Chana dal is a type of split chickpea, also known as Bengal gram dal. It is made by splitting and skinning black chickpeas (kala chana). These small, yellow, and split lentils have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Chana dal is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine and is used in a variety of dishes, such as dal (lentil soup), curries, and various lentil-based snacks.

Chana Dal

Recipe by Nitdb


Prep time


Cooking time



Chana dal is a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It is commonly used in vegetarian and vegan diets as a protein-rich alternative to meat. The lentils are often cooked with spices, tomatoes, and other ingredients to create flavorful and nutritious dishes. Additionally, chana dal can be ground into flour to make besan (gram flour), which is used in the preparation of various Indian snacks and dishes.


  • 1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas)

  • 2 cups water (for soaking)

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 green chili, chopped (adjust to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Wash the chana dal thoroughly and soak it in water for about 1-2 hours.
  • After soaking, drain the water from the dal.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked chana dal and 3 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is soft and cooked through.
  • In a separate pan, heat ghee or oil over medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, green chili, and ginger-garlic paste. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until the oil starts to separate from the masala.
  • Once the chana dal is cooked, add it to the pan with the prepared masala. Mix well.
  • Add garam masala and let the dal simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice or Indian bread like roti or naan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *