Karayal (Fried Lentil Chunks in Spicy Lentil Gravy)

Karayal (Fried Lentil Chunks in Spicy Lentil Gravy)Karayal is actually a conventional dish of North-India, made with lentils either it is made with green gram or black gram. I like Karayal prepared with black gram more than with green gram. Karayal is a conventional name given in our community here in north India to the curry having fried fritter like chunks of ground lentil in the spicy gravy of same ground lentil.Karayal4

I have been eating it since my childhood and I like it best served with regular rice. Both pair off so well in flavor. I enjoy eating karayal cooked by my mom and the recipe presented here, has been elucidated in its original traditional form like my mom has been cooking it since then. You may find it amalgamation of Kofta and Kadhi. But it has some exceptionally delicious taste different from both. So to get acquainted with its taste, let’s quickly continue with the note of recipe below-


Time Taken- For Preparation- 12 hrs or minimum 5-6 hrs

                       For Cooking- 30 min

Servings- 4

CategoryMain Course (Curry)


Split Black gram – 1 bowl or 125g (soaked overnight or 5-6 hrs, washed to peel off the skin)

Ginger- ½ inch (grated)

Garlic cloves-5

Green chilly- 1 (finely chopped)

Asafoetida- 1-2 pinch

Turmeric- ¾ tsp

Red chilly Powder- 1 tsp

Coriander Powder- 1¼ tsp

Garam Masala- ¼ tsp

Salt- to taste

Oil- to deep fry+ 2 tbsp

One small dollop of cream or yogurt and sprig of coriander to garnish

Steps to follow-

  1. Grind split black gram along with cloves of garlic into a semi dry paste without any much water or just a bit only.
  2. Divide this lentil paste into two equal portions.
  3. In one portion, add grated ginger, green chilly and salt. Mix it and whisk it well to obtain an aerated batter (to check it is well aerated or not, dip one small ball of batter in water if it comes up after sinking, batter is aerated then)
  4. Divide this whole batter in equal small proportions to make chunks or fritters (you can give them any shape, round or long cylindrical. I have given them longitudinal shape)
  5. Deep fry them until golden brown. Drain on an absorbent paper and put them aside for sometime.Karayal1
  6. Now heat 2 tbsp of oil in a deep pan, add in asafoetida to splutter.
  7. Put in moistened powdered spices (turmeric, coriander, red chilly powder in ¼ cup of water). Keep sautéing it until spices leave oil.
  8. Mix in rest of the lentil paste. Stir cook for 2-3 min.
  9. Now it’s time to add liquor, pour in about 2- 2½ cups of water along with sprinkle of garam masala and salt (a bit less to taste as we have already some in chunks). Stir well.
  10. Let that simmer on medium flame for 5 min with occasional stirring until gravy thickens.
  11. Put in fried chunks and again let that simmer for another 2-3 min so that chunks can take-in all gravy flavor.
  12. Take out and serve hot garnished with yogurt/cream and coriander. Enjoy with rice.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. sybaritica says:

    That’s a very interesting recipe, and I love the spice blend!

    1. shobhnaa says:

      Thank you….
      Yeah…. blend of lentil with spices gives it a unique flavor.

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