Chana dal fry recipe – How to make punjabi chana dal recipe – dal recipes

Chana dal also called as bengal gram (split chickpeas) is produced by removing the outer layer of kala chana (black chickpeas).  It is high on proteins and regular consumption helps in reducing protein malnutrition.  Chana dal is used to make curries and one of the most popular vegetarian foods in India.  Chana dal is one of the dal variety which is very popular and commonly made in North India.  Chana dal fry is one of the most delicious and everyday dal recipe made with bengal gram and sautéed with onion-tomato mixture and Indian spices.  It is best served with steamed rice, jeera rice, naans, rotis or bread.

Other dal recipes :

Dal fry

Yellow moong dal fry

Raw mango dal

Dal methi

Dal palak

Gujarathi dal


Prep Time : 20 mins

Cook Time :  20 mins

Servings :  4 persons

North Indian cuisine


Chana dal (Bengal gram lentils) – 1 cup

Water – 3 cups

Salt to taste


Ghee – 2 tablespoons

A pinch of asafoetida or hing

Mustard seeds (rai) – 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 teaspoon

Ginger-garlic paste – 1  and 1/2 teaspoons

Green chillies – 2 (chopped finely)

Onion – 1 (medium sized chopped finely)

Tomatoes – 2 (chopped finely)

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – 1 teaspoon

Few chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


Wash and soak the chana dal in  water for 40-45 minutes.  Then drain the water and add 3 cups of fresh water and turmeric powder to it.  Pressure cook the dal on high flame for 6 to  7 whistles or till the dal is well cooked.  Once the pressure cools down,  mash the dal a little and keep it aside.

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Heat ghee in a pan on medium flame.  Add mustard seeds and saute till the seeds start spluttering.  Then add cumin seeds and stir fry for few seconds till they turn light brown in colour.  Add chopped onions, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste.

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Saute till the onions become translucent and raw smell of garlic-ginger paste goes away.  Then add chopped tomatoes and cook till they become little soft.  Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasoori methi.  Mix well.

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Saute  till the oil leaves the side of the mixture.  Then add the cooked and mashed dal and mix well.  Add little water if required.  Add salt.

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Stir well and close the pan with its lid.  Simmer on low flame for 7-8 minutes

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Once the dal reaches a medium consistency, switch off the flame.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

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Serve chana dal fry hot with rotis, naans or with steamed rice.



Soaking the chana dal for half an hour to 45 mins helps to cook the dal faster.

Adjust the consistency of the dal as required by you.  If you want a little thicker dal,  simmer the dal for some more time to get  a thick consistency.

You can use regular cooking oil for making this recipe, but ghee gives a good taste and flavour to this dish.



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