Beef with Chana Daal

For best results, make this dish in a pressure cooker. It’ll be cooked in half the amount of time and the beef will be nice and soft. 



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Ingredients: Serves 4

1.5 lbs beef (cut into medium sized cubes)

1 cup of chana daal (found in most Indian grocery stores)

2 and half onions, 2 inch piece of ginger, 9 garlic cloves

A handful of fresh coriander leaves

3 dried red chillies

Spices: 1 cardamom, 2 cinammon sticks, 2 bayleafs, 1 and half tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander powder, 3/4 tsp turmeric, and 1 and 1/2 level tsps salt. 

1 tablespoon of oil for the “bhagar” (fried garlic at end).


How to: (Pressure Cooker Method)

1. Soak 1 cup of chana daal in a pan or bowl for about an hour. Wash and drain.

2. Prepare the beef by thoroughly washing it and then cut into medium sized cubes.

3. In a pressure cooker, add the following ingredients: beef, 3 chopped onions, finely grated ginger, 6 garlic cloves (diced finely), 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cardamom, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 bayleafs.

4. Add 1 full glass of water and close the lid. On high heat, allow the ingredients to cook for about 7-8 minutes. (If you have one of those pressure cookers that has a separate key or top to stop the hissing, place on top when you hear it start to hiss. This indicates that the temperature is right for cooking).

5. Cook for a further about 15 minutes. The pressure cooker will then let you know when the meat is ready by making a screeching scound. Remove from heat and go over to the sink. Run cold tap water over the pressure cooker until it stops steaming, Wipe and return to stove.

6. Reduce heat to a medium heat and check that the meat is almost ready. The texture should be tender, almost ready to eat but not quite, and should not shred apart in your fingers.

7. If the meat is almost ready as described above, add the following: 1 and 1/2 tsp chilli powder (less if you want it less hot), 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, and 3/4 tsp turmeric.

8.  Add the chana daal and two full glasses of water and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

9. Once the meat and daal are cooked, remove from heat.

10.  Prepare the bhagar by roughly dicing the 3 remaining garlic cloves. In a larger pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic until brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the dried red chillies and fry for 30 seconds.

11. Lower the heat and very carefully, pour the curry into the pan you are using for the bhagar. Stir well.

12. Add chopped coriander for flavour and decoration.


Recommendations:  Serve with hot rice of your choice, naan, chapatti, or pita bread.


Recipe & image by Sabina Huq

3 Responses to “Beef with Chana Daal”

  1. Just tried out your recipe!!
    Pretty delicious thanks.
    I just want to request if you have the recipe of beef cooked with rajma. I really want the recipe of this dish and would be tremendously grateful if you could do so.

  2. Hi Ralph, glad you liked the dish. What is Rajma?

  3. Hi! Rajma means red kidney beans ?

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