Category: Dal
Rating: 3.47
Servings: 4


1 cup chana dal
7 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon corriander powder
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp -or-
1 tablespoon lemon juice -and-
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 clove garlic; chopped

Directions: How to Cook Chana Dal

This is in response to requests I've seen here from time to time. The following recipes are from _Flavors of India: Recipes from the Vegetarian Hindu Cuisine_, by Shanta N. Sacharoff, reprinted without permission. Comments in parentheses are mine, and I've paraphrased some portions. I've tried these and several other recipes from this book & highly recommend it!

These dals are great served with rice or one of the Indian breads, and adding a good hot curry and several condiments almost makes a feast! My favorite condiments are mango chutney (which comes preserved in a jar like jam) and cucumber raita (beat 1 c, plain yogurt with a fork and add a diced, peeled cucumber, 1/4 t. salt, couple pinches cayenne and maybe some coriander or mustard powder -- should be cooling rather than spicy). Wonderful drinks can be made with the sweetened mango pulp available canned in most Indian groceries (or obviously with a blender and fresh mangos if available) -- just mix with milk or with tonic water and lime. Canned leechee fruits in sirup make an easy desert.

Chana dal is the larger of the skinned, split, yellow dals you will find in an Indian grocery -- it closely resembles the yellow split peas found in Western supermarkets, and in fact these yellow split peas make an acceptable substitute.

Measure the dal into a bowl and sort through it to remove any unskinned (dark) dal, small stones or other debris. Soak the chana dal in 4 c. water for 2-3 hours, then wash under running water and drain. Bring 3 c. water and the salt to boil in a medium-size pot. Add the chana dal and wait for the water to begin its second boil, then cover the pot and cook over medium-to-low eat for 30 min. At this time, remove the cover and stir up the dal. To the open pot add the cayenne, turmeric, cumin, coriander and the tamarind pulp (skin & seeds removed). Stir well and allow to simmer uncovered while you prepare the next step.

In a separate small pot or frying pan, heat the vegetble oil over low heat and add the mustard seeds and chopped garlic to it. When the oil gets hot, the mustard seeds will begain to pop (really. and they may spatter a bit.). When they have ceased popping, add the oil mixture to the simmering pot of dal. Immediately cover the pot and keep covered for 2 min. while the dal continues to simmer. Then remove the cover and stir once with a spoon to mix in the new ingredients. Cook uncovered for another 5 min. and the dal is ready to be served with rice or bread. Taste to correct seasoning (ie salt. also, I tend to increase the amounts of all spices a bit, keeping proportions the same.) This dal is fairly thick in consistancy and should not be made thinned with water. Serves 4-6.




From archives. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive,

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Related recipes:
Gala Hua Dal (Cooked Lentils, Peas, And Beans
Split Pea Dal
Makhani Dal
Chickpea Dal (Kabuli Chana Dal)
Chana Dal (Curried Chick-Peas)

Recent comments and reviews for this recipe:

Ambily writes:

great recipe....loved it...hubby though it was awesome too...thanks!!!

Posted on 16 Oct 2008, 09:22 ET

uzmia writes:

thanks, i didnt know how to make it, will try tomorrow!

Posted on 04 Jun 2009, 18:03 ET

Danny writes:

Cool, just felt like having poori n dal, this sounds both simple and delicious! thanks!

Posted on 09 Oct 2009, 15:12 ET

Neil writes:

Thanks Jill.

The chana dal turned out pretty ok.

Posted on 15 Nov 2009, 18:26 ET

shandleyst writes:

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Posted on 23 Nov 2009, 23:14 ET

croslycris writes:

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Posted on 23 Nov 2009, 23:15 ET

Eric Cartman writes:

This was a good Dhal. I tripled the Cayenne and shat fire for days. My ringpeice ended up turning inside out and had to seek medical attention.

Posted on 25 Nov 2009, 20:52 ET

Mr Mackey writes:

Eric see me after class m'kay?

Posted on 28 Nov 2009, 07:50 ET

disappointed writes:

It sounded like a good idea but 1 Tablespoon of tamarind paste ruins the daal. I should have just called my mom and got the recipe from her. What a waste of daal and spices.

Posted on 06 Jan 2010, 19:55 ET

imz123 writes:

shall try tomorrow.. no onions and no tomatoes....a little skeptical...

Posted on 08 May 2010, 18:07 ET

garima writes:

very poor

Posted on 24 Dec 2010, 07:40 ET

deep writes:

this dal or a soup no tomatoes or tomatoe puree,onlu tamrind water its so simple bt nt a gud idea

Posted on 24 Dec 2010, 07:42 ET

Tyler writes:

This is a very good recipe! I've made it several times now doubling the recipe. I don't use the tamarind, just the lemon juice and sugar... Also I put the garlic in after the mustard seeds because the first time I made it the garlic burned a bit. A very simple and delicious recipe!

Posted on 01 May 2011, 19:35 ET

Peter writes:

excellent recipe. The tamarind gives it a distinctive taste, but it works very well for me and my family.

Posted on 31 Jul 2011, 17:24 ET

aliceM writes:

Haven't made it yet, but I can cook it w/out using a pressure cooker. And the recipe looks great. Making this today.

Posted on 04 Jan 2015, 09:44 ET

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