Chana Dal Gosht (Meat & Lentil Curry) is a popular Pakistani one pot meal. Often found at the dinner table in most households across the Nation, it's not something you're likely to be served in a restaurant. A highly nutritious meal, due to the blend of protein and complex carbs it's a great meal to put together for your family.
Unlike most other lentil recipes, in this one the dal is not boiled into a creamy consistency. First, the The meat curry is cooked till the goat is fork tender and then the lentils are added in. Although the lentils are cooked through, they are not mashed, but rather left to float in the rich, tomato based spicy gravy.
Chana Dal Gosht is a primarily Punjabi dish, popular in both Pakistan and North India. Punjabis generally consume a fair quantity of meat and at times vegetables or lentils are combined with the meat to create a one pot dish. According to an article in www.hindustantimes.com adding vegetables and lentils to the meat is also a way to make sure there is enough of the curry to go around.
Although there is no exact information as to the origins of this stew like curry, it is safe to assume that it originated during the Mughal Era. The Mughal cooks, who were fond of creating slow cooked rich meat stews, likely came up with this exotic blend of bengal gram and goat meat.
Chana Dal Gosht has always been one of my favorites. Especially the way my grandmother made it. She added Aloo Bukhara, which if you remember from my gosht-aloo-bukhara-beef-curry-with-plums recipe are dried plums.
I'm guessing that her Kashmiri roots inspired her to make this unusual addition to the recipe. The plums add a delicious rich flavour to the curry and I always add them to mine!
SImilarly, where many people like to eat their curry with Naan, I guess those Kashmiri roots inspire me to eat my Dal Gosht with a warm fragrant bowl of basmati-rice.
This is one of those recipes that evokes all those warm fuzzy childhood feelings. Treasured memories of eating at the family table with loved ones long gone. Food to me is is miraculous that way, one bite and I feel I can travel back in time!
My recipe is fairly easy and is all cooked in one pot. Many people like to cook the meat and lentils separately. This is mainly done in order to keep the daal from getting too mushy.
But I've managed to get the hang of doing it all together and find that the lentils taste better when cooked with the meat. They absorb all the delicious flavors from the curry while they cook, making them more succulent.
A few things to keep in mind when preparing your ingredients for the curry:
The meat I use for my Chana Dal Gosht is a hind leg of the goat, cut up into pieces by my butcher. This is very soft meat and doesn't have a lot of fat or bones. It cooks fairly quickly and is extremely tender and succulent. People will think you've slow cooked this curry for hours when you use this cut!
The Chana dal, also known as Split Bengal Gram, must be fresh and of good quality. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and then soak them for about an hour (while the meat cooks). This helps cut down on the cooking time and is what allows me to cook my curry in one pot.
The Aloo Bukhara (Dried Plums)
Soak the Aloo Bukhara in some hot water while you cook the meat. This helps to soften the dried plums. Once you add them to the curry and finish cooking, they will be soft enough to eat. The plums help flavor the curry, adding a rich tart flavor that mixes well with the spices and tomato gravy.
Prepare the base for your curry as usual. Brown the onions, saute the garlic and then brown the meat to seal in the juices.
Next, add in the tomatoes and some water, cover and cook till the meat is about 75% cooked (About 30 minutes).
Dry the water and add the crushed ginger, spices and drained lentils and roast for a few minutes.
Add the soaked plums, green chillies, some water and cook till the meat and lentils are cooked through (About 15 minutes).
At the end, uncover and bring the gravy to a slightly thick consistency. The trick to knowing when your curry is ready is usually when the oil separates and rises to the top. Turn off the stove, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
Hope you decide to try this recipe! Please don't forget to drop a rating and comment below when you do!
Chana Dal Gosht (Meat & Lentil Curry)
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 20 cloves garlic
- 2 lb goat meat (SEE NOTES)
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp dhania powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 cup chana dal (Split Bengal Gram)
- 2 green chillies
- 10 pieces aloo bukhara(dried plums) (SEE NOTES)
- 1 cup cilantro
- Rinse and soak the lentils in 4 cups of water
- Soak the plums in 1 cup of hot water
- Heat the cooking oil
- Dice the onions and saute them in the oil till they're a nice golden brown
- Mince the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds with the browned onions
- Add the washed meat to the above mixture and brown evenly on all sides
- Add the roma tomatoes and 2 cups of water to the meat once you can no longer see any pink, cover and cook on high till it comes to a boil.
- At this point lower the heat and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pot, add all the dry spices, turn the flame on high and dry all the liquid.
- Once the liquid is dry, roast the meat along with the crushed ginger in the oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rinsed and soaked lentils and green chilies and roast for another 5 minutes.
- Add the soaked plums and the remaining 1 cup of water, cover and cook on low heat till the lentils are cooked through but not mushy (about 15 minutes)
- Uncover and dry the liquid till the oil separates and the curry has a thick consistency
- Garnish with cilantro and serve