Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)

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Chana Dal is a healthy and saucy Lentil Dish that’s perfect to serve with rice or roti. This chana dal fry recipe includes lots of bold spices, and is low fat, vegetarian, vegan, and easy to make gluten-free. Follow my simple step-by-step instructions with photos and video to make the best split chickpeas from scratch!

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

What is Chana Dal

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

This classic Chana dal recipe features sweet, nutty split chickpeas (also known as bengal gram) pressure cooked and then lightly fried on the stovetop with a variety of spices and aromatics. Chana dal is not quite a curry nor soup, but has a wonderfully saucy consistency that pairs perfectly when served with fluffy basmati rice and/or roti.

Not only is chana dal delicious, it’s good for you, too! The black or brown chickpeas (known as kala chana in Hindi) are high in fiber and are a great source of healthy, low fat, and vegan protein. So this dish is an excellent option for those on a low carb or diabetic-friendly diet, or people who prefer vegetarian recipes.

Chana dal can even be prepared gluten free by skipping asafoetida!

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

Below I share with you my steps for making split chickpeas in a pressure cooker, but it is also possible to prepare this dish entirely on the stovetop.

Either method you choose, I recommend that you first soak the lentils in water for an hour for the fastest prep and best taste. When soaked and properly cooked the chana dal will be wonderfully soft and much easier to digest.

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

You could also serve it with Roti or Naan, along with cucumber raita and some Masala Papad. Anything you like for soaking up the saucy, zesty split chickpeas!

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Chana Dal

It is easy to make this healthy, tasty chana dal in a pressure cooker with my step-by-step guide.

(See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for details on how to make Chana dal entirely on the stovetop.)

Cook Lentils

1. First, rinse 1 cup of chana dal (split chickpeas) in running water for a couple of times. Drain thoroughly.

chana dal, bengal gram in a steel bowl

2. Place the lentils in a bowl. Then cover with water and soak the chana dal for one hour. For a quicker method, soak the lentils in hot water (not boiling!) for about 30 minutes.

chana dal covered with water to soak

3. When done soaking, drain the water.

soaked chana dal

4. Add the chana dal to your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, along with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder.

soaked chana dal and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker

5. Now add about 2.5 to 3 cups water in a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Stir well.

For instant pot, add about 2 to 2.5 cups water and stir to combine.

water and chana dal in pressure cooker

6. Pressure cook the chana dal for about 10 to 11 minutes, or 7 to 8 whistles, on a high heat in a stove-top pressure cooker.

In the instant pot, pressure cook on high mode for 10 to 12 minutes. Later, let the pressure release naturally – so wait for 15 to 20 minutes after the pressure cooking is complete and then open the lid.

pressure cooker whistling with steam all over

7. Allow the cooker or Instant Pot to do a complete natural pressure release before unsealing the lid – this means to let the pressure fall naturally in the stovetop cooker or Instant pot.

Check the lentils for doneness – they should be very soft and easy to mush with the back of a spoon. Cover the pot and set aside.

If the lentils are undercooked, pressure cook again for some more minutes until they are softened.

cooked chana dal in a spoon

Make Chana Dal

8. Next, heat 3 tablespoons of oil or ghee in a large pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds, until 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 until the garlic is light 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. Continue to sauté the onions until 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 green chilies.

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

16. Mix well.

chana dal masala mixture in wok

17. Then add all the dried spices:

  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (omit if you do not have and add a bit of lemon juice once the cooking is complete.)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
ground spices in wok together with onion-tomato masala

18. Mix and continue to sauté.

sautéing masala mixture in wok

19. Cook until the tomatoes are softened and the oil starts to leave the side of the masala mixture.

sautéed masala ingredients in wok

20. Now add 1 teaspoon of crushed dry fenugreek leaves(kasoori or kasuri methi). Skip adding dry fenugreek leaves if you do not have it.

crushed dried fenugreek leaves on top of masala mixture

21. Stir to combine.

evenly mixed sautéed mixture

22. Next, add the cooked chana dal along with its stock to the pan. Or, add the sautéed masala mixture to the cooked dal if you have used Instant pot for cooking the lentils.

chana dal and stock added to sautéed masala mixture

Cook Chana Dal Further

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

If the dal looks a bit too thick, add about ½ a cup of water or more, and stir. Continue to add water and stir until the consistency is somewhere like a curry – saucy and with medium to medium-thick consistency but loose and pourable.

stirred chana dal

24. Season with salt to taste.

salt being added from a white measuring spoon to chana dal

25. Either on the stovetop or using the sauté Instant Pot function, cook the dal for another 6 to 8 minutes or more. This should help the chana dal thicken up a bit and really combine the flavors well.

simmering chana dal

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

If serving chana dal with roti or naan, then you can might want to prepare it with a slightly thicker consistency for scooping.

consistency of chana dal shown with a steel serving spoon

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

chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves on top of chana dal

28. Stir again and serve hot or warm.

chana dal ready to be served

29. Enjoy homemade chana dal with roti, steamed basmati rice, cumin rice or Saffron Rice. It’s also great with a side of raita, a fresh green salad or nearly any vegetable dish.

