I have been craving lentils too, despite our warm spring weather… perhaps we have many of the same blog friends and these lentil posts are getting to me as well 🙂
    And yours- from your oh so cute albeit tiny kitchen- with caramelized onions has put me over the lentil edge. Lentils soon 🙂 Thanks for the always wonderful posts!

  5. The Mouse April 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Congrats on your new kitchen. Can’t wait to see the pictures. No pressure. Heh heh. so jealous. 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories April 30, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Thanks! Hope to post soon. Work keeps getting in the way… 🙂

    • Tria May 18, 2012 at 1:14 am #

      We add lentils to curry when we make it at home my brhoetr eats *so* much because of all his training these are really great for padding out curries/stews etc. and filling him up! Plus, they really are delicious! Thanks for the ideas, Melanie!

  6. Pearls-Toronto April 30, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    What a beautiful dish! I can see myself using that topping recipe for many things…like Butternut Squash Soup!

  7. veghotpot May 9, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    mm looks absolutely delicious! I really love any kind of dhal curry it’s so comforting

  8. Avinash May 18, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Having a slight Indian bargucoknd does come in useful sometimes, especially when it comes to the hugely cultured food. From a young age, I have been introduced to lentils, though at start I hated it, it then grew on me and now I have it daily, and love it! It provides the necessary nutrients you need to grow and repair your muscles..-= lipo s last blog .. =-.

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