Chana dal recipe with video & step by step photos – Delicious, spicy and healthy chana dal fry to serve with rice or roti. Bengal gram or split skinned chickpeas are known as chana dal in Indian language. It is used in various Indian recipes – to make a dal curry, halwa, kheer, vada, pulao, masala powders and even used in curries along with vegetables like lauki, brinjal etc. In most households, one of the most common preparation is to make a simple dal dish to serve with rice.
This chana dal is good to serve with hot steamed rice, Ghee rice, Jeera rice, chapati, bhakri or roti along with some fresh veggie salad. Chana dal is protein packed and nutrient rich – includes zinc, folate and calcium. Chana dal is one of those lentils that has a very low glycemix index and is suitable even to those with diabetics. The high fiber content is also said to reduce the bad cholesterol.
In most of our foods, I usually puree the tomatoes and use since the skin of the tomatoes don’t go well with my kids. You can either use chopped tomatoes or pureed tomatoes as per your convenience. I keep the usage of spices and spice powders to the minimum in dal recipes as I prefer the flavor of dal than the spices. However more dry spices can be used in the tempering like bay leaf and a small cinnamon stick.
To avoid stomach upset and bloating in toddlers & kids, it is always good to soak chana dal for at least 4 to 6 hours and then use in this chana dal recipe. However soaking for at least 30 mins to 1 hour in hot water is crucial to cook the lentils fast.
Video of chana dal recipe
Chana dal recipe card
- ½ cup chana dal
- 1 ¼ cup Water
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil or butter
- ½ to ¾ tsp cumin/ jeera
- 1 broken red chili (less spicy variety)
- Generous pinch of hing / asafoetida
- 1 green chili chopped (skip if making for kids)
- 1 medium sized onion chopped finely
- ¾ tsp ginger paste or ginger garlic paste
- 1 medium sized tomato chopped finely (you can also puree)
- Salt as needed
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ to ¾ tsp red chili powder (use less if you have kids at home)
- ¼ to ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ to ½ cup water ( or use as needed to bring to consistency)
- ¼ tsp crushed kasuri methi / fried fenugreek leaves
- ¼ tsp amchur powder / dried mango powder
- 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
- Wash chana dal thoroughly until water runs clear.
- Soak it in water for 1 to 4 hours as per your convenience.
- Cook it in a pot or pressure cooker on a medium heat until completely done. Dal must hold the shape, yet get mashed well if you mash it . If you pressure cook you may need to cook it any where for 3 to 5 whistles depending on the brand of cooker.
- When the pressure goes down, open the lid.
- Heat ghee or oil in the pan. Add cumin and red chili. Saute until cumin begins to splutter.
- Add hing. Add green chilies and onions. Saute very well until the onions turn lightly golden.
- Add ginger or ginger garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Add Tomatoes, salt and turmeric.
- Saute and cook until the tomatoes turn soft and the raw smell disappears.
- Add chili powder and garam masala. Saute for 1 to 2 mins. Make sure raw smell of all the ingredients has gone completely.
- Add chana dal along with the left over stock or water in the cooker.
- Mix everything well and if needed add little water.
- Lightly mash the dal with the spatula to get a thick consistency.
- Allow to cook until the dal begins to bubble well. Do not overcook.
- Add crushed kasuri methi and amchur powder.
- Stir and turn off the stove. Add some coriander leaves.
- Transfer chana dal to a serving bowl. Serve with rice, papad or a veg salad.