Chana Dal Gosht
Dal gosht is a hearty South Asian dish that combines tender pieces of meat, usually lamb or mutton, with lentils in a savory, flavorful, and spiced dal (lentil) gravy.
In this recipe, I use chana dal (split chickpea/ garbanzo lentils) and mung lentils with lamb meat. This dish is also called chana gosht, chane ki daal gosht, or chana dal gosht.
The savory meat curry gets a creamier and richer flavor from the mashed mung bean. And the chickpea lentils give texture to the soup and comfort as you scoop this Pakistani-style daal gosht.
Why You’ll Love This Meat and Lentil Curry
- Satisfying meal: This curry offers a comforting combination of lentils and meat that gives a delicious blend of textures and flavors. With the lentils providing a creamy base and the meat adding richness.
- Nourishing meal: This hearty and fulfilling dish provides a balance of protein and carbohydrates, making it both satisfying and nourishing.
- Distinctive aroma: The mixture of spices used in this meat and lentil curry gives a distinctive and delicious aroma and taste.
- Versatility: The dal gosht is versatile as it allows for variations in flavors and ingredients. You can choose different types of lentils and meat that you like so it caters to personal preferences.
Ingredients You Need
- Meat: You can choose any meat, white or red meat is equally good. Although the most popular one is lamb or mutton. But you can always use goat, beef, or chicken.
- Lentils: In this recipe, I use chana lentils (split chickpeas/ garbanzo) and washed split mung beans (moong lentils).
- Spices: All spices that are typically used for Indian/ Pakistani cuisine. Onion, ginger, garlic, whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, coriander powder, ground black pepper, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, whole black peppercorns, cloves, tomatoes, paprika powder, and garam masala. I recommend Kashmiri red chili powder. Because it has a more vibrant color and far superior flavor compared to other chili powders. The heat has a subtle sweetness with a unique aroma. If Kashmiri red chili powder is not available, you can substitute it with cayenne pepper or any Asian red chili powder.
- Fat/ oil: Any neutral cooking oil will do, for example, canola oil, sunflower oil, etc.
You don’t need fancy kitchen items to make this delicious meat curry with lentils.
- Chopping Board: Any good quality chopping board is good. Ensure you have a dedicated board for different types of food ingredients, i.e. vegetables, meat and fish, etc.
- Kitchen Knife: Needless to say, a sharp quality kitchen knife is a must to make sure we can do our job in the kitchen properly.
- Heavy-Bottomed Cooking Pot With Lid: This will help the cooking process be smooth and easy as the heat distribution will be evenly distributed.
- Wooden Spoon: To stir and mix the curry. Feel free to use any spoon you prefer such as a plastic spoon.
How To Make Dal Gosht
- Firstly, wash and leave to soak both dals separately in different bowls. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in the large pot, add the onion, and fry until it becomes translucent and releases an aroma.
- Then you add in the ginger and garlic paste and all other spices. Cook for another few minutes until everything smells delicious.
- Next, stir in the meat and fry for 2-3 minutes before adding chopped tomatoes. Cook at medium-high heat until the sauce is bubbling. Lower the heat and put the pan lid on to slow-cook the meat for about 15 minutes.
- Then you drain the soaked lentils, and add them, and the water to the meat masala. Give it a good stir and leave it to cook until the lentils are fully cooked and the meat is tender. It takes approximately 45 minutes for the chana dal gosht to cook. Make sure you keep checking and stirring every now and again to prevent it from burning at the bottom.
- Once the meat and the lentils are fully cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle a teaspoon of garam masala over the curry. Give it a stir and serve.
Pro Tips To Make Mouthwatering Curry With Meat and Lentils
- Pre-soak the lentil at least half an hour before using. This will help the cooking process quicker.
- Fry the spices until it is cooked before adding the meat. You can tell by the aroma and fragrance that the spices release.