You can also serve it with Naan, some Cucumber raita and some papad as a complete meal!

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

Expert Tips

  • Chana Dal: Ensure that your chana dal is within its shelf period. Avoid using aged lentils as they will take a lot of time to cook and do not give a good taste as well. If possible use unpolished chana dal.
  • Soaking Lentils: It always helps to soak the lentils as they cook faster and taste better too. If you are short of time then cook them straightaway. But keep in mind that the lentils will take a longer time to cook.
  • 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 to make the dal taste spicy. If you want 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. Swap a bit of lemon juice with dry mango powder or omit the mango powder completely.
  • Consistency: Change the consistency of the chana dal by adding less or more water while simmering it later.

Chana Dal Benefits

Whether you make a soupy lentil dish, a dry sabzi preparation, a decadent dessert or a sumptuous chutney like this roasted Chana Dal Chutney, importance of chana dal or Bengal gram cannot be overlooked in Indian cuisine. You will find its uses in almost all regional cuisines through the length and breadth of our country.

Chana dal is quite the nutritious dal and is easily available too. It is a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, etc. and has a negligible fat and cholesterol content. Other reasons why you must include it in your diet:

  • It is an amazing choice for you if you are on a weight loss/management program. Helps you keep full for longer. Thus, controlling your appetite.
  • Helps to provide instant energy.
  • Chana dal is considered as a superfood for eyes, skin, bones, teeth and heart. Great source of plant protein.
  • If you have a tendency of high blood pressure, eat chana dal as it helps to lower it.
  • It is a boon for people with diabetes, enhances insulin response and maintains pH levels.

Comforting and satisfying Chana dal is one of my favorite meals to make at home. Here are more yummy lentil recipes you might like to try:

More Indian Lentil Recipes

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 garnished with coriander (cilantro) leaves in a white bowl

Chana Dal (Authentic North Indian Recipe)

This chana dal fry is Punjabi style recipe of bengal gram lentils or hulled and spilt black chickpeas tempered and flavored with onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices.
4.94 from 132 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4


For cooking lentils

  • 1 cup chana dal (bengal gram or split chickpeas) – 200 grams
  • 2.5 to 3 cups water for stovetop pressure cooking and 2 to 2.5 cups water for Instant Pot cooking
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Other ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic or 4 to 5 medium-sized garlic
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes or 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger
  • ½ teaspoon chopped green chilies or serrano pepper or 1 green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) or add as required * check point 4 in notes below
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) – crushed, optional
  • salt as required
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


Cooking Lentils

  • Pick and rinse the chana dal well in running water. 
  • Soak the dal in enough water for an hour. Or soak in hot water (not boiling hot water) for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the lentils and add them to a 3 litre pressure cooker along with turmeric powder. Add 2.5 to 3 cups water in the cooker and stir well. For Instant pot add 2 to 2.5 cups water.
  • On a high heat pressure cook the lentils for 10 to 11 minutes or for 7 to 8 whistles or more, till the dal is softened and well cooked. 
  • In the instant pot, pressure cook on high mode for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Allow the cooker or Instant Pot to do a complete natural pressure release before unsealing the lid. That means to let the pressure falls on its own in the cooker or instant pot.
  • Check the lentils. They should be very soft and easy to mush with the back of a spoon.
  • Cover and set aside the cooked chana dal.

Making Chana Dal

  • In another pan, heat oil or ghee.
  • Add the cumin seeds first and fry for a few seconds till they splutter.
  • Then add the garlic and fry till they become light brown.
  • Now add the onions and fry till they get golden stirring often.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chili.
  • Stir and add all the dry spice powders – turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida, dry mango powder and coriander powder.
  • Sauté stirring often till the tomatoes soften and the oil starts to leave the sides of the mixture.
  • Add the crushed dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and stir.
  • Pour the cooked chana dal together with its stock to the sautéed masala mixture or vice versa. Season with salt according to taste.
  • Stir and simmer the dal for 6 to 8 minutes or more till you get medium consistency of the dal. The consistency is neither thick nor thin.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve the chana dal hot with some basmati rice or roti or bread.



