Creamy Lentil Sauce

Gram lentil with coconut chips - Narkel diye cholar dal recipe

This fresh and yellow lentil gravy with coconut chips is a significant Bengali dish, which can be served as an accompanier with rice or flat bread, luchi or puri as well as in all food course from breakfast to dinner from snacks to main course. It is amazingly tasty dish.

I prefer unpolished locally produced grains rather than polished imported grains because imported grains contain harmful preservatives or additives and the quality of the ingredients after purification may have chemical residue.

One more thing about the Bengali cooking technique, Bengalis would prefer to add whole bowl of cooked lentil into the tempering pan called sombar সম্বরা the Condiment or ফোড়ন [phoron], slightly different from the other Indian provinces named as chaunk or তড়কা [tarka], বাগার [bagar] or Thaalithal , where tempering or seasoning are being fried in the oil in the tempering ladle and then pour into the lentil or curry.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves 2


1 cup unpolished yellow gram lentil or cholar dal, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon fresh coconut chips, 1 teaspoon ginger paste, and 2 silted green chilies.

For tempering:

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 2 bay leaves, 1 big cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 1 dried whole red chili, red chili powder and turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon each, 2 teaspoon clarified butter or vegetable oil, salt and sugar by taste.


Wash and clean fresh yellow gram lentil and soak in 1 cup fresh water for 30 minutes. Boil 2 cup water, add soaked lentil, bring it to boil and let it simmer until it becomes soft, but not mushy. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and 1 cracked bay leave now, give a stir, cover with a lid. Put off the fire and give a standing time for 2 to 3 minutes.

Take a deep pan, put on the fire, add clarified butter or oil of your choice for tempering, add cracked whole red chili, bay leave, whole cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom [cracked] one by one, add coconut chips and ginger paste, fry a little, do not let them burn. Add boiled lentil carefully, stir with a big ladle, add salt and sugar to taste, let it boil for a minute or two, close the heat. Add one teaspoon clarified butter and silted green chilies, cover with a lid, give a standing time for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.

You can add chopped coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon thick cream of coconut milk on top for extra flavor and to garnish the dish.

You might also be interested in our Pawn Polao - traditional Indian recipe.