Roasted Chana Dal with Jaggery and Coconut (Okkarai)
1 cup chana dal (also known as split chickpeas/ gram dal)1 cup jaggery powder (or palm sugar)1/2 cup shredded coconut1 teaspoon ground cardamom1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)8-10 cashew nuts, for garnish (optional)
Wash chana dal under running water for about a minute. Drain and dry roast them on a pan over medium heat until they turn slightly brown, stirring frequently for even roasting and to prevent burning.Add enough water to cover the roasted chana dal and cook until they are soft but still intact, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally by squeezing them between your fingers. They are done if they mush with considerable pressure. Be careful not to overcook.Drain in a colander and set aside for a few minutes to let all the water run out. Then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Pulse the chanal dal in a food processor until crumbly and resemble fine breadcrumbs.Place jaggery with 1/4 cup water in a pan over medium heat and stir until it is fully melted. Gradually add ground chanal dal and keep stirring to avoid clumping. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Lower heat and add shredded coconut, ground cardamom and 1/4 cup ghee. Stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small pan over medium heat. Add cashew nuts and cook until they turn golden brown. Place cashew nuts on top of okkarai and serve.