Chana Dal/Split ChickPea Dal, Simple chana dal cooked with spices

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Friday, October 12, 2012

Dal, is an integral part in Indian cooking, steaming hot rice and a perfectly tempered plain dal, is considered heaven in a bowl, give it to me any day, i m a happy and satiated person on earth. 
With so many Dal varieties available in our country, we have that many different dal recipes, if we add all the jugaad/mix and mach we do it will become countless. Any person who knows his/her way in the kitchen, knows what all can be done with plain old dal. 
Chana Dal
Today's recipe of chana dal, can be easily termed as child's play, a perfect recipe for bachelor/hostel/dorm cooking. All you need is chana dal and some basic indian spices, just steam some rice and there, you can enjoy a joyful meal. I know people who have hated  rice and dal while growing up, and now as adults would easily succumb to the aroma of this super simple chana dal poured over rice with a generous drizzle of ghee.
I can go on and on about this simple chana dal recipe, but i would now go on to the recipe on how to make this.
You will need 
Chana dal, also known as bengal gram, split bengal gram dal. This dal needs a bit of soaking before you pressure cook them. I usually would recommend a minimum of an hour of soaking time. 
Chilies, i always use red chilies for my dal, that too the long kashmiri ones, they don't make the food spicy and add just enough flavor needed.
Tomatoes and garlic, you can avoid garlic, if you prefer satvik food. 
Chana Dal tadka
1 Cup Chana Dal/Gram Dal
1 Medium-Size Tomato
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander for Garnish

1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
3 nos no red chilies, broken
a sprig of curry leaf
hing a pinch

  • Soak chana dal in water for atleast an hour before you pressure cook them, it helps in easy cooking of the dal. I usually wash the dal twice in running water, then add fresh water to it and leave it soaked for an hour or two. Pressure cook the dal until soft, usually 4-5 whistles. The dal shouldn't turn mushy,  It should hold the shape and when pressed should be well cooked.
  • Heat oil given under 'Tempering' in  a kadai. When the oil is hot, splutter mustard seeds, crackle cumin, add hing, curry leaves and broken red chilies
Chana dal recipe
  • Next add minced garlic and chopped tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup of water,  cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, for the tomatoes to become soft.
  • Next add the cooked chana dal along with the water.  Add salt to this and mix well. Once the dal starts to boil, using a potato masher or simply with the back of your ladle , try to mash a little dal  to get a thicker consistency.
  • Let it sit on the stove for 5-8 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and take it off the stove. Serve Hot with Rice or Roti.
A simple lunch thali
  • I made this dal along with some tomato-garlic rasam and bittergourd masala for my lunch and served with rice/quinoa.

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