  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 Info (Approximate Values)

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.

This Chana Dal recipe post from the archives, first published on March 2013 has been republished and updated on 15 July 2022.

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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.

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  1. I don’t often comment on recipes on the Internet, but I feel I must make an exception here.

    I have only ever cooked a vegetarian meal once before, and I did not enjoy it. This recipe, however… my wife and I were blown away by how tasty it was! I can see myself making several litres of this at a time and freezing it in portions. Delicious, healthy, climate-friendly, what’s not to love!?

    Thanks Dassana!5 stars

    1. Thanks a lot for this lovely comment. Happy to read! Thanks again and welcome.

  2. I tried it without onion and garlic. It came out really well. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for sharing about the no onion and no garlic variation to the recipe. Glad the recipe turned out well.

  3. Used lemon juice as a substitute and added garam masala at the end. Was there a specific reason why you used it after adding tomatoes? My end product came out to be reddish-yellow.

    Thank You for sharing the recipe, it was awesomeeeeeee.5 stars

    1. Thanks a lot. I added the spices after adding tomatoes, so that they get sautéed well with the tomatoes. Most welcome.

  4. Great recipe. I made this exactly as is with perhaps more green chilli; it was so tasty. Best channa dal I’ve made.5 stars

  5. I found split baby garbanzos in a natural food market recently. I haven’t seen them for a while, so just I wanted to check whether to soak them.

    I love the fact that you described how to cook these pulses in multiple ways — traditional pressure cooker or Instant Pot — and showed photos of what may seem obvious to people who saw their mothers making South Asian food.

    I have asafoetida and even mango powder, but I need to get some fenugreek leaves!5 stars

    1. Thank you. It is better to soak them as they cook quicker. Soaking also gets rids of the phytic acid from lentils and makes them more digestible. You can give a skip to the fenugreek leaves if you are unable to find them.

    1. In its purest form, yes, but the packed ones have some wheat mixed in it.

  6. i made chana dal the most out of all indian foods. of course while i am cooking always opened this website by my side! without it, i am in trouble 🙂

  7. Your recipes continue to allow me to bring amazing food into my vegetarian home. I don’t know what I’d do without this site!!5 stars

  8. Hi Dassana. I don’t really cook much on a regular basis but all that has changed with lockdown and no cook! Thanks to you, my family I have been enjoying lovely vegetarian meals all through lockdown 🙂 This dal is yet another lovely dish. I think what really sets you apart is the care and detail you put into each recipe. Truly grateful for all the hard work and love you put in!5 stars

    1. Hi Tannaz, thank you for this super lovely feedback and glad that the details and the care I add in the recipes are helpful. Thanks for the rating on the chana dal recipe too. Most welcome and stay safe.

  9. Tried and loved it … All during the lockdown I have been coming back to Veg recipes of india and it has never failed me … The best part I like is that you try to make healthy versions of cakes. I have a long list of recipes that I have tried from your website n I intend to try all of them. So keep up the good work. Much love. 🙂4 stars

    1. Thanks a lot Sheetal. So glad to read your comment and feedback on the recipes. Stay safe and take care.

  10. How do I make this recipe I don’t have a pressure cooker I am using pots and frying pans5 stars

    1. soak chana dal for an hour or a couple of hours. drain the water, rinse the lentils in fresh water and then cook them in a pot or pan with enough water. they will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook. add a few drops of oil, so that the frothing reduces while cooking. you can cover the pan, but if water starts frothing, then cook uncovered. hope this helps.

  11. Love the recipe. I made it differently. I sautéed tempering mixture first in the pressure cooker and then added the lentils and pressure cooked up to 12 whistles. I also added a pinch of baking powder to make sure the lentils are perfectly cooked.5 stars

    1. thanks bharat for sharing the method. i also do this way at times. both the methods work. the one-pot method is a quick one. thanks for the rating and review on the chana dal recipe too.

  12. One of my favorite recipes, and I make often, with some variations now and then. I live in Chicago, where fortunately I am able to get the ingredients. Thank you so much for sharing it!5 stars

    1. thank you daisy for this positive review on chana dal. some ingredients can be skipped if they are not available. welcome and happy cooking.

  13. this has become my favourite dal, all those little additions like mango powder and fenugreek really give this dish a wonderful flavour. Thanks for sharing Dassana, my family are also appreciating the results of your recipe, i am going to try many more!5 stars

    1. thank you phil. yes do try some more recipes and i am sure you will like them. happy cooking.

  14. I cooked this Dal, and all the Family members enjoyed the different flavours.
    Thank You so much for making our Stomach this Happy. God Bless You5 stars

    1. thank you farida. glad to know your family members liked the chana dal recipe. welcome and happy cooking.

  15. I have tried this quite a few times and it was absolutely delicious.Love it with steamed basmati rice .5 stars

    1. thanks winnie for this positive feedback as well as the rating. steamed basmati rice goes very well with this chana dal recipe. even roti or paratha tastes good.

  16. Awesome flavour! I made this without onion and garlic and it was still delicious 🙂 Thank you!

  17. Every time I think I’ve discovered the best recipe yet, I’m astonished by a new one. This one embarrassed me at work all week because I couldn’t help but moan every time I tasted it. I’m making more this weekend!5 stars

  18. I am french, vegetarian, and I like so much your site. I am lucky to live not far away from Strasbourg, (where there is a good Indian store) so I can found all what I need to follow exactly your receipt. It’s a great pleasure to try new receipt and to make discover to my friends the best food all over the world
    Thanks for all.
    loup5 stars

    1. thanks a lot loup for this lovely comment ????. even if you do not get some of the ingredients that are used in indian cooking, then they can be skipped. welcome and happy cooking ????

  19. I’ve made this several times and it is really delicious but I can’t quite get the bit where “fat leaves the sides of the masala mixture.” I just can’t get that “oily” look even though I’ve cooked it for longer. Could this be because I’m using olive oil instead of ghee. How long should it take to achieve this oily look. I tried for half an hour.5 stars

    1. jeanne is could be due to the olive oil. it depends on the viscosity of oil or fat used. it takes about 7 to 8 minutes after adding tomatoes.

      1. Thanks Dassana. I will try the recipe with ghee and see how it turns out. I am wondering whether temperature has something to do with it too, I have been using a non-stick frypan but don’t think it gets to a high enough temperature and seems to “stew” rather than cook. I might use my copper bottom pan which seems to cook everything perfectly although harder to clean.5 stars

        1. jeanne, you can also use sunflower oil or peanut oil apart from ghee. i have made many recipes in non stick pans on a low to medium-low flame and i would be able to see the fat leaving the sides of the masala. so i don’t think its due to the non stick pan. you can try in the copper pan also.

  20. Hello Dassana,
    I’ve used many of your recepies for daily cooking. All have turned out so delicious. Thank you so much!!5 stars

  21. love this recipe. I don’t include some of the more obscure spices when I make it but it’s still brilliant5 stars

  22. Hi I have tried many of your recipes and they are great…helped me a lot when Husband and myself got relocated to another country and had to cook all by myself…thanks a lot…5 stars

  23. Hi from Madrid (Spain). I love your web and your recipes. I already did three of them: aloo tamatar jhol, masoor dal and chana dal. I want to try your dosas, parathas… there are so many I want to try!!! I have a cooking blog and I recommend your web as the best one for vegeterian indian cooking. I like using different ingredients from those I’m used. Fortunately I can find all the spices here in Madrid. Again, congratulations :))5 stars

    1. thanks a lot. glad to know you have liked the blog as well as recipe and thanks for the recommendations too. all the best for your blogging journey.

  24. Dear Dassana,

    This recipe turned out simply fabulous — not too masaledar, but bursting with flavours! ? Served it with paratha, aloo-gobhi sabzi and boondi raita. An all-out Dassana Special Lunch…? Thank you!

    Neeti5 stars

    1. Welcome Neeti. Thanks for your kind words. Your comment make me feel like eating it right now.

  25. Why south indian put some dhal in the oil and onions and fry after the vegetables

  26. I am a big fan of Indian cuisine! The first chana dal I had was about 15 or more years ago when I was a little kid. I was so lucky to have so many Indian Bengali Pakistani neighbors in the compound we lived in with my parents. They always gave us a plate full of their (fresh out of the pot) authentic dishes! Those spices and flavors could never be forgotten. So…. I just bought my dried yellow split peas yesterday and I was thinking, where could I possibly find the best recipe that’ll take me back to my childhood and bring back the memories we had during our lunch and dinner parties in Talat auntie’s and Nasreen auntie’s house?..
    And here I am!
    I never thought I would get that exact same flavor on my first trial in making this dish, as the ones I had years ago, thanks to my friends mom’s for having introduced me to such amazing authentic super delicious food!
    And thank you so so very much Dassana for having shared your recipe with us and the world! This has the most amazing touch of flavors in it, so perfectly balanced, I’ve had it with my self made butter parathas. It was divine!! So heavenly!
    I can’t thank you enough.. For me this is more than just a luscious dish, every step in making this recipe is filled with memories to me.. Thank you so much Dassana <3 🙂 so much!!5 stars

    1. Welcome Mery. I am so glad and touched to read your comment. I am happy to know that the recipe has brought you the old sweet memories. As they say “food is memories”. Thanks for your kind words. Happy Cooking.

