Indian Cuisine India Kitchen Food Recipe

Chana Dal

Dals (pronounced Daals) are dried legumes, belonging to the pea family. They are available in great variety all over India and make a very healthy alternative to meat dishes. The following recipe uses “chana” (pronounced chun-ah) dal, which is yellow in color. It is similar to, but not exactly like, dried yellow split peas. You must buy the genuine yellow chana dal from an Indian grocery store. The taste will be different if you use yellow split peas.


  • 2 (two) cups dried chana dal
  • 1/2 (half) teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 (four) cups water
  • 1 (one) teaspoon salt
  • 3 (three) tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 (one) large onion, chopped
  • 1 (one) large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 (half) teaspoon red chile powder (optional)



Clean and wash the (dried) dal and soak it for 30 minutes in the water.

In a saucepan put the dal and water and add the salt and turmeric and cook over medium-low heat until dal is tender (60 minutes)

In a separate small pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and fry until lightly browned. Next add the tomato (chopped) and the red chile powder and fry for another two or three minutes. Pour this mixture over the prepared dal, mix well and serve immediately.

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