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Chana dal served with rice and salad in a bowl.

Chana dal

Chana dal is a flavorful dal recipe from India that's made with split and skinned Bengal gram, flavored with onion, tomato, and a few Indian spices. It's a vegan and gluten-free recipe, perfect for protein-rich meatless meals.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 173kcal


  • Pressure cooker/ Cooking pot



  • Wash chana dal and put it in a pressure cooker along with around 3 cups of water, turmeric powder, and some salt (add only a portion of the total salt you will be using in this dish, the remaining salt will be added later with tomatoes). Mix and put on the lid. Cook till 4 whistles on a medium flame. Allow the pressure to get released naturally before opening the lid.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add dried red chilies, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cumin seeds, and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Once the spices become fragrant, add chopped garlic and onion. Cook until the onion starts turning golden brown.
  • Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds,
  • Next, add tomatoes and the remaining salt. Cook until the tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Once the tomatoes are nicely cooked, add boiled lentils and chopped ginger. If the dal is too thick, add some hot water to get the desired consistency. Cover the pot and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti or rice.



  • Soaking chana dal is not mandatory but if you do, cooking time will decrease.
  • Adding all the whole spices is not mandatory, you may skip 1-2 spices if you don't have them all.
  • You can make chana dal in a regular cooking pot too. But if doing that, cook it for a longer period i.e. at least 1 hour or until the dal gets nicely cooked. Also, soak the dal for a minimum of 4 hours if cooking in a regular pot.
  • Non-vegans may also use ghee as a cooking medium to make dal.
  • More easy recipe tips and tricks are shared in the post above, please follow them to make this recipe.


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg