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Saturday, 1 February 2020

Chainsoo / Uttarakhand Style Black Gram Recipe

Chainsoo is a traditional Garhwali delicacy , a simple yet flavorful lentil (black gram) preparation from North Indian State of Uttarakhand. This protein rich dish is very different in texture and taste from the usual boiled kali urad dal as it is cooked by roasting the lentils and then grinding it to a powder, which is then cooked with a few basic Indian spices like black pepper, red chilies and garlic in an iron pot on low flame giving it an earthy taste and aroma. Black gram Chainsoo topped with ghee is a winter food for the pahari people of Uttaranchal and can be paired with some steamed rice or roti.

Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand formerly known as Uttaranchal is a state in the northern part of India. It is popularly referred as " Dev Bhoomi" owing to the numerous Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres found throughout the state. Uttarakhand became the 27th state of Republic India in the year 2000. Dehradun is the largest city of Uttarakhand and its capital as well. The  natural beauty of the state with snow capped mountains, high Himalayan peaks and glaciers, deep valleys, lush green forests and large rivers is mesmerizing and  will make you spell bound for sure.

Food of Uttarakhand:

Uttarakhand Cuisine is simple yet flavorful and nutritious. Made from locally grown ingredients it uses very basic spices .Uttarakhand cuisine comprises of cuisines from its two regions, Garhwal and Kumaon. Lentils, wheat, buck wheat, barley  and local seasonal greens are used extensively in cooking. The food of Uttarakhand is both palate pleasing and full of nutrition. The food is mostly cooked over slow flame imparting an earthy flavor to it. Some of the famous traditional dishes of Uttarakhand include Kafuli/Kapa - a healthy dish made from leafy greens like spinach, fenugreek and lai(alternative of mustard leaf), Baadi- a nutritious dish made from buck wheat flour, Rus/Thhatwani -A slow cooked lentil based stock that is served with rice, Jhangore ki Kheer, a scrumptious millet dessert, Phaanu - a native lentil dish served typically for lunch, Chainsoo - a delectable protein rich dish made from roasted and ground black gram. Aaloo ke Gutke- a simple potato dish with roasted and ground spices served on festive occasions with poori.

The related Event: 

I made this protein rich, Chainsoo as my contribution towards the food from the North Indian state of Uttarakhans. It is month end, and the time for my regional Indian post for our Facebook group, Shhhhh cooking secretly challenge, started by Priya of  Priya's versatile recipes and atken further till date by Mayuri di who blogs at Mayuris Jikoni. In this group, each month we select an Indian state depending upon the alphabetical order and partners are assigned for the challenge. The chosen partners then exchange a set of ingredients among themselves and cook a dish with it from the regional cuisine of that month. The other group members who are not aware of the secret ingredients, then take turns to guess the ingredients just by looking at the pic of the dish. Doesn't this all sound interesting !

My partner for the theme was Kalyani Sri who blogs at Sizzling Taste Buds. Kalyani gave me Black gram and mustard oil as my two secret ingredients and i made this delicious Chainsoo using the ingredients. In return i gave her ginger and sesame seeds and she prepared a soulful Uttarakhand delicacy using the set of ingredients. 

What goes in this Chainsoo?

As mentioned above Chainsoo is a Garhwali dish which is very unique in its preparation style as it is  prepared by roasting the black gram ( kali urad dal) and then making a powder of it, which is further allowed to slow cook in basic spices in an iron pan until done. I have referred Chef Ajay Chopra's recipe where apart from black gram, a small quantity of black eyed beans is also added. The percentage of lobia beans to black gram is 30:70. The dry roasted beans are powdered in a grinder jar to obtain a coarse powder. A mustard oil tempering is done with minced garlic, cumin seeds, asafoetida, black pepper corns and dry red chilies. Ground dal is added to it and further seasoned with coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Water is added to this mixture and cover cooked on low flame for around 30 minutes or until the dal is well cooked. Lastly garam masala is sprinkled over the cooked chainsoo and it is topped with generous amount of ghee before serving. So let's get started.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1//2 cup split black gram / kali urad dal
  • 2 tablespoon lobia beans/ black eyed beans
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida (skip for a gluten free version)
  • 10-12 black pepper corns
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-2 tablespoon ghee to serve ( skip for a vegan version)
  1. In a wok, preferably iron one, dry roast the black gram and lobia beans for 3-5 minutes. You will get a lovely aroma while you roast the lentils. Do not over do it. Put off the flame, transfer the roasted lentil to a grinder jar and make a coarse powder of it. 

2. In the same pan heat mustard oil to smoking point. Let it cool down a bit, now add cumin seeds, asafoetida, black pepper corns and broken dry red chilies. Let the spices sizzle in oil for few seconds before adding the minced garlic to it.

3. Sautee the garlic for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now add the powdered lentil and stir fry for a minute or so. Now, add coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Give a good mix and add around 2 cups of water giving a good stir.

4. Cover cook the dal on low flame for around 30 minutes or until its is well cooked and mushy.

5. Lastly sprinkle garam masala over the cooked chainsoo. Mix it well and put off the flame. Top the hot chainsoo with a generous amount of ghee and serve with steamed rice or roti.

