North Indian

Chana Dal Recipe

4.7/5 - (4 votes)

Chana Dal Recipe is a restaurant-style protein-rich flavorful recipe. This recipe is so flavorful and what makes it more delicious is the use of fresh ingredients which are very easily available in Indian Kitchen. This is a north Indian style Chana Dal recipe.

In this recipe, Chana dal is first soaked for 1-2 hours then boiled with turmeric powder and salt. Boiled Chana dal is then cooked with onion, tomatoes, later it is tempered with a bunch of spices to make it super flavorful. This double-tempered Chana dal recipe is best served with roti or rice.

Chana Dal is one of my favorite dals to enjoy with rice. Made with fresh ingredients and a handful of spices, this dal is packed with flavors! My mom is a big fan of dal, so she used to make dal 5 times a week along with seasonal dry veg. Mostly toor/arhar dal, moong, and masoor dal were made at my home. This Chana dal was not made frequently maybe because it takes more time to digest and is heavy on the stomach.

So whenever we are bored of eating dal or our fridge is out of veggies then my mom used to make and serve this recipe with steamed rice topped with some extra ghee. (Yeah Indian Mom always wishes to add ghee in almost all the recipes, and its never enough for them. (I know….I know ..It’s the same with me, In my son’s plate, I use to pour ghee in dal, apply it on chapati then add some more on steamed rice.:))

I still remember when we used to go to our hometown for the wedding in our family, we reach around 3-4 days in advance so that we can spend more time with relatives, cousins and help the family in shopping and other stuff. So a day or two days before the marriage when we all family members sit together for lunch this Chana dal recipe was the stable which was served on leaf pattal/plate along with other delicious recipes.

This easy Chana dal recipe is a surprisingly healthy option to include in our meal. This dish is a fantastic source of protein, fat and is a great filling yet low calorie. It can be made gluten-free if you just replace ghee with oil and skip adding asafoetida in the tadka.

With this step by step photos and detailed instructions, making this restaurant-style Chana dal recipe at home is so quick and easy and you can easily impress your loved ones.

Do try other Dal recipes :

Preparation Time: 10min(+Soaking Time)  ∏  Cooking Time: 35min  ∏  Servings: 3-4 persons

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

Main Ingredients

For Second Tadka

How to make Chana Dal Recipe:

Make Chana Dal

Step1: Soak Chana dal in water for 2 hours. If you are in hurry then soak it in warm water for 45 minutes. Wash it and transfer it to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 tablespoon of salt along with 2.5 cups of water. Heat pressure cooker on medium flame and after one whistle, lower the flame and cook for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the burner and let it cool down for some time.

Step2: When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the dal. The lentils should be cooked well and softened but its shape should be intact. Do not mash it.
Step3: Heat a pan on low-medium flame, add 1-2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and a pinch of Asafoetida. Cook for 20 seconds until seeds splutter. Then add dry red chilly, 4-5 garlic cloves (finely chopped) along with finely chopped ginger. Saute on low-medium flame for 1 minute.
Step4: Now add finely chopped onion, stir often and saute till the onions turn light golden for about 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
Step5: Once the onion turns golden brown, reduce the flame to low and add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and salt as per taste (Do remember salt was also added while boiling dal). Mix everything and saute for 20 seconds.
Step6: Add finely chopped tomato and mix it well with the masala. Cover and cook it for 3-4 minutes on medium flame until the oil separates from the masala.
Step8: Once oil starts oozing out from the sides of the masala paste, add slit or chopped chilies and saute for 30 seconds.
Step9: Add the cooked Chana dal along with the stock to the onion tomato masala paste.
Step10: Stir well and add 1/2 cup water if required.
Step11: Let it cook on medium heat uncovered for 6-7 minutes. Stir often else dal will stick to the bottom of the pot.
Step12: Now add 1/4 teaspoon garam masala and let the dal simmer for another 1min. Adjust the salt if required. Add fresh chopped coriander leaves and turn off the flame.

Make Tadka

Step13: In the meanwhile heat a tadka pan on medium flame. Pour 1 tablespoon ghee, once it is hot add chopped garlic and saute it for 1minute. Then add ginger julienne and saute until the garlic turns crispy.
Step14: Add dry red chilly, sauté it for a while. Then turn off the flame.
Step15: At last add 1/2 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon dry Kasuri methi at this step. Tadka is ready.
Step16: Pour hot sizzling tadka on top and few drops of lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Restaurant-style Chana Dal is ready. Serve it with steamed rice or roti. Enjoy!


  • Soak Chana dal for at least 1-2 hours. if you are in hurry then soak it in warm water.
  • Adjust the amount of chilly as per your taste.
  • Ghee is the key ingredient that brings amazing flavor.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker at home, you can cook the dal on the stovetop for 1.5 hrs and add more water.
  • Serve it hot with steamed rice.

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