Chana Dal is a wholesome and saucy Lentil Dish that’s excellent to serve with rice or roti. This chana dal fry recipe contains numerous daring spices, and is low fats, vegetarian, vegan, and straightforward to make gluten-free. Comply with my easy step-by-step directions with pictures and video to make the perfect cut up chickpeas from scratch!

chana dal in a white bowl garnished and a white plate filled with cooked rice

What’s Chana Dal

Chana Dal is the Hindi time period for each bengal gram lentils (or black chickpea lentils) and the saucy dish made with it.

This basic Chana dal recipe options candy, nutty cut up chickpeas (often known as bengal gram) stress cooked after which calmly fried on the stovetop with a wide range of spices and aromatics. Chana dal will not be fairly a curry nor soup, however has a splendidly saucy consistency that pairs completely when served with fluffy basmati rice and/or roti.

Not solely is chana dal scrumptious, it’s good for you, too! The black or brown chickpeas (often called kala chana in Hindi) are excessive in fiber and are an incredible supply of wholesome, low fats, and vegan protein. So this dish is a superb possibility for these on a low carb or diabetic-friendly food plan, or individuals who choose vegetarian recipes.

Chana dal may even be ready gluten free by skipping asafoetida!

chana dal or raw hulled black chickpea lentils in a ceramic jar on a black board

Under I share with you my steps for making cut up chickpeas in a stress cooker, however additionally it is attainable to arrange this dish fully on the stovetop.

Both technique you select, I like to recommend that you simply first soak the lentils in water for an hour for the quickest prep and greatest style. When soaked and correctly cooked the chana dal can be splendidly smooth and far simpler to digest.

The chana dal is scrumptious to serve with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice, and a aspect raita, kachumber (salad) or any variety of vegetable aspect dishes.

You could possibly additionally serve it with Roti or Naan, together with cucumber raita and a few Masala Papad. Something you want for absorbing the saucy, zesty cut up chickpeas!

Step-by-Step Information

Learn how to make Chana Dal

It’s simple to make this wholesome, tasty chana dal in a stress cooker with my step-by-step information.

(See the recipe card on the backside of this publish for particulars on the right way to make Chana dal fully on the stovetop.)

Prepare dinner Lentils

1. First, rinse 1 cup of chana dal (cut up chickpeas) in working water for a few occasions. Drain completely.

chana dal, bengal gram in a steel bowl

2. Place the lentils in a bowl. Then cowl with water and soak the chana dal for one hour. For a faster technique, soak the lentils in sizzling water (not boiling!) for about half-hour.

chana dal covered with water to soak

3. When performed soaking, drain the water.

soaked chana dal

4. Add the chana dal to your stress cooker or Immediate Pot, together with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder.

soaked chana dal and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker

5. Now add about 2.5 to three cups water in a 3 litre stovetop stress cooker. Stir effectively.

For immediate pot, add about 2 to 2.5 cups water and stir to mix.

water and chana dal in pressure cooker

6. Stress cook dinner the chana dal for about 10 to 11 minutes, or 7 to eight whistles, on a excessive warmth in a stove-top stress cooker.

Within the instantaneous pot, stress cook dinner on excessive mode for 10 to 12 minutes. Later, let the stress launch naturally – so anticipate 15 to twenty minutes after the stress cooking is full after which open the lid.

pressure cooker whistling with steam all over

7. Enable the cooker or Immediate Pot to do a whole pure stress launch earlier than unsealing the lid – this implies to let the stress fall naturally within the stovetop cooker or Immediate pot.

Test the lentils for doneness – they need to be very smooth and straightforward to mush with the again of a spoon. Cowl the pot and put aside.

