Baked Crispy Chana Dal Chaat
Mumbai has a vibrant street food scene, out of which chaats like bhel and sev puri are hugely popular. Almost every street corner / colony in Mumbai will have a dedicated chaat wala who puts up his mobile shop in the evenings, doing a brisk business until late night.
Similarly, Jhaal Mudi is a Kolkata street food special, which is made without sev or puri, but generous dose of mustard oil, coconut pieces, and heat from green chillies. I remember having this for the first time as a kid, in the Gitanjali Express train from Mumbai to Kolkata, as we were nearing the Howrah station. I assumed this would be very much like bhel puri, but the pungency of mustard oil gave me a solid scare. It is after all an acquired taste. Now, I simply love the flavour and there is a Jhal Mudi wala at Juhu (Mumbai) whom I never fail to visit when I am in that part of the city.
I've made this dish borrowing a bit from each of these two extremely popular street foods - Bhel Puri and Jhal Mudi, using Tata I-Shakti Chana Dal.
Fried and spiced chana dal is a popular tea time snack. Here, in an attempt to make it healthier, I have oven baked the chana dal until crispy. You can do the same with moong dal too. It's a protein rich, healthy snack and can be had as it is with salt and spices of choice.
Chana Dal Chaat
Recipe for Baked Crispy Chana Dal and Chana Dal Chaat
- Wash and soak the Tata I-Shakti Chana Dal in water for 1 hour.
- Preparing oven - baked crispy chana dal
- Drain the soaked Tata I-Shakti Chana Dal and place in a vessel with enough water to cover the dal. Bring to a boil.
- Once the water comes to a boil, allow to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from flame immediately and drain the dal thoroughly. Wash this with cold water to stop the cooking process. At this stage the dal should be very slightly cooked but maintaining its shape well.
- Spread this on a clean absorbent kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- Line a baking tray with 2 layers of foil.
- Toss the well dried chana dal in 2 tsp oil with salt and red chilli powder. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes at 200 degrees – checking once every 15 minutes and giving it a shake.
- At the end of this the chana dal will be crisp. It will turn crisper once you allow it to cool. Keep aside.
- (For baked crispy moong dal, soak for 30 minutes and avoid the cooking stage. Baking time will also be reduced to 30 minutes or so at 190 celsius).
- To prepare the Chana Dal Chaat.
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the chaat, including crispy chana dal, keeping aside some of chana dal and coriander for garnish.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
I've noticed that the unpolished Tata I-Shakti dal needs just one wash and the next wash, the water is absolutely clear, as compared to some others that need 3-4 washes to get rid of any coating on the dal.
In this recipe, since I've used Tata I-Shakti Chana Dal, soaking time was reduced to one hour only. At the end of one hour, the dal could be easily chewed on raw.
Chana Dal or split Bengal Gram Dal is rich in protein (22 grams/100 grams), very low Glycemic Index making it suitable for diabetics and healthy eating. It is an excellent source of fiber too (15.8 grams/100 grams). This means that the blood sugar goes up gradually and it provides for longer satiety. You can make a salad using raw soaked chana dal or cooked chana dal. You can even make this baked crispy chana dal and add it to salads for a crunch factor.
Do check out the other vegetarian/vegan protein-rich Tata I-Shakti lentil recipes in this series:
Recipe for Paruppusili stuffed Dal Parathas (Vegan if oil is used to cook parathas)
Recipe for Misal Masala Dosa (Gluten-free, Vegan)
Recipe for Moong Dal Cheela with crunchy peanut-chilli-sesame topping (Gluten-free, Vegan)
Recipe for Pesarattu with Alu Chokha / Alu Bhate filling (Gluten-free, Vegan)
Recipe for Karnataka Sambar with Masoor Dal (Gluten-free, Vegan)
This recipe is a part of the Tata I-Shakti Dal T20 Tadka Campaign.
The recipe is also shared on the Tata I Shakti website.
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