      1. Thank you Dassana 🙂
        We’re a family of 2 adults and a child. Everyone had a second plate. Nothing left for tomorrow.
        This will be cooked at least thrice a week in my home from now on.

        Many thanks once again for all your very palatable authentic recipes you’ve shared with us.
        Wishing you a pleasant day/evening.

        1. pleased to know this mery 🙂 thank for positive views. glad your family liked the chana dal recipe. wishing you also a pleasant day.

  27. The recipe is awesome and I had used many recipes from your site it always turned out great..
    Thanks for each of your recipe?.?

    1. pleased to know this naghma 🙂 thank you for your positive words and you are welcome.

  28. Hi Amit
    All ur recipes are just great.Want to ask u that can we make Donuts using chana dal?
    Pls reply fast.

  29. Hi dassana, your all recipes are awesome .ur receipe help me a lot.thank u so much for your valuable recipes.5 stars

  30. Hi Dassana …..Beleive me I became Fan of you after enjoying many of your Recepies.They were simply Fantastic and Easy too….M Single n Love cooking ,This Chana Daal is for today…..Hope it Turn out be Yummy one …..Thanks !

    1. we are pleased to know this manoj 🙂 keep enjoying coking and let us know hoe the chana dal turned out ? thankyou and you are welcome.

  31. why do you talk about pressure cooker time in ‘whistles” ?? nobody understands that. how long is a whistle for goodness sake. just say the time in minutes please it’s so much simpler

    1. because the time varies with the type of cooker and its size. usually in india, we measure with the number of whistles and so i mention the number of whistles. but 2 to 3 whistles takes about 8 to 10 minutes.

      1. I love the recipes on this site, but I am not a fan of the ‘counting whistles’ method of pressure cooking. I am also from India, and grew up with the pressure cooker in my mom’s, and then my, kitchen. So I am very familiar with pressure cooker use.
        Allowing steam to escape in the form of whistles defeats the whole purpose of a pressure cooker, which is to keep the steam in, and so reduce cooking time and fuel use. Keeping track of time is not difficult.
        After the first whistle (which indicates that full pressure has come), turn the fire low, and cook for a specific time, which varies by type and amount of dal, and size of cooker. Cook a couple of times and you will figure it out. If something is undercooked you can always cook it further.
        I have a 6 liter (6 quart) pressure cooker, and for 1 cup of (unsoaked) chana dal, I let the pressure come up full, then turn the fire low, cook for about 10 to 12 minutes on low. Then I turn the fire off, and let the pressure come down naturally (further cooking occurs during this time). Very easy.
        Hope this helps.4 stars

  32. Hi Dassana,

    This recipe has been a savior for us bachelors living so far from home.!
    An amazing website for retards like me who dunno anything about cooking.!!!
    Amazing endeavor.
    Thanks from the bottom of our hearts and our hungry bellies 🙂
    5 Stars all the way!!!!!!4 stars

    1. welcome ankit. cooking takes practice and any one can learn it. hope that you end up making delicious food at home always.

  33. Hi Dassana,
    Your recipes are divine ..!!I have tried so many of them and your method of preparation never disappoints. …One quick question ..can I substitute lemon with amchur powder?
    Thanks & Regards
    Sharada5 stars

    1. welcome sharada. thanks for sharing positive feedback. yes you can substitute lemon with amchur powder. add towards the end as per your taste.

  34. Lovely! I want to learn more Indian recipes – mainly dal and such – and will be coming back to this site for sure.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  35. how long is a whistle??!!
    I’ve asked half a dozen people and nobody seems to know,
    why not just say it in minutes? it would be so much simpler


    1. george, whistle which is there in the pressure cooker, lets out the pressure and steam and makes lot of noise. once all the pressure and steam is gone, then whistle again drops down to its original position. thats how we calculate the number of whistles (basically by sound which can be heard in another room or house also). each whistle sound last for 3-7 seconds depending upon the size of the cooker. i suggest you to cook chana dal till it gets cooked completely.

