Easy Indian Chana Dal Recipe

Chana dal or baby chickpeas Dahl; easy to make, tasty, and healthy 

Easy Indian Chana Dal Recipe
Total Time (Mins): 
Prep Time (Mins): 
Cook Time (Mins): 

Chana Dal: 2 cups
Onion: 1 large (finely chopped)
Tomato: 1 large (pureed or chopped)
Ginger: 2 inch (finely chopped)
Garlic: 3-4 (finely chopped)
Green chili: 1 (chopped)
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp 
Asafetida: ¼ tsp 
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp 
Turmeric Powder: ¼ tsp
Water: 5 cups (for cooking)
Coriander leaves: for garnish
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil: 2 tbsp

Cooking Method: 
Boiling, Frying
Skill Level: 

1) Soak chana dal in excess of water for 2h. Wash well, drain and keep aside.

2) Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. Let it sizzle for 30 sec. 

3) Add finely chopped ginger and garlic. Fry till golden brown.

4) Add chopped onions and green chili. Fry till darker golden brown.

5) Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Fry for 1 min.

6) Add tomato and fry till oil separates (approx 4-5 min). If you use chopped tomato, it will turn pulpy.

7) Add chana dal and 5 cups of water. Cover and pressure cook for 20 min. Lower the heat to a minimum after the first whistle. Cook for the remaining time on low heat.

8) Remove from heat. Cool.

Common Mistakes: 

Caramelizing the onions till it turns slightly darker brown adds to the flavor of the dish. Do not burn it. 


1) Soaking the chana dal before cooking reduces the cooking time by half

2) Squeeze juice from one-half lime for flavor before serving

3) Add 2 tsp of clarified butter for enhanced aroma and taste before serving

4) Asafetida has antiflatulent properties and helps in digestion of lentils

5) Chana Dal, with its low glycemic index, is good for diabetic patients and weight watchers


Alternative Ingredients: 

Substitute cumin seeds with mustard seeds


Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with Indian roti or rice along with boondi raita and salad as accompaniments.  

Dish Type: