Chironji gives Navratra meal a facelift

This Navratra, go in for unusual chironji dal. The recipe can give the classic Navratra thali a new dimension. Made with chironji, a kind of nut, it keeps away all the taboos of Navratra.

There are no onions and garlic here, yet the dal gives in a handful of new flavours.

Chironji dal


100 gms chironji

40 gms clarified butter (ghee)

15 gms ginger chopped15 gms green chili chopped

10 gms cumin seeds

40 gms coriander green chopped

20 gms fresh cream

Few strands of saffron

Rock salt to taste


In a heavy bottom pan, heat one teaspoon of ghee. Sauté chironji till it gets light golden in hue.

Add water and cook till the chironji is soft. In a separate fry pan, heat the remaining ghee, crackle cumin, add chopped ginger and green chili, cook for another minute.

Now add the boiled chironji dal, cook for another couple of minutes stirring it occasionally, add salt and check seasoning. Finish with fresh cream and saffron and chopped coriander. Serve hot.

Manish Mehrotra, Executive chef, Pan Asian at Old World Hospitality, is the skill and mind behind the avantgarde Indian Accent, The Manor at Friends Colony and Tamarai in London. He is the one who can dare to tuck in blue cheese into naan and make the sacrosanct galawat kabab with foie grass and come out triumphant.

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