      1. thank you very much I am not use to a pressure cooker like this.but ths i know.I am new to cooking dal and you have started me of to a good start lizzie

  36. Hi, made this last night and it’s really tasty. I didn’t have any fenugreek leaves but it was still very good.

    Is it possible to double or triple this recipe without any problems?5 stars

    1. thanks be. yes you can double the recipe, but just add the spices in moderation so that they don’t get over powering.

  37. Just an FYI, I’m making your chana dal today and I noticed that the garam masala is mentioned in your step by step and in your instructions, but not listed as an ingredient in the “for tempering” section of the recipe for print.

    My question is, it looks like you’re making the fry portion in a wok. Is that right? I love that idea and will use mine today. Also, the hair mirth – will a jalapeño do for this?

    Many thanks!

    1. thanks karen, i will update the post. yes it is the indian kadai which is similar to a wok. you can make in wok too. 1 jalapeno should be fine. welcome.

  38. How many will this chana dhal feed approx if served with rice and veg and naan. Cooking for 55 thanks.

    1. welcome claire. this recipe is for 3-4 servings with rice. with naan it can serve 6-7 serves. it also depends how much dal they take with rice.

  39. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I love this recipe. Quick question – I am not a fan of the pressure cooker (it just doesn’t always turn out well for me), can I soak the dal for an hour and then boil it for a while instead? What is the equivalent boiling time vs. pressure cooking time for the chana dal? Simmer or full boil? Thanks so much!5 stars

    1. better to soak the dal for an hour and then cook it. pressure cooking takes less time. say about 7 to 8 mins. cooking in a pot will take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the atmospheric and temperature conditions. first full boil and then simmer on a medium flame.

  40. Hi Dasana you recipe looks delicious. Just a quick question. Can I replace the raw chana dhal with canned garbanzo beans? If so what changes should I make to the recipe?

  41. WOW!! This recipe is SO GOOD, my whole family (including young children) loved it. I halved the red chili powder & omitted the green chili to make sure it was mild since I was serving to children – and that worked well for us. (Though next time I want to try cooking as written.) Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to try others on your site.5 stars

  42. Excellent…. yet to try ….will surely keep you updated as soon as i hear from you…thanks Renu

  43. This is fabulous. One of the most balanced dal dishes I have made. Just enough heat. Not too bitter. Everything works together perfectly. It was the first time I used hing. I cut up a tiny amount of dried mango to sub for the powder (maybe a teaspoon), and I think the little bit of sweet was nice. I will make this again in a heartbeat, and probably double the recipe and freeze for later. So warming and satisfying. Thank you for this recipe.

    1. thanks and welcome. hing gives a nice aromatic touch to the dal. in fact you can just add a pinch to any of the recipes which require tempering. dried mango also works well as sub for the powder. good to know that you sliced the right proportion. otherwise in some indian regions like goa, dried mangoes are used a souring agent for curries. actually chana dal has a sweetness of its own and this dal is basically sweet with just a wee bit of tang coming from dry mango powder.

      1. I think the dried mango powder is made from green mango? Hence, the sour taste and would be different from fresh sweet ripe mango fruit. Can’t wait to make my first Chana Dahl….the pea is so different from the moong.
        Thank you for this receipe!

        1. dried mango powder is made from raw unripe sour mangoes. i have a method already posted on how to make amchur powder at home. i make at home and avoid using the store brought one. thanks.

  44. Hi Dassana

    I love this recipe – cooked it tonight for the first time. I was missing a few ingredients (mango powder and methi leaves) And also cheated a bit as I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes or garlic – so I used tinned plum tomato and garlic puree – it tasted really good still.

    I have only recently started cooking so I’m still very ‘by the book’! Please can you clarify – when the dal is cooked – do I just leave it in the tumeric water while tempering then add the tempering to that? I drained it!! Then realised after so made some fresh tumeric water and poured that back in?! Also – is it tumeric powder in the first bit when you cook the dal??

    Can’t wait to make it with all the proper ingredients.

    Thanks 🙂5 stars

    1. hi sally, glad to know with all the ingredients you had, you still managed to make a great dal. when the dal is cooked, the stock or water is not thrown. we just keep it. although if there is too much water, then just simmer till the water evaporates. yes, its turmeric powder. in indian cooking, its turmeric powder that is always used and not whole turmeric. fresh whole turmeric is used for making pickles and dry turmeric is used to make spice blends.

    1. thanks for letting us know. will update. the salt is added just before you simmer the dal towards the end.

  45. Greetings from UK!

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but it looks delicious. I have all of the ingredients except for the amchur so I will use the juice of one lime instead. Thanks for sharing the wonderful cuisine of India with us. I will be back for more.

