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Chickpea Chana Dal

Chickpea Chana Dal

Has anyone not yet tried Edinburgh Community Food’s Take and Make meals?  You get everything you need to make a delicious veggie meal, including the right amount of the right spices, so there is no waste.  I’ve tried quite a few so far, but my favourite is definitely the Chickpea Chana Dal.  Going by the orders I see being collected on a Tuesday, I think it’s a favourite of quite a few people!  You can either make it as a curry main meal, or as a hearty soup.  Or it’s great as a side if you are having a curry night.  You get four generous helpings from the pack.  I freeze portions of it as a curry, which I then just water down if I decide I want soup.


Contents of bag
This is what you get in the bag, for just £2.70


Finished dish
… and this is what you end up with


You get a laminated recipe card with the pack, which gives straightforward instructions.  The recipe card also lists what you would need to buy to make the same recipe again, some ideas for adding other ingredients to it, and also freezing instructions.


  • Don’t forget you need to allow time to soak the lentils for a minimum of an hour (or up to overnight).  I always put them to soak before I leave for work, so they are ready to cook when I get home.
  • Make sure you fry the onions till they are properly soft and brown to get the best flavour.  Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey says not cooking onions for long enough is the most common mistake made when cooking Indian food.
  • Add fresh coriander to serve – just because everything curry-like tastes better with fresh coriander!
  • I serve this with home-made spiced apple, apricot and peach chutney for extra zing.



Recipe card 1
The recipe card you get with the pack
and some extra information, including what to buy to make it again


Edinburgh Community Food’s aim is “to get people into healthy food, and healthy food into people”.  They tackle health inequalities in low-income communities in Edinburgh through their food and health development and promotion work, including cooking courses, cookery demonstrations,  nutrition workshops, health information sessions and tasting sessions.  They also run food co-ops throughout the city, where people can access high quality good food and pick up handy cooking hints and advice.  Where possible, they source their fresh fruit and vegetables locally.  All profits from the community food stalls in the hospitals go towards supporting these initiatives.

The stall is in the OPD building at WGH on Tuesday mornings and at RIE on Wednesday and Friday mornings.  They are also in the oncology department at WGH on Monday and Thursday mornings.




  1. Tammy

    Also, apparently you can let Edinburgh Community Food know when you are emailing your order through if you don’t need the recipe card, or if you have recipe cards that you no longer need you can hand them back at the stall.

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