Cholar Dal Recipe

Cholar Dal Recipe

40 mins
5-6 people
15 mins



Namaste everyone! Ajay Chopra here, and today I am thrilled to share with you a culinary gem from the heart of Bengal - Cholar Dal. This recipe holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me of the warmth and hospitality of Bengali cuisine, which I had the pleasure of experiencing during my culinary adventures.


I still remember the first time I tasted Cholar Dal at a quaint eatery in Kolkata. The aroma of spices, the rich texture of the dal, and the burst of flavors on my palate left a lasting impression on me. From that moment on, I was hooked on the delightful combination of Cholar Dal with Radha Ballabhi, a traditional Bengali delicacy.




Recipe of Cholar Dal Recipe




  • Potato, peeled - 2 pcs
  • Chana dal, soaked - 2 cups
  • Salt - 1 ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf - 2 pcs
  • Mustard oil - 2-3 tbsp
  • Fresh coconut, chopped - ¼ cup
  • Raisins - 1 tbsp
  • Cashew - 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chili - 1 pc
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch
  • Green cardamom - 2 pcs
  • Cloves - 5-6 pcs
  • Hing (asafoetida) - 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala - ½ tbsp
  • Green chili - 2 pcs
  • Bengali garam masala - ½ tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp





  1. In a pressure cooker, add soaked chana dal, turmeric powder, bay leaf, water, and cook it for 2 whistles.
  2. Heat a pan, add mustard oil, chopped fresh coconut, raisins, cashew, and sauté until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add diced potatoes and sauté for 2-3 mins. Then add dry red chili, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, and hing.
  4. Add ginger paste, jeera powder, turmeric powder, salt, green chili, and some water. Cook until the spices release aroma.
  5. Add the cooked dal, water if required, and bring it to a boil.
  6. Then add Bengali garam masala, sugar, fried coconut, raisins, cashew, and mix well.
  7. Cook for a minute, add ghee, and stir.
  8. Cholar Dal is ready to serve.





  1. In a mixer grinder, grind soaked urad dal to a paste.
  2. For stuffing, heat oil in a pan, add kalonji, green chili & ginger paste, saunf powder, salt, and sauté.
  3. Add ground urad dal, water, mix, and cook until the mixture dries up.
  4. For the dough, mix refined flour, green chili & ginger paste, salt, saunf powder, and knead into a soft dough. Rest for 10-15 mins.
  5. Divide the dough, fill the stuffing, roll into circles.
  6. Heat oil, deep fry radhaballabhi until puffed up.
  7. Radhaballabhi is ready to serve.




About the Recipe


Cholar Dal is a quintessential Bengali dish made from chana dal (Bengal gram) cooked with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf. The dal is tempered with mustard oil, fried coconut, and raisins, lending it a unique sweet and savory flavor profile. It is often served with Radha Ballabhi, a stuffed poori made with urad dal, creating a perfect harmony of flavors and textures.



Cooking Tips


  • Soak the chana dal and urad dal beforehand to ensure they cook evenly and become tender.
  • Temper the dal with mustard oil for an authentic Bengali flavor.
  • Add a touch of sweetness with fried coconut and raisins to enhance the flavor of the dal.
  • Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding water as needed during cooking.
  • Serve hot with Radha Ballabhi for a traditional Bengali meal experience.



Pairing Guide


Cholar Dal pairs beautifully with Radha Ballabhi, a stuffed poori made with urad dal. Additionally, it can be enjoyed with steamed rice or luchi (deep-fried Bengali bread) for a hearty and satisfying meal. Accompany it with a side of tangy mango chutney or cucumber salad to balance the flavors.




Frequently Asked Questions about Cholar Dal


  1. What is Cholar Dal?

    • Cholar Dal is a traditional Bengali dish made from chana dal (Bengal gram) cooked with aromatic spices and tempered with mustard oil.
  2. How do I cook Cholar Dal?

    • To cook Cholar Dal, first, soak chana dal overnight, then boil it with water, turmeric, and salt until tender. In a separate pan, temper mustard oil with spices like cumin, bay leaf, and cinnamon, then add boiled dal and cook until flavors meld together.
  3. What are the key ingredients in Cholar Dal?

    • The key ingredients in Cholar Dal include chana dal, mustard oil, coconut, raisins, spices like cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf.
  4. Can I make Cholar Dal without mustard oil?

    • While mustard oil is traditionally used in Cholar Dal for its distinct flavor, you can use any other cooking oil as a substitute if desired.
  5. What is Radha Ballabhi?

    • Radha Ballabhi is a Bengali stuffed poori made with urad dal. It is often served as a side dish with Cholar Dal.
  6. Can I customize the spice level of Cholar Dal?

    • Yes, you can adjust the amount of green chilies and red chili powder according to your preference to control the spice level of Cholar Dal.
  7. Is Cholar Dal vegan-friendly?

    • Yes, Cholar Dal is vegan-friendly as it does not contain any animal products.
  8. How long does it take to cook Cholar Dal?

    • Cholar Dal usually takes about 30-40 minutes to cook on a stovetop, including the time for soaking the dal beforehand.
  9. Can I make Cholar Dal in advance?

    • Yes, you can prepare Cholar Dal in advance and reheat it before serving. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  10. What are some common garnishes for Cholar Dal?

    • Common garnishes for Cholar Dal include fried coconut, raisins, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of ghee for added richness.