- Stir-fry the meat in spices until fully brown to seal the flavor and create a delicious roasting fragrance to the dish.
- If you’re short of time, you can use a pressure cooker or an instant pot that has a pressure cooker feature. Follow the instructions up to step 4, then transfer the meat and spices to the bowl of a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add the lentils, stir well, and set the equipment according to its manual. It usually takes about 30 minutes for me to cook in a pressure cooker.
Substitutions and Variations
- You can swap the lamb with beef, chicken, mutton, or goat meat.
- Feel free to change the lentils to the variety that you like. Dry red lentils, green mung beans (with husks), green lentils, and whole masoor dal are only a few options you can choose from.
This lentil meat curry is a perfect dish to cook in bulk on the weekend and keep some for your weekday meal. It keeps well in the fridge/ refrigerator for 4-5 days.
The dish also freezes well for 5-6 weeks. Do thaw it in the fridge/ refrigerator the night before you need it and reheat it in a pot by adding a little water to it. But make sure not to refreeze once it has been thawed.
This dal gosht is delicious enough to eat as it is with some carbs such as naan bread, or basmati rice.
Comforting, Nutritious Dal Gosht
Thank you for reading this Dal Gosht recipe. I hope you like it and are now thinking of trying it. When you do, can you please share what you think about it in the comments below? I really appreciate it.
Please check the similar comfort food below that you may also like.
- Aloo Gosht: potato and meat curry.
- Lauki Gosht: bottle gourd and meat curry.
- Butter chicken: Murgh Makhani.
- Achari chicken.
Thank you and all the best.
Dal Gosht: Lentil And Meat Curry
- Kitchen knife
- Chopping board
- Cooking pan
- Wooden spoon
- 1.3 pounds lamb shoulder cut in chunks (see the note).
- 1 cup chana dal split chickpea lentils.
- ⅓ cup washed split mung dal.
- 1 medium brown/ yellow onion chopped.
- 5 cloves garlic minced.
- 1- inch ginger minced.
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds.
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin.
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander.
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder.
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder optional.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns.
- 15 whole cloves.
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt.
- ½ cup tinned chopped tomatoes see the note.
- ¼ cup cooking oil.
- 3 ½ cups water.
- Cilantro/ coriander leaves optional.
- Soak the chana dal in plenty of water for at least 2 hours and soak the washed moong dal for about 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a cooking pan, place the chopped onion and whole cumin seeds in it. Fry the onion until it becomes translucent and releases the aroma.
- Add in the ginger, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, paprika powder (if using), ground black pepper, whole black peppercorns, cloves and salt. Give it a good stir and fry for a few minutes until the spices release a delicious aroma.
- Place the meat in the spices, toss around until all pieces are covered with spices. And fry for about 2-3 minutes at medium-high heat. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes and turn the heat down. Put the pan lid on to let it cook for about 15 minutes. Take care and keep stirring the curry every now and again. To ensure it doesn’t get burned at the bottom.
- Next, drain the chana dal and moong dal. Mix them in the meat and add in the water. You can turn the heat up and cook it at medium-high heat until the liquid reaches boiling point. Then lower the heat and put the lid on. Continue cooking at low heat until the meat is tenderized and lentils are cooked. But do keep checking and stirring every so often to make sure the bottom doesn’t get burned.
- Sprinkle the garam masala over the dal gosht and give it a stir. You can also scatter some chopped cilantro/ green coriander before serving, if you like.
- You can use any type of meat such as beef, lamb or mutton. I personally find lamb shoulder is the best option as it has the right mix of lean meat and a little bit of fat. And it is more flavoursome.
- You can use any red chilli powder you like. However, I find Kashmiri red chilli powder offers a superior flavour with the right level of heat.
- Here in the UK, I often use canned chopped tomatoes for my curries. Simply because it’s more convenient. Feel free to use fresh chopped tomatoes if you like. For this recipe, 2 medium tomatoes should be more than enough.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.