Chana Dal Pakora (Lentil Fritters)

Step by StepJump to Recipe

Chana Dal Pakora are crispy, crunchy and tasty fritters made with chickpea lentils, onions, herbs and spices. Chana dal is also called Bengal Gram and are hulled and split black chickpeas. Try these Chana Dal Pakoda and I am sure you will love it.

chana dal pakora served in a round bowl with a side of chutney.

Chana Dal is a commonly used lentil in the Indian Cuisine. There are many recipes we make with it. These fried fritters are one of the favorite tea time snacks at home.

Though this pakoda recipe may look similar to the South Indian Dal Vada recipe. But actually they are different. These chana dal pakora have a different taste, flavor and texture.

The taste is different as no curry leaves are used here. The texture is different as the chana dal is ground finely unlike the batter made for the dal vada.

Also some water is added when grinding the soaked chana dal. The result is a crisp texture from outside and a soft bite from within.

In the Indian cuisine, we make pakora or fritters from many veggies as well as from lentils. While making pakoras from lentils, we need to soak them in water first.

Later grind or blend the soaked lentils in a grinder or blender to make a smooth batter together with some spices. I usually soak the lentils overnight and when short of time I soak them for about 3 to 4 hours.

Serve these filling and delicious chana dal pakora hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup or cilantro chutney. A cup of hot Ginger Tea or Masala Chai will also go well with them. Here I served with my very easy and quick recipe of Coconut Chutney.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Chana Dal Pakora

1. Soak the chana dal in enough water for 8 hours or overnight or for 3 to 4 hours. Later drain all the water and keep the soaked lentils aside.

soaked chana dal in a bowl

2. In a blender or mixer-grinder, add the following ingredients:

  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 inch ginger or 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 to 3 small to medium garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped green chili or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped green chili
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 pinch baking soda (optional) – Addition of baking soda makes them slightly fluffier and soft.

Add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of water and grind to a smooth and fine batter.

Don’t add too much water while grinding the pakora ingredients. A thin batter will burst in oil and also won’t hold shape.

onion ginger garlic added to blender

3. Transfer the ground batter in a bowl using a spoon or spatula. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onions and salt as needed. Mix thoroughly.

At this point you can opt to add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. But I have not added the coriander leaves.

ground batter added to bowl

4. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy kadai or wok. Keep the heat to medium.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter in medium hot oil and deep fry or shallow fry the pakora till crisp and golden turning over as needed.

After you add the batter to the hot oil, let the pakora become light golden and then turn over with a slotted spoon and continue to fry.

Turn over again when the second side is golden and crisp. Turn over a few times or as needed to get an even golden colored and crisp pakoda.

frying chana dal pakora in hot oil in a kadai

5. When fried to perfection, place the chana dal pakora on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil. Use up the remaining batter and fry in batches in the similar way.

fried chana dal pakora in kitchen paper towels

6. Serve Dal Pakora hot or warm with Coriander Chutney or Mint Chutney or Tomato Ketchup. You can also have them as a tea time evening snack with bread slices and a cup of hot ginger tea.

chana dal pakora served in a round bowl with a side of chutney

If you are looking for more Pakora Recipes then do check:

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

chana dal pakora

Chana Dal Pakora (Lentil Fritters)

Chana Dal Pakora are crispy, crunchy and soft fritters made with chickpea lentils (bengal gram), onions, herbs and spices. Makes for a nice tea-time snack.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3


For grinding

  • ½ cup chana dal (hulled and split bengal gram)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves – small-szied, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch ginger – roughly chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped
  • 1 green chili roughly chopped or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 pinch baking soda – optional
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoon water – for grinding or blending

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions – to be added later to the ground batter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – can also be added later in the batter (optional)
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying or shallow frying, as required


Making chana dal batter

  • Pick and then rinse the dal for a couple of times in water.
  • Soak the chana dal in enough water for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the soaked dal and add them to the grinder.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the chopped onions together with the chopped green chilies, ginger and garlic, asafoetida, fennel seeds, cumin seeds in the grinder or blender.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth batter.
    Do not add too much of water while blending. If the batter becomes thin or runny, the batter won't hold shape while frying and burst in the oil.
  • Take the ground batter in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons chopped onions and salt.
  • Also add a pinch of baking soda if using. Mix the batter very well.

Making chana dal pakora

  • Heat oil for deep frying in a pan or kadai. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of the batter in medium hot oil.
  • When the batter has firmed up and the pakora looks light golden and slightly crispy, turn over each pakora with a slotted spoon and continue to fry.
  • When the second side has become golden and crispy, turn over again a few times and fry until the pakora have an even golden color.
  • Place the fried pakora on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Use up the remaining batter and fry the pakoras until crisp and golden.
  • Serve these lentil fritters hot or warm with mint chutney or coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.


  • Use chana dal that is fresh and has not gone rancid. 
  • Opt to alter the spices and seasonings according to your preferences.
  • Instead of deep frying you can also shallow fry. 
  • Skip asafoetida to make a gluten-free pakora.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Chana Dal Pakora (Lentil Fritters)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 532mg23%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.1mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.05mg3%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 0.5µg0%
Calcium 77mg8%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 3µg1%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 8mg2%
Phosphorus 14mg1%
Zinc 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Chana Dal Pakora recipe post from the archives first published in February 2014 has been republished and updated on 26 June 2022.

Share This Recipe:


Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

More Vegetarian Recipes You'll Love

Comments are closed.

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)


  1. Thank u Dassana ji the pakora were very tasty… My family really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing ur recipes with us.. I follow your website & I love all the recipes… Especially the detailed steps.its very helpful. God bless you & your family.5 stars

    1. Thanks a lot cynthia for the feedback on the recipe as well as your kind wishes. Thanks for the rating too. Most welcome and happy cooking.

  2. Hi I was wondering can I make the batter completely and keep overnight in the fridge to fry the next morning? Thanks

  3. An excellent recipe.the pakodas turned out too good.great tea time snack.everybody at home loved it.
    Just wanted to know what difference it would make in texture if the lentils are soaked overnight or for 2 to 3 hours.thanks.5 stars

    1. thank you winnie. soaking lentils overnight helps them to grind easily and they are easy to digest too. soaking chana dal for 2 to 3 hours gives a crisper texture as compared to soaking overnight. chana dal soaked overnight has a more softer texture as compared to chana dal soaked for 2 to 3 hours. so if you are looking for a crispy crunchy texture, then soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. hope this helps.

  4. Thank u dassana jee the pakora were really yummy.. Thanks for sharing ur recipes with us.. I am in love with ur website.. god bless you:)5 stars

    1. welcome ramona and thanks for your blessing and appreciating the site. keep visiting.