Recipe Notes:
  • I have followed this recipe from a cookery show by Chef Ajay Chopra.
  • I would recommend not to skip the ghee while serving chainsoo if you are looking for the authentic taste. However, you may omit its use for a vegan version.
  • The dish as such is gluten free if you do not add the asafoetida/ hing in tempering.
  • Chainsoo is protein rich and a filling dish. It is regarded as difficult to digest, so have it in moderation.
  • Adjust the spices as per your spice tolerance.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
For more dal recipes, do check out the following from this blog:


  1. Just by looking at Chainsoo, I feel like having a full bowl of the lentil curry.

    1. Thank you Ravneet. I am glad you liked it. Do give it a try sometime.

  2. The Chainsoo looks so wholesome, rustic and delicious! I could have a bowl of this very nutritious thing, all on its own.

  3. When I read the recipe of Chainsoo when I deciding what to make, I wasn't so sure as I really didn't know whether the powdered form of lentils would cook well or not. Looking at your recipe, it looks so tempting and creamy. Going to try out this recipe.

  4. This is new to me and good to know about this interesting Chainsoo. I must try this sometime.

  5. Chainsoo looks soulful and packed with nutrients. It is unique in tasty and very easy to prepare. Love to pair it with hot pulkas��.

  6. A very different dal recipe. Looks so creamy and delicious. Roasting and grinding before cooking surely made this dal more tasty. I would love to have it with steamed rice.

  7. Roasting , grinding and then adding it in a dish is completely different style of making dal. It would be so creamy as well the texture would be completely different as can be seen from the pic. I would love to dig in with some Naan

  8. 95% of the NPA and Bank Frauds in North India upto the borders of the Vindhyas are on account of Bania vermin ! No one talks of the said statistic as every media house is owned and managed by banias or has 75% of the advert revenue from Banias

    The entire banking system is designed as a wealth transfer system to move funds from Indian clowns in SB accounts and Fancy Bonds – which funds Banias ,who steal the money for Netas ,and then avail of CDR/OTS

    Which is Y I support the 26/11 attacks on Hindoosthan ! They were designed to kill the Bania filth (Marwari-Gujarati-Kayastha scum) at one shot.

    Kasab and his ilk lost the plot – as they started the rape orgies. They lost focus.

    It is the Bania filth who worked as spies for each invader into Hindoosthan ! They also funded the wars of the Mughals and Sakas and Huns. There is not one 1 record in history of them having stood up for anything !

    The Birlas,Goenkas,Bajajs and other bania filth built their empire by sending their women to Nehru for his peccadilos.They also funded Ambedkar in London – result that – Ambedkar spoke not one word against the Bania vermin !

    The Bania loot the banking system as a matter of right using netas and suck the blood of the poor by the route of arhatiyas and traders in the agri supply chain and then on on all food & consumer goods value chains as price gougers,hoarders, contaminators, counterfeiters etc.Since these vermin manipulate the supply and value chain of agri items – these vermin are now the owners of COMEX in agri items to control the whole value chain of manipulation,cheating and fraud.

    The vermin have no skills in any domain – except that of cheating and exploitation.The reason for the growth of the cluster mafia approach of the bania vermin, is that – they trade among themselves on clean credit basis and in cash.As time passes the cluster will naturally expand.This destroys the enterprise of all other races.If you analyse the bank managers and directors who sanctioned the loans of fraud, willful defaulters and NPAs -they are all banias,marwaris,gujaratis,kayasthas and brahmins

    What is a Gujarati – who are also called Bastards in the Mahabharata ! dindooohindoo

    The Mahabharata , Book 8: Karna Parva ,Section 45

    The Pancalas observe the duties enjoined in the Vedas; the Kauravas observe truth; the Matsyas and the Surasenas perform sacrifices, the Easterners follow the practices of the Shudras; the Southerners are fallen; the Vahikas are thieves; the Saurashtras are bastards.

    The Gujaratis are also termed as a race of Miscegnation – in the Mahabharata ! That word refers to those born of unnatural sex ! Gujaratis are a Bastard race ! They swap wives ! And they do it openly and ADVERTISE IT OPENLY !

    https://gujarat.locanto.net/tag/couple-swapping/ http://gujarat.lookingmale.com/WIFE-SHARING/Couple-Swapping-in-gujarat.html

    Similarly, The Rajasthanis are also sons of prostitutes as under :

    Sample these Rajasthani sons of harlots born out of Nata Pratha – which is basically child prostitution for a fee !


    And these Gujaratis like I said are a breed born of harlots and have a system of organised prostitution by registration – called Maitri Karar – which is registered by the DM


    These vermin have to be exterminated en masse. It was Kasab and the Mujahideen who reckoned their evil.Their evil is also recorded in the ,Mahabharata as a bastard race

    Kasab is a Che Clone ,with the look of Al Pacino ! May Allah rest his soul

  9. Chainsoo looks so inviting and tempting. So healthy and nutritious and love the entire presentation

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