Friday, 22 April 2011

Wild Garlic Channa Dal

On my Wild Garlic Curry blog post, fellow blogger Mark from his Veg Plot left a comment saying that the dish reminded him of one of his favourite dishes from Nepal called Channa Saag.  It was his comment that prompted me to make this Wild Garlic Channa Dal.  I really do enjoy reading comments from fellow bloggers, as sometimes (like now) they set culinary sparks in my head and for that I am thankful.
I served the Wild Garlic Channa Dal with the Wild Garlic Focaccia.  I was a little nervous about dipping an Italian bread into a spicy Indian dish, but both actually complimented each other well.  The crunch of the sea salt and the softness of the dough absorbed the lighly spiced and garlicky dal wonderfully.

To appreciate the full intense flavour of this Wild Garlic Channa Dal, it is essential that your tarka the dalTarka is a cooking technique: where sliced onions, garlic or spices (sometimes all) are added to very hot ghee, butter or oil. The onions, garlic and spices will sizzle and turn golden - imagine garlic butter in liquid form.  I tend to do my tarka with butter and usually towards the end of the cooking, but if you wish you can do it at the start and with oil, but do it!.
Wild Garlic Chana Dal
Serves 6
225g Channa dal also known as yellow split peas, soaked in cold water for 1 - 2 hours, then drained
2 - 2½ pints of water
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ - 1 teaspoon chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

160g - 200g wild garlic, washed thoroughly and blanched
For the Tarka
100g full fat butter or ghee; or oil
2 - 3 cloves garlic, sliced
In a large pot, add the yellow split peas with the water and spices and bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 hours until the peas are tender.  Halfway through the cooking process, remove two ladleful of liquid and pour into a food processor, to this add the blanched wild garlic and blend.  Set aside
When the peas are cooked and the liquid has reduced somewhat, stir in the blitzed wild garlic.
Now begin the tarka process.
Heat the butter, ghee or oil in a wide pan, add the garlic to this and gently allow it to simmer.  It is important not to stir too much.  You are trying to get the butter and garlic to turn golden - imagine garlic butter.  When this happens, carefully stir into the Wild Garlicky Channa Dal. Simmer for about 5 minutes, before serving. 


  1. Thanks - thought I'd just finished copying out all your wild garlic recipes - and heres another one. Good! I planted up some wild garlic seeds hither and thither in my area last year - and this year...eureka - loads of wild garlic plants for me to harvest and I'm wondering what ways to prepare it.

    Thanks for that.

  2. looks super yummy - I can almost smell the garlic flavors now :)

  3. Perfect! It evokes for me so many happy memories... :)

  4. Thank you ceridwen.
    There are a few more to come :0 )
    I'm making the most of this wild free food.

    Wow, lucky you to have your own home grown wild garlic and from seed too.

  5. Mark,
    Its not authentic in any way, but your comment is lovely to read.

  6. What a beautiful and delicious meal!

  7. I am enjoying your wild garlic recipes, but wild garlic in a chana dhal is one of my favourites. I use a similar recipe though I add black mustard seeds and cumin seeds (and occasionally some fennel seeds)to my tarka. Delicious!

  8. Thank you so much Ray.
    ~Really happy to read yur comment. I do sometimes add seeds to my tarka, but I have tendency to use garam masala powder as garnish over the final dish, hence the reason you don't see any seeds in this recipe.


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