Split Black Gram Dal with Naan

If you remember about two weeks ago we made a batch of dal in the crock pot with split mung beans.  While that round of dal was delicious this batch was incredible.  We followed the exact same recipe but this time used split black grams.  I have definitely eaten dal in restaurants made with split black grams but never knew what bean I was eating.  And the only reason we purchased them is because when we were at the Asian market I wanted to try something new.  Well let me tell you I am hooked!  I am sure from here on out I will only be using split black grams.  So what are black grams?  Properly known as vigna mungo, it’s a bean grown in Southeast Asia.  Black gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India.  It has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.  (Thanks Wikipedia).  When made into dal these beans have an unusual mucilaginous texture.  This is what I like about them.  Creamy dal!  The skin of the bean is black, hence the name black gram.  The version I bought is known as ‘white lentil’ since the black skin in removed.  You can also buy then with the skin on, ‘black lentil’.  This recipe I found is extremely easy to make with all common ingredients.  At some point I’m going to explore and create my own version with a bit more spice.

Split Black Grams (‘white lentils’)

  • 1 lb split black gram
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, grated small
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 qts water

Rinse the black grams well and add to crock pot along with all the other ingredients.

Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Serve with naan or rice for a wheat-free meal!

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