Monthly Archives: May 2011

Vegan Chana Dal Recipe

I almost called this blog “Flying by the Seat of My Pants”, but then decided I didn’t want to lock myself into being the disorganized, procrastinating, always “winging-it” gal that I am.  But, truth is – that’s me, and it’s OK, but it can be terribly frustrating, and this post is a great example of that.

I have thousands of photos on my computer.  It wasn’t until I’d had my digital camera for 4 years that I even attempted any kind of organization, and that only applies to recent photos.  I tried to load some new ones onto the computer a couple weeks ago, only to find that I have NO ROOM left on my drive.  UGH.

So, until I can find the time to sit down for many hours and go through them all, I can’t take any new photos…which is half the fun of this for me.  😦

In the meantime, I tried this recipe for Chana Dal **(see note at bottom of post) yesterday and it is a real treat for the taste buds; the kind of dish that keeps me excited about cooking, and eating.

Chana Dal is a legume used in Indian dishes – it’s very similar to a yellow split pea.

The recipe is completely vegetarian, but the spices are perfectly balanced and create a broth with such depth of flavor, you’d think there was meat hiding in there somewhere.  So wonderful to be able to layer spices together in such a way that tasting them lights up every one of the senses.  I’m not kidding.  Even my husband – who is tentative about beans/legumes, thought it was delicious and said he could eat it every day.  (!!!!) My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I didn’t have tamarind pulp, but I did have a can of tomato paste that needed to be used, so I substituted that.  This is a great source of fiber and protein.  It really is so good that I plan to make a double batch today so I can keep eating it for a few days.

We ate it with brown basmati rice which I flavored with a few saffron threads. I wasn’t sure it was going to work – I really like white basmati with Indian food.  Surprisingly, they went together perfectly. BONUS!

PLUS – it’s so cheap to make. I spent $4.99 on the bag of dal at the Indian grocery.  I can make 4.5 batches of this with that.  Considering each batch is about 4 servings, this comes to less than $.30 a serving.  (not including the spices) Buying the spices at the Indian grocer saves a TON as well.

I will probably try the next batch with half the salt and see how that works…


**(3/10/12)   You might have noticed that the link sends you to a different recipe. A reader just alerted me to the fact that I was linking to a different recipe from the one I was actually using – she noticed there was no tamarind pulp. That link now takes you to the recipe the post references,  but here is the one that was here in case you are coming back to find that one. I’m adding another post using this one


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