Preparation time
Cooking time


For 4 Person(s)

Sweet Bengal Gram Lentil Curry

  • 2 pints water
  • 9 oz chana dal (also called bengal gam lentils), thoroughly cleaned
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil or unsalted butter or ghee
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 (1/2 in long cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp flaked or desiccated coconut, or 1/4 small fresh coconut, flesh chopped into small cubes


Heat the water, lentils, and turmeric in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Simmer the mixture for about 1 hour, or until soft. If necessary, add a bit of extra water.

Stir in the coriander, garam masala, sugar, and salt, to taste. Cook until the lentils are completely soft and beginning to break up.

Heat the oil or butter in a small pan. Fry the cardamom pods, cumin, mustard seeds, cloves, chillies, bay leaves, and cinnamon for 30 seconds. Be careful as the seeds may pop a bit. Add the coconut, and stir until it turns golden brown.

To serve the dish, stir the spice mixture into the lentils and divide among 4 serving plates.