Dal Chenchki ( Red Lentils with Shallots)
The Dal Chenchki is a recipe from Bengal, a state I love to visit so very often for its aromatic food. The Dal Chenchki is a simple recipe made from red lentils (masoor dal) and combined with baby onions (shallots) and seasoned with ghee and mild spices. Serve the Dal Chenchki with Aloo Parwal Sabzi (another Bengali favorite) and hot rice, topped with ghee.
I must mention that the version of Dal Chenchki might not be same as many bengali's make, but is an inspired version of what my cook used to make while I lived in calcutta.
If you like this recipe, you can also try other Dal recipes such as
- 1 cup Pink Masoor Dal (Split)
- 10 Shallot
- 1 Tomato , roughly chopped
- 2 Green Chillies , roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Bay leaf (tej patta)
- 1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)
- Salt , to taste
- Ghee , for seasoning
How to make Dal Chenchki ( Red Lentils with Shallots)
To begin making the Dal Chenchki Recipe, I will be using the pressure cooker to cook the entire dish in one pot.
Wash and dry the masoor dal in a towel as will be roasting it along with the seasoning.
Heat a tablespoon of ghee in the pressure cooker; add in the cumin seeds and bay leaf; allow them to crackle for a few seconds.
Next add in the onions and saute the onions till it changes colour and you get the aromas of the shallots. I typically like to quarter the onions and then add it to the dal, but traditionally it is added as a whole.
Once the onions are roasted, add in the masoor dal and roast for about a minute on medium heat until you smell more aromatic flavors. In the last step, add in the tomatoes, turmeric powder, green chillies, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.
Stir all the ingredient well and add 3 cups of water to the Dal Chenchki mixture. Add in the salt to taste and cover the pressure cooker.
Pressure cook until you hear 2 whistles, after which turn the heat to low and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. The dal will be cooking more inside the cooker even when the heat is turned off.
Once the pressure is released, you can then open the cooker and check the spice and saly levels and adjust according to taste.
Finally stir in the chopped coriander leaves and stir.
Serve the Dal Chenchki with Aloo Parwal Sabzi (another Bengali favorite) and hot rice, topped with ghee.
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