This is simple recipe of Chana dal which is both delicious and simple. You could pair it with toasted sourdough bread or chapati. Pair it with a roasted veggies and rice, you are done with dinner in a jiffy. Perfect for a comforting meal.
Yellow lentils or chana dal are easily available and cook little slower compared to other lentils. Dal is a great way of having proteins. Just add a dash of lemon juice for easy iron absorption. Other vegan dishes that I like include green moong dal curry , plum chutney ,garlic knots , pumpkin lentil curry ,easy thai curry , chickpea korma curry , vegan carrot dogs , vegan dal makhani & potato curry recipe.
Different types of lentil recipes
Lentils are easy to digest as well as cheap. A packet of dry lentils lasts long and makes multiple meals. You can make variety of dishes with lentils and never get bored. That's the beauty of Indian cuisine. You do not meat and eggs for protein. Cooked dal can do that for you too!
Indian lentils for reference:
- Moong - yellow split lentils
- Sabut moong/Hari moong - green gram split lentils
- Chilke wali moong -split green gram
- Urad dal chilka- split black gram
- Kali /Maa ki dal - black gram whole lentils
- Urad - split black gram
- Toor /arhar - yellow pigeon peas split lentils
- Chana -split Bengal gram
- Masoor -red lentils
- Moth - Turkish gram
Other important ones are turai dhal, lauki chana dhal, daal makhni,Yellow dal recipe sambar, rasam, amti. Dal fry & jeera rice is a match made in heaven. Indian cuisine has a variety of lentils and many ways to use them. Be it as a curry, appetizer and even a dessert. See the space below to learn how to make mixed lentils.
For cooking lentils in pot
- Yellow lentils / Chana dal (soaked in water)
- fresh ginger-garlic / ginger garlic paste
- Paprika powder
- Curry powder
- salt as per taste
- Coriander leaves
- lime juice (optional)
refer to recipe card for details.
- In a pan, heat oil and add ginger and garlic. You may optionally add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and green chilies here.
- Add tomatoes and salt.
- Continue cooking on low heat.
- Once tomatoes soften, add paprika and curry powder.
- Cook until the spices are mixed well
- Add the soaked lentils
- Add water to the lentils,cover and cook
- Cook on slow flame, until the lentils are cooked and soft(25-30 minutes). You can adjust the amount of water as per your choice
Top tip: Squeeze a lime or lemon when you serve. Its vitamin C will help you absorb iron better.
How to make chana dal in instant pot?
- Start the instant pot in a saute mode and add oil to it. Cook ginger-garlic and tomatoes to it.Once tomatoes soften, add dry spices to it.
Add a cup of chana dal and mix well.
Now add 4 cups water.
cook on a pressure cooking mode for 15 minutes on high. Let pressure release naturally.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a dash of lime juice.
Heavy bottom pan / Instant pot
If you like your food spicy, increase the red chili powder in tempering. If you like your food mild, use paprika or Kashmiri red chilly powder which are a milder variety. You can also add other Indian spices like a teaspoon of cumin powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, if you like. You can also temper dry red chilies and curry leaves . South Indian fried curd chilies taste great along with rice if you like food really spicy.
You can also temper chana dal masala with ghee if non vegan. Delicious chana dal can also be cooked with bottle gourd pieces. Other type of lentil which can be cooked in this fashion - toor dal, yellow moong dal.
You can cook different types of lentils in any heavy bottom pan, stove top pressure cooker or even a slow cooker. You can use a instant pot in a sauté mode and later pressure cook for 15 minutes in a sealing position. The cook time will differ depending on the equipment. Check if the cooked lentils are ready, by mashing a spoonful by using your thumb and index finger. Otherwise let it cook for 10-15 mins.
If you are short of time on a weeknight? Boil the lentils in a a bigger quantity which lasts two days together. Use half and remaining the next day, by storing it in an airtight container in refrigerator. Helps you save on cooking time on a weekday.Always temper the leftover dal fresh, it tastes perfect. If you have lots of dhal left, strain it, to use water for making rasam. Use the boiled lentil to make paratha.
Read more similar recipes
instant pot chana dal recipe | Chana dal fry
- saucepan / instant pot for cooking lentils
- small pan for tempering for saucepan
For cooking lentils in a pot
- 1 cup Yellow split peas also known as chana dal in India
- 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 cup tomatoes crushed/pureed
- 1 tablespoon curry powder can be replace with turmeric powder,garam masala
- ½ tablespoon paprika powder
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Coriander for garnish
- Salt as per taste
- 1 teaspoon lime /lemon juice optional
Step to cook the dal in saucepan
- Soak the lentils in a bowl of water for 30 minutes or an hour atleast. drain the excess water
- In a pan, heat oil and cook ginger and garlic
- Add tomatoes with little salt
- Cook until the tomatoes are soft, add the curry powder with paprika powder
- Add the soaked lentils with water.
- Cover and cook until the lentils are soft and start breaking apart.(around 30-35 minutes)
Instant pot chana dal:
- Start the instant pot in a saute mode and add oil to it.
- Cook ginger-garlic and tomatoes to it,
- Once tomatoes soften, add dry spices to it.
- Add a cup dal along with 4 cups water and cook on a pressure cooking mode for 15 minutes on high. Let pressure release naturally.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a dash of lime juice.
Let it simmer for a while once it boils. It thickens as time goes by.
Dal is low in fat and high in protein. It helps you avoid meat too. It is filling and nutritious. Good source of iron. Just remember to add a dash of lemon for best results.