If the lentils are undercooked, stress cook dinner once more for some extra minutes till they’re softened.

cooked chana dal in a spoon

Make Chana Dal

8. Subsequent, warmth 3 tablespoons of oil or ghee in a big pan on the stovetop on medium warmth. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry for just a few seconds, till they crackle and sizzle.

cumin seeds crackling in oil in a wok

9. Now add 4 or 5 finely chopped garlic cloves, about 2 teaspoons.

chopped garlic in oil

10. Fry till the garlic is gentle golden.

lightly golden garlic in oil

11. Now add ½ a cup of chopped onions.

mound of chopped onions in wok

12. Stir and sauté.

sautéing onions in oil

13. Proceed to sauté the onions till golden.

golden browned onions in oil

14. Add 1 cup of chopped tomatoes (2 or 3 medium tomatoes) to the pan.

chopped tomatoes in wok

15. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and ½ a teaspoon of finely chopped inexperienced chilies.

finely chopped ginger and green chilies on top of tomatoes in wok

16. Combine effectively.

chana dal masala mixture in wok

17. Then add all of the dried spices:

  • ½ teaspoon pink chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (omit when you don’t have and add a little bit of lemon juice as soon as the cooking is full.)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing, non-compulsory)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (floor coriander)
ground spices in wok together with onion-tomato masala

18. Combine and proceed to sauté.

sautéing masala mixture in wok

19. Prepare dinner till the tomatoes are softened and the oil begins to depart the aspect of the masala combination.

sautéed masala ingredients in wok

20. Now add 1 teaspoon of crushed dry fenugreek leaves(kasoori or kasuri methi). Skip including dry fenugreek leaves when you don’t have it.

crushed dried fenugreek leaves on top of masala mixture

21. Stir to mix.

evenly mixed sautéed mixture

22. Subsequent, add the cooked chana dal together with its inventory to the pan. Or, add the sautéed masala combination to the cooked dal in case you have used Immediate pot for cooking the lentils.

chana dal and stock added to sautéed masala mixture

Prepare dinner Chana Dal Additional

23. Stir very effectively. Mash some lentils with the spoon as you go on stirring. Mashing some lentils helps the dal to thicken.

If the dal seems a bit too thick, add about ½ a cup of water or extra, and stir. Proceed so as to add water and stir till the consistency is someplace like a curry – saucy and with medium to medium-thick consistency however free and pourable.

stirred chana dal

24. Season with salt to style.

salt being added from a white measuring spoon to chana dal

25. Both on the stovetop or utilizing the sauté Immediate Pot operate, cook dinner the dal for an additional 6 to eight minutes or extra. This could assist the chana dal thicken up a bit and actually mix the flavors effectively.

simmering chana dal

26. If serving chana dal with rice, I like to recommend making this dish with a medium consistency.

If serving chana dal with roti or naan, then you possibly can would possibly need to put together it with a barely thicker consistency for scooping.

consistency of chana dal shown with a steel serving spoon

27. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of contemporary chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, or garnish with coriander leaves whereas serving chana dal.

chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves on top of chana dal

28. Stir once more and serve sizzling or heat.

chana dal ready to be served

29. Take pleasure in home made chana dal with roti, steamed basmati rice, cumin rice or Saffron Rice. It’s additionally nice with a aspect of raita, a contemporary inexperienced salad or practically any vegetable dish.

You too can serve it with Naan, some Cucumber raita and a few papad as a whole meal!

chana dal in a white bowl garnished with cilantro with a side bowl of vegetable salad and a white plate filled with rice

Professional Suggestions

  • Chana Dal: Be certain that your chana dal is inside its shelf interval. Keep away from utilizing aged lentils as they may take plenty of time to cook dinner and don’t give a great style as effectively. If attainable use unpolished chana dal.
  • Soaking Lentils: It all the time helps to soak the lentils as they cook dinner sooner and style higher too. If you’re wanting time then cook dinner them straightaway. However take into account that the lentils will take an extended time to cook dinner.
  • Aromatics and Seasonings: This recipe as-is is ideal however you possibly can all the time improve the amount of spices like inexperienced chillies and pink chilli powder to make the dal style spicy. If you would like you possibly can omit each onions and garlic within the recipe, however the style can be completely different. Omit dry fenugreek leaves when you don’t have it. Swap a little bit of lemon juice with dry mango powder or omit the mango powder utterly.
  • Consistency: Change the consistency of the chana dal by including much less or extra water whereas simmering it later.

