There are some combinations of food that brings back memories. Celebrating one such combination of luci and bootor dali. Thick and lightly spiced bootor dali ( chana dal / split chickpea dal) scooped up with flaky, puffed up luci / poori is surely a comforting delight. If you are familiar with this combination, you might be drooling already. And if you are not familiar with it, well, what are you waiting for? Do give this combination a try so that you too can savour it’s delights. I will be posting the recipes for both the luci and the bootor dali in two separate posts so that it is easier to navigate.
Starting off with the recipe for the all time Assamese favourite bootor dali. I add a little split red lentils to the split chickpeas ( my ma’s tip from years ago). The red lentils cook faster than the split chickpeas and helps to thicken it. Like many Assamese recipes, it is a relatively simple recipe but does not compromise on flavours. We like it quite thick to be able to scoop it up with luci /poori or other Indian flatbreads. It can also be enjoyed with rice. Just add a little more water to loosen the dish if you are enjoying it as an accompaniment to rice.
We had our bootor dali with luci /poori as an indulgence as we do not make luci them often. It can be enjoyed with roti / phulka and some salad for a lighter meal combination.
This is an easy recipe. The first ten minutes, or until the water is added, are when the pot needs your constant attention. After that cover the pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until cooked. The recipe and video will show what I mean.
Most people, cook this dish in a pressure cooker, but this time I made it in a normal pot. So, if you have a pressure cooker, feel free to use it. I have a pressure cooker but it is one of those that does not whistle. And I have been using it for such a good many years now that I am almost out of touch with the workings of the whistle. So, I may not be able to help with the number of whistles. If you are using a pressure cooker, follow all the steps mentioned in this recipe until the addition of water. When it is time to add the water, add enough to submerge the dal and about an inch over it. Cook over low heat.
The bootor dali is ready when the split chickpeas are soft and yet retain their shape. But be careful, it can go from not done to mushy very quickly; so do keep an eye.
Small pieces of fresh coconut can be fried in a little oil and added to the bootor dali for some extra oomph.
This recipe can be easily enjoyed by vegans. I have added just a teaspoon of ghee at the very end for some extra flavour. You can omit this or use other substitutes to make it a vegan friendly dish.
On another note, if you google ‘bootor dali’ you will find that quite a few people have tried and posted a recipe that I posted years ago in my earlier blogging days. If you are new to this blog and not sure what I mean, you might want to check out this. In fact even the picture of that earlier recipe with my previous website’s watermark is still floating around. Ah well! This recipe is a very slight variation and I have made it in a normal pot instead of a pressure cooker.
We enjoyed our bootor dali with some flaky and puffed up luci /poori (link given below).
Without further ado, please read on for the detailed recipe.
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- 1 cup split chickpeas /chana dal / bootor dali
- 2 tbsp split red lentils / masur dal
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 green chillies, trimmed and slit halfway upwards from the thick end
- 2 tbsp oil ( I used olive oil; can use mustard oil for an authentic flavour)
- 5½ cups hot water (may need more)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¾ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ghee (optional, but recommended)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 whole red chillies
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 3 pods of cardamom
- Wash together the bootor dali (split chickpeas / chana dal) and masur dali (split red lentils). Drain and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the ingredients for tempering. Stir for a couple of seconds.
- Add the onion and stir for one and a ½ minutes over medium heat.
- Add ¼ tsp salt; this will help to cook the onions faster.
- Stir for another 1 and a ½ minutes.
- Add the ground ginger, chilli and garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the split chickpeas and split red lentil mix and stir well.
- Add the turmeric powder. ground cumin, chilli powder, salt and sugar.
- Stir for a minute and add the green chillies. Stir for another 30 seconds.
- Add 3 and ½ cups of hot water, stir and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes (see notes below), stirring every ten minutes.
- Add 1 cup water after 20 minutes and another cup after 30 minutes.
- When the forty minutes are over, stir, then cover and cook for another three minutes.
- Stir in the garam masala powder and chopped coriander.
- Add the ghee and stir well.
- Remove from heat (see notes below) and serve hot with Indian breads. We had ours with luci /poori. Find the recipe for luci here.
- It took me 40 minutes to cook the bootor dali. However, do keep an eye from about 30 minutes. The chana dal should be cooked yet retain shape. We do not want it to go mushy.
- If you are using a pressure cooker, follow all the steps mentioned in this recipe until the addition of water. When it is time to add the water, add enough to submerge the dal and with about an inch more water over it. Cook over low heat. The bootor dali is ready when the split chickpeas are soft and yet retain their shape. But be careful, it can go from not done to mushy very quickly; so do keep an eye.
- We like ours quite thick. The dish will continue to thicken further on cooling. If you are having with rice, you might want to add a little more water.
You can find other Assamese recipes on my blog here.
Until next time,