    P.S. Nice website design5 stars

    1. just 1/2 tsp of lime juice will be fine. you can also drizzle lime juice while serving. thanks.

  46. It was so easy to prepare and the taste is wonderful.Deepa likes it very much.
    Thank u for such simple tasteful recipes.5 stars

  47. Dear Dassana,

    I have just prepared this Chana Dal for the first time and I must say it is outstanding. Thank you so much.


  48. The chana dal i made frm ur recipe was fr da 1st tym but no one was of tht opinion they said me tht i am a pro feshnl cook thnx 4 ur recipe3 stars

  49. Excellent…… I love chana dal as it is full of proteins and is very healthful.I am purely vegetarian so I include lentils in my diet.

  50. Thank you so much for your recipe! I’ve recently fallen on hard times and am also practising to invite a vegan friend over for dinner, so i tried this in some trepidation hoping it would be okay.

    It’s better than okay! I’m on my second bowl now, the texture is lovely and filling, the flavour kind of sweet… and the lumps of tomato in it are delicious.

    thank you very much. 🙂

  51. your recipes are very easy to use..however my dals always tend to come out slightly different than the usual dals…water n dal dont seem to merge together…can you guess why?

    1. parul, i think you are not cooking the dal well enough so that blends with the water. the dal has to be cooked to such a smooth consistency that you can easily mash them even with the large spoon. you have to stir well also and if there is more water in the end.. then simmer the dal without the lid (with often stirrings) so that extra water evaporates. in the end, water should not have a separate layer in the dal.

  52. Quick query: We have a dozen mango trees here in Miami. Do you have any idea how we could make our own mango powder? Is it from the seed or the fruit? Of course, we will have to wait until summer, but I am happy to share! We even have an Indian Alphonse tree! They are just budding now. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. mango powder or what we call amchur in hindi, is made from sun dried unripe mangoes. just peel the unripe mangoes. the using a peeler, just slice the unripe mangoes thinly. keep in the sun till the mango slices are dried completely. turn over in between drying, so that they get dried uniformly. once they are completely dried, then ground them in a dry grinder till fine. just add a bit of the mango powder, as the homemade ones are stronger in taste and flavor than with the store brought ones.

  53. Delicious! I increased the quantities a bit, added some cumin powder also and I top it up with fried onions and sprinkle of masala & coriander. I’ll add this recipe to my favourites!

    1. thanks gabriela. nice to know your variation of making this dal more flavorful. keep visiting.

  54. Excellent dish! It’s a great dal dish- nice and bright tasting from ginger and coriander, but balanced by the cumin, chili powder/green chili, and earthy turmeric. I didn’t have fenugreek leaves, so I used Chutney powder (asafoedita, chili powder, lemon powder, urad powder), which worked wonderfully at 1 tsp. I just finished my meal and I’m already excited for leftovers tomorrow. It seems so meaty, yet it is vegetarian. Will be making this again no doubt, thanks.5 stars

  55. Hi Dassana
    Thank you so much for sharing this chana dal recipe, best one I ever made, my husband & I thoroughly enjoyed it especially after the Christmas festival5 stars

    1. welcome sue. nice to know that you and your husband liked the chana dal recipe. happy new year to both of you.

  56. Hey, I made this chana dal today for the 1st time with this recipe. But I prepared it without fenugreek because I didn’t have that ingredient. But it was tasty. Thank you for this recipe.4 stars

    1. welcome laurel. fenugreek gives a very nice aroma but without it also the dal tastes good.

  57. Hi. Just want to check if I am boiling the chana dal, after its soft, do I keep the remaining water in the pot once its done and then add the remaining ingredients to the pot of Dahl and water?

    Also, how much water should I use if putting the dal in a pot to cook?

    1. there should be no broth or water floating on the chana dal. it should be a homogenous mixture. so that means the dal has to be cooked really well. once the dal is cooked, then you can add the remaining ingredients as mentioned in the recipe. you can use about 4 to 4.5 cups water. soak the dal for 1-2 hours and then cook them. also remove the scum which is formed on top when the dal is cooking.

  58. Hi dassana. Ive found u and never letting go, ur recipes r simply delicious and so easy to follow,Iam not indian yet when i found indian food i must say itz the best in the world. dassana ur take on recipes are just like you simply stunning.. Mia

    1. thanks mia. i am glad that u liked the site and the recipes. indian food is very rich and diverse.

