Channa Dal

I wanted to inaugurate my new kitchen with my favourite dishes and had planned to make dal fry. I soaked the dal in water (cos I don’t use pressure cooker!) and after a few hours, I started boiling it. As I usually use toor dal for this preparation, I only realized that I had used the wrong dal halfway thru cooking.… ha ha! Not that it would have made a diff cos the cooking method is the same 😊.

I keep my cumin powder and coriander powder away from each other, so that I don’t get confused. And in line with that, I have now labeled my toor dal and channa dal, so as not to get confused again and end up using the wrong dal for certain dishes 🙈.

Here’s the recipe for the channa dal and if you want, you may replace it with toor dal.


  • Channa dal – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  • Green chilli – 3, sliced
  • Tomato – 2, chopped
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Coriander leaves – a bunch for garnishing


  • Rinse the dal in water couple of times and keep it aside soaked in water for couple of hours. Cook the dal in water (it doesn’t take long and meanwhile you can chop up the onions, chilli and tomato). Let the dal be slightly overcooked.
  • Alternatively, you may pressure cook them (unfortunately I cant say for how many whistles but my guess would be 2?).
  • Once the dal is cooked, keep it aside.
  • Heat some oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds and let it crackle.
  • Then add the cumin seeds followed by the onion and green chilli.
  • Saute the onions till they turn brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till they become pulpy.
  • Now add all spices like turmeric power, chilli powder, and asafoetida powder and fry for couple of minutes.
  • Add the dal with the water and salt and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • If you find it very thick, you may add some water but it should be a slight thick consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with rice or chapati.

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