Comforting and satisfying Chana dal is certainly one of my favourite meals to make at dwelling. Listed below are extra yummy lentil recipes you would possibly prefer to attempt:

Extra Indian Lentil Recipes

Straightforward9 hrs

Dal Makhani

In case you made this recipe, please remember to fee it within the recipe card under. Sign Up for my e-mail e-newsletter or you possibly can observe me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for extra vegetarian inspirations.

chana dal garnished with coriander (cilantro) leaves in a white bowl

Chana Dal (Genuine North Indian Recipe)

This chana dal fry is Punjabi type recipe of bengal gram lentils or hulled and spilt black chickpeas tempered and flavored with onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 20 minutes

Soaking Time 1 hr

Complete Time 1 hr 30 minutes

Forestall your display from going darkish whereas making the recipe

Cooking Lentils

  • Decide and rinse the chana dal effectively in working water. 

  • Soak the dal in sufficient water for an hour. Or soak in sizzling water (not boiling sizzling water) for half-hour.

  • Drain the lentils and add them to a 3 litre stress cooker together with turmeric powder. Add 2.5 to three cups water within the cooker and stir effectively. For Immediate pot add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

  • On a excessive warmth stress cook dinner the lentils for 10 to 11 minutes or for 7 to eight whistles or extra, until the dal is softened and effectively cooked. 

  • Within the instantaneous pot, stress cook dinner on excessive mode for 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Enable the cooker or Immediate Pot to do a whole pure stress launch earlier than unsealing the lid. Meaning to let the stress falls by itself within the cooker or instantaneous pot.

  • Test the lentils. They need to be very smooth and straightforward to mush with the again of a spoon.
  • Cover and set aside the cooked chana dal.

  1. Chana Dal: Make sure that the lentils are fresh and within their shelf period. Aged lentil take a lot of time to cook. Try to use unpolished chana dal if you can.
  2. Soaking Lentils: Lentils cook faster when they are soaked. If having less time then cook them straightaway. But know that the lentils will take a longer time to cook.
  3. Aromatics and Seasonings: This recipe as-is is perfect but you can always increase the quantity of spices like green chillies and red chilli powder for a spicy chana dal. If you prefer you can omit both onions and garlic in the recipe, but the taste will be different. Omit dry fenugreek leaves if you do not have it.
  4. Dry Mango Powder: Also known as amchur, dry mango powder add some tangy taste to the dish. Swap a bit of lemon juice with dry mango powder when cooking the dal is complete or omit the mango powder completely.
  5. Gluten-free version: To make the recipe gluten-free, omit adding the asafetida (hing) or use asafetida packaged as gluten-free asafetida. 
  6. Adjusting Consistency:
1. If the dal becomes thick, then after adding the sauteed masala tempering mixture, add some water as needed and simmer for some minutes. 2. If the dal become thin, simmer for a longer time so that you get the right consistency.
  • For cooking lentils in a pot or pan: 
  1. First soak the lentils for an hour.
  2. Take 4 cups water and the drained lentils in a pot or pan.
  3. Add turmeric powder. Cover and cook the lentils for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till they are softened well. Add more water if required.
  4. If the mixture froths, then cook uncovered initially and then later cover and cook. Adding a few drops of oil reduces the frothing.
  5. Once the lentils are softened, then make the sautéed onion-tomato masala mixture and add it to the cooked lentils. Simmer further until the consistency thickens.

Nutrition Facts

Chana Dal (Authentic North Indian Recipe)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 272 Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g18%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 312mg14%

Potassium 178mg5%

Carbohydrates 34g11%

Fiber 12g50%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 567IU11%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 10mg12%

Vitamin E 5mg33%

Vitamin K 6µg6%

Calcium 102mg10%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 13µg3%

Iron 2mg11%

Magnesium 12mg3%

Phosphorus 20mg2%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This chana dal post from the archives, first published on March 2013 has been republished and updated on 25 November 2021.

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