  59. Awesome yaar ur technique of explaining is so good u make yhe person understand very well , means no second doubt once u explain . And fantastic recipes. Keep posting5 stars

  60. I made this today and my husband is attempting to save it. I didn’t have fenugreek and it tastes okay but not that flavorful. There is no extra liquid so it’s a bit dry. He’s added boiling water, some garam masala and more of the spices called for, and trying to get it creamier by lightly boiling it. I must admit that I don’t have a lot of luck with bean recipes. I grew up with Eastern European parents so we didn’t eat these kinds of foods. My husband is Anglo-Indian so I’d like to be able to make some Indian dishes he likes.

    1. i hope finally the dal was good. actually this is a creamy dal and has medium consistency. if the lentils are cooked in a pot then double the quantity of water is required to cook them, than if they had been cooked in a pressure cooker.

      while cooking beans or lentils, its always better to soak them first and then cook them. soaked beans or lentils are faster to cook than unsoaked ones. in fact in indian cuisine beans are lentils are an integral part of the diet. so there is always an experience in cooking them. however you can also try to cook them. its not difficult. just soak them overnight. strain them. in a pot take 3-4 cups water for 1 cup soaked lentils. first bring the water to a boil. then add a pinch of turmeric powder and the soaked lentils. simmer without a lid. remove the scum that gets collected on top. continue to cook till the lentils become soft and mushy. add more water if required. hope this helps.

    1. judy, i make the chana dal very soft. so i pressure cook on high flame for 4-5 whistles.

    1. depends. you can even add hing in the beginning. one has to make sure that it does not get burnt if added right in the beginning.

  61. Hi
    Just wanted to ask you, once you’ve soaked the dal in water for an hour, do you drain out all the water and cook the dal and turmeric powder on its own, or do you cook it in the water?

    1. hi sarah, i usually drain the water and then cook the dal in fresh water along with the turmeric powder.

      1. Thanks so much for clarifying. I’ve made your recipe twice now, and both times it has turned out to be a big hit with family and friends! Will be sticking to this chana dal recipe from now on!5 stars

  62. I finally tried this channa dal fry recipe and it came out really well. Your goan style drumstick dal also looks good, will comment when I try it out!5 stars

  63. This is the nicest Indian recipe I have ever cooked or possibly eaten! I can’t believe following your recipe (and using fresh turmeric and one purple potato and my new organic ghee) turned me into a good cook. Usually my curries are bitter or lacking depth this blew me away. Very happy 🙂

    1. thanks LBuubuu for this positive feedback. i am glad your recipe turned out great.

  64. hi….. i tried this receipe it was awesome… iam in love with this channa dal.. thanx for the receipe

  65. I tried this recipe today and it turned out great. I didn’t have fenugreek leaves and hing, still it is very flavorful. I loved the photograph, it looks appetizing and tastes great as well. Thank you!

  66. I cooked this last night and it was DELICIOUS. Thank you. I am lucky enough to have a Benghali grocer nearby so had all the ingredients but the fenugreek leaf so i just left it out. Hope it doesn’t make too much difference! Going to cook the Punjabi Chole next. Yum!

    1. fenugreek leaf adds it own flavor to the dal but its OK if you don’t have. it will work.

  67. Hi Dassana,

    Sorry how much cumin should we put in? You say “add the cumin first and fry for a few seconds”… is it just a little to see if the oil is hot enough, or is it for flavour too? Sorry maybe I have missed where you wrote this…?

    Thanks so much I made it once already with one teaspoon of cumin and it was delicious, but I thought it best to ask in case it was vastly different!

    Thank you!

    1. 3/4 to 1 tsp of cumin is fine. the oil should be medium hot. if its very hot, the cumin will burn quickly.

  68. yet another wonderful recipe Dassana! tried it last night & everybody in my family loved it…infact my kids kept asking me if it was ordered from a restaurant… was such a simple yet flavourful dal….thanks once again & keep up the good work!

  69. I loved this recipe. I made it just this week and it was so good. I simplified it a little. I just used butter instead of ghee and I couldn’t find mango powder. I love your photography.5 stars

    1. thanks monica for the link as well as the feedback. butter would also do instead of ghee. in place of mango powder, you could add some lemon juice. there would be a slight tangy taste in the dal. also thanks for liking the photography.

  70. We cook it in a different way, sometime adding bottle gourd.
    I like the salad has served with chana dal.

    1. we also cook chana dal with bottle gourd but thats a different recipe than this one.

  71. i love dal with chana dal. i also love those bharanis (as we call them in kerala). i use it to store pickles but now realise i can use them as props too 🙂 so pretty!