Jun 18, 2013

Masala Chana Dal with Kale

Kale is a wonderful green. Has an interesting look and a unique taste. I like baby Kale in salads but I usually cook the bigger leaves. Pesto comes out wonderful using Kale as I have tried here. Today for dinner I wanted to make a simple Dal dish using Chana Dal. This particular recipe is credited to my neighbour who had served it to us at dinner on the day we landed in Kansas. I could never forget the taste and is one of my favourite dal dishes since.Its a very simple dish akin to most Dal preparations and goes well with Chapathi or Rice. The vegetable best suited for this Dal is the bottle gourd but since I did not have it handy today, I decided to substitute it with a green. I picked Kale for no bigger reason than that was the first box I laid my hands on in the fridge. I am sure it would work very well with spinach or amaranth.

Masala Chana Dal with Kale

Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins


1 1/2 cups Chana Dal
2 cups cut Kale leaves
1 small Onion
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 Green chillies
Salt to taste
3 tsp Oil


  1. Remove the thick stem portion from the Kale leaves simply by tearing the leaves away from the stem. Wash thoroughly and cut or tear them into smaller size.
  2. Boil or steam the washed chana dal till half cooked. I used the pressure cooker and switched off the stove after one whistle.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add cumin seeds to it.
  4. Add in green chillies when the cumin seeds sputter and saute for half a minute.
  5. Add in turmeric and onions and saute till onions turn transluscent.
  6. Saute after adding cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala and then add Kale.
  7. Cook till Kale wilts. Add salt at this point
  8. Now add the contents of the pan to the boiled/steamed channa dal and boil till cooked. I used the pressure cooker again. I added the pan contents to the half cooked channa dal inside the cooker and cooked till another whistle. 
  9. Make sure to not over cook the chana dal so as to mash them all up. The dal dish is done when the lentil retains its shape and is still soft to the touch. 
  10. Serve Masala Dal hot with Chapatis or Rice. 

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