Chana dal Recipe | Punjabi chana dal masala | chana dal fry

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Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

Chana dal fry is one of the recipes that I make often on everyday basis. This is North Indian style chana dal masala. Typical Punjabi onion-tomato masala is the base of this dal. And addition tadka or tempering on top gives nice aroma and flavor to the dish.

This is my mom’s recipe and she learned it from our neighbor who is from Delhi. And that’s why she used to make lot of Punjabi dishes and I loved to eat those. And now following mom’s footsteps and I am also making north Indian dishes sometimes.

– Checkout more dal recipe that you can make on everyday basis —
Tomato dal  – Moong dal fryChilkewali moong dal  — Moong dal tadka

Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

Chana dal is known as Bengal gram in English. It is kind of dal which needs more time to cook. So it is a good idea to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before pressure cooking. And so it will cook faster. If you do not have pressure cooker then you can cook in a pot, but you will need more water and it is time consuming. And keep adding water if it dries up and cook till it gets softer.

I have made the tempering of curry leaves with other spices at the end. And it gives nice aroma to the dal. And of course it gives some curry leaves flavor to the dish.

For a change, try adding some lemon juice at the end. I have tried it and I liked it this way too.

Step by step recipe for Punjabi Chana dal Masala:

Wash chana dal very well, soak them for 30 minutes and then boil in pressure cooker with salt and turmeric powder till it gets cooked. In below picture clockwise – chana dal, soaked chana dal, in cooker with salt & turmeric, boiled dal.
Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

While pressure is releasing, heat oil in a pan, sauté ginger, garlic paste and chilies. Then cook onions till soft. After that add tomatoes and cook till soft. Add spice powders and cook for a minute. then add boiled dal and let it simmer.
Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

While dal is simmering, make tadka. Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, let them pop. Then add cumin seeds, let them sizzle. Add curry leaves and dried red chili, cook for 30 seconds. Immediately add tempering to the dal. Stir the dal and ready to serve.
Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry as this recipe requires very basic ingredients. So what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and make delicious chana dal recipe today.

Chana dal Recipe – Punjabi chana dal masala – chana dal fry

Here is Punjabi Chana Dal Fry Recipe :

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chana Dal Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Punjabi Chana Dal recipe or chana dal fry has basic onion-tomato base with tadka on top to add more flavors
Category: Dal, Main course
Cuisine: North Indian
Yield: 2 Servings
For pressure cooking -
  • Chana dal (Bengal gram) – ½ cup
  • Water – 1 ½ cups
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
For cooking dal
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Ginger paste – ½ teaspoon
  • Garlic paste – ½ teaspoon
  • Green chilies – 2, chopped finely
  • Onion – ½ cup, chopped
  • Tomatoes – 1 cup, chopped
  • Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Garam masala – ½ teaspoon
For tadka (tempering) –
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoons
  • Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 5-6
  • Dry red chili – 1, broken into two pieces
  1. Wash chana dal well under running cold water till water runs clear.
  2. Soak it into enough water for at least 30 minutes. More soaking will not harm.
  3. Now discard the soaking water. Add dal to pressure cooker along with 1 ½ cups of water, turmeric powder and salt.
  4. Cover the pressure cooker, put the weight on, and turn the heat on medium. Let cook for 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure go down by itself and open the cover. It should be soft.
  5. Now heat the oil a pan on medium heat. Once hot add ginger paste, garlic paste and green chilies. Cook them for 30 seconds.
  6. Then add chopped onions. Mix it. Let it cook till onions get light brown.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and mix it. Let it cook till tomatoes get soften (about 2 minutes) but not mushy.
  8. Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt.(be careful while adding salt, we added salt while cooking the dal.)
  9. Mix it and cook it for a minute.
  10. Add cooked dal. Add extra water if needed to make it as per your liking consistency. Let it come to a boil.
  11. Now for tadka, heat the oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add cumin seeds and let the sizzle.
  12. Then add curry leaves and dried red chili. Cook for 30 seconds.
  13. Immediately add tempering to the dal.
  14. Mix it and serve.
Additional Info
Taste – medium spicy

Shelf life – it can be refrigerated once cool completely in air tight container up to 4-5 days. Or even you can freeze it.

Serving suggestions – Serve it with rice. You can serve with any Indian flat bread like paratha, naan, roti.

Tips –
- You can adjust the consistency of dal. If dal is too thick then add some water and let it boil for 2 minutes. If dal is too thin then let it boil for some more time till it thickens.

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    • says

      if cooking in a pan, soak the dal for at least 1 hour for quick cooking. then cook the dal in a deep pan with lots of water on medium heat till it gets soft (about 30 minutes). check in between and make sure that it has enough water.