Posts Tagged ‘chana dal’

Chana dal and okara croquettes

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

We eat a lot of dal – it’s easy to prepare as long as you remember to put it to soak overnight first. It’s also worth making in large amounts because it’s so versatile. Any leftovers can be diluted to make soup, frozen or turned into croquettes.

Since I started using my Soyabella regularly – which means there’s okara to be used up most days – I had the idea of including some in the recipe.

I’m especially fond of chana dal with its earthy taste and rich yellow colour, but any other type of dal (mung dal or urad dal, for instance) could be used instead. If you don’t live near an Indian grocer, lentils also make good croquettes and don’t need to be soaked.

For these croquettes I used a hazelnut okara, but any kind would do. If you don’t have okara, just leave it out.

Dal croq 4 redim

For 8 croquettes

180 g (6oz) chana dal
Stick of cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves of garlic
Chunk of fresh ginger
1 leek
1 carrot
120 g (4oz) okara, with most of the liquid pressed out
1 tsp salt
Small onion
2 tbs groundnut or sunflower oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
30 g (1oz) oat flour (or more)

Soak the dal overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse it well, then put it in a large saucepan with the cinnamon, turmeric, peeled garlic, finely chopped ginger and enough water to cover by 4-5 centimetres (2 inches). Bring to the boil and remove the scum that comes to the surface. Simmer gently for an hour and a half, or until the dal is soft, adding water if necessary to stop it sticking to the saucepan. Remove the cinnamon stick. At this point the dal should resemble a thinnish puree.

Meanwhile, chop the leek and carrot into small dice and cook in a little water for about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the dal with the okara and salt. Continue to cook the dal gently until it forms a thick paste. Watch it carefully, stirring often with a wooden spoon.

Chop the onion finely. Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a small saucepan and add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the onion and fry to a rich brown.

Pour the contents of the pan – oil and all – into the dal, stir well and leave to cool. It will be easier to work with if you have time to put it in the fridge for a while.

When you’re ready to eat, divide the paste into eight and space the pieces out on a worktop sprinkled with oat flour. Shape the croquettes, working quickly and adding more flour whenever the paste threatens to stick.

Heat the rest of the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the croquettes for about 5 minutes a side, until well browned.