' Al Lago Wines - Chana Dal

Chana Dal

Recipe by Simone Lagomarsino


We love fine Indian cuisine prepared in the style that you might find in Delhi. As a result, we love to enjoy papadum and naan bread with chutney and different dals at the outset of a great Indian dinner. A papadum is a thin, crisp, round flatbread from India.


In contrast to the crisp texture of a papadum, another one of the most popular, Indian flatbreads is Garlic Naan Bread, which is a soft flat bread that makes the perfect accompaniment to any Indian dal dish. It is a leavened flatbread made from white flour. You can easily access a great recipe for Garlic Naan Bread by clicking on that title.


This recipe is one of the different dals that we like to make for our table, and we're sure you'll enjoy it as well!

At a Glance

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 Servings


No special culinary equipment is needed to prepare this wonderful Indian dal for your table.



1 cup of split Chickpeas (Chana Dal)

1 teaspoon of Turmeric

¼ teaspoon of Red Chili Powder

1 teaspoon of Garam Masala

1 teaspoon of Salt

4 cups of Water

½ cup of White Onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

Half of a Jalapeño, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of Ginger, freshly grated

2 ½ tablespoons of Sunflower Oil

5 whole Cloves

Cumin Seeds

2 tablespoons of Cilantro, freshly chopped



Commence by rinsing the Chana Dal several times until the water is clean and any impurities have been picked out. In a large saucepan, combine the Chana Dal, the turmeric, the red chili powder, ½ teaspoon of the garam masala, and the salt along with 4 cups of water.  Bring the ingredients to a boil.  Once they are boiling, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and partially cover the saucepan.  Cook it for about another 40 minutes. 

While the Chana Dal is cooking, in a small, sauté pan, put 1-½ tablespoons of the sunflower oil and heat it until shimmering.  Then add the onion, the garlic, the jalapeño, the ginger, and the remaining, ½ teaspoon of garam masala.  Heat until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add this mixture to the saucepan, after the dal has cooked for 40 minutes. There should still be some liquid in the saucepan.  If there is not enough liquid, add another ½ cup of water.  Put the lid on the saucepan and cook for another 20 minutes until the Chana Dal is tender.

Pour the Chana Dal into a bowl and then prepare the “tadka”. (Tadka is a core technique in Indian cooking that involves “blooming” whole spices in fat to extract their aromas and fat-soluble flavors. The highly perfumed fat and its contents are then either spooned onto a finished dish -- which often incites a flourish of crackling and sizzling -- or incorporated during cooking.) To prepare the tadka, in a small sauté pan, add the remaining oil and once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the whole cloves and cumin seeds and let them sizzle, and then pour the tadka over the Chana Dal mixture. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top and serve.


Serving Suggestion:


We enjoy this Chana Dal with our Garlic Naan Bread, Basmati Rice with Indian Flavors, Indian Butter Chicken in a Slow Cooker, and Tomato Chutney, and you can access each of these recipes by clicking on the respective recipe title.


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