Maa Chole ki Dal is a staple Punjabi recipe made from a combination of two lentils Chana Dal (yellow Gram) & split black urad dal (black lentils). It’s creamy, nutty, and super delicious and pairs extremely well with both Rice and Indian flatbreads like naan/roti. Add a side of pickle and salad for that complete meal.
“Maah Chole Ki Dal” is commonly relished in Punjabi households. “Maah” means chilke wali urad dal or split black gram with skin and ‘chole’ means chana dal or split black gram. I grew up in Chandigarh so this dal is a staple item in our lunch with hot plain steamed rice.
Maa or Maah in this dal refers to split black urad dal (split black gram) and Chole is chana dal (yellow bengal gram). This dal is cooked by combining these two lentils and hence the name Maa Chole ki dal. It is also known as Maah chole di daal, Punjabi Maa Chole di dal, or Langar wali daal as it’s one of those recipes that is regularly served at Gurudwara langar. This lentil combination gives this dal it a unique look and different texture and taste. It gets its creaminess from the black gram and nutty flavor from the chana dal making it super delicious.
Urad dal (Black gram lentil) is a very popular household lentil all over India. Other popular north-Indian urad dal delicacies are dahi vada, papad, urad dal kachori or just as dry stir-fried urad dal. Dal-makhani, a very popular festive lentil, is also made from whole urad dal. In the southern part of India, it is one of the main ingredients of the famous South Indian dish of Idli-Dosa batter. It is also used in the famous medhu-vada. Lastly, for desserts, you can also make ladoos or halwa with urad dal.
Chana dal is highly used for making a variety of soups and salads, it’s because the taste is just like the sweet corn kernels. This dal is rich and extremely tasty after cooking and is best to serve with steamed or jeera rice along with any dry vegetable dish. Chana dal is cooked with a combination of bitter gourd (turai, turi) and squashes to make a delicious turai chana dal recipe. I already shared the chana dal recipe with zucchini & carrots, with spinach (palak).
Split urad dal – 3/4 cup
Chana dal – 1/2 cup
Finely chopped onion – 2
Puree of tomato – 2
Finely chopped ginger – 2 inch
Finely chopped garlic – 8
Finely chopped green chilly- 2
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Bay leaf – 2
Black cardamom – 1
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp
Dry red chilli – 2
Ghee or butter– 5 tbsp
Salt to taste
Freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnishing or Dry Coriander leaves powder
- Wash and soaked dal with 2 cups of water overnight.
- Wash soaked dal and boil in a pressure cooker with a pinch turmeric (1/4 tsp), red chilli powder (1/2 tsp), black cardamom, bay leaf , salt, 1 tbsp of ghee with 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook dal for 3 whistles and allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep it aside.
- Heat ghee ( 2 tbsp) in a deep non-stick pan and add cumin with dry red chilli.
- When the cumin crackle, add the onions and saute on a medium flame until little brown. Now add ginger, garlic, green chilli and cook for 4 minutes.
- Lower the flame add coriander powder, turmeric (3/4 tsp), salt to taste with little water and mix them well. Now add tomatoes puree and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Cook masala until gravy starts leaving oil from corners
- Add boiled chana urad dal and mix well. Let it boil for 10 minutes on medium low heat.
- Tarka or Tempering – Heat ghee ( 1 tbsp) in a pan on medium low heat and add red chilli powder (1/2 tsp) and kasuri methi. Stir it for 15 seconds and add tempering to dal and mix well.
- Garnished with chopped coriander leaves and serve with steam rice.