Punjabi style Chana Dal recipe is a perfect side dish to go with Naans or Chapatis for a hearty weekday meal. It is absolutely easy to put together and the ingredients for this recipe are pretty much pantry staple. This Channa Dal is mildly spicy but comes with a garlicky tadka (tempering) of fried cashew and foxnuts which adds to the oomph of this dish.
This Indian Chana Daal lentil recipe can be quickly cooked in a Pressure Cooker or an Instant Pot and is a gluten-free and soy-free recipe.
You can easily adapt it into a vegan recipe by substituting ghee or clarified butter with any oil of your choice. In case of nut allergy, you can avoid adding nuts altogether or substitute them with seeds of your choice.
Chana ka Dal or Chola Dal is very popular in Indian cuisine. They are available at most of the grocery stores as Split Chickpea Dal or Chana Dal. To begin with any Indian Chana Dal recipe, the lentils are soaked and pressure cooked till al dente before cooking with rest of the spices.
By soaking the dal for an hour beforehand you will reduce the Chana Daal cooking time in a big way. After that, you can simply give it a quick few whistles in a Pressure Cooker for quick cooking.
So, let’s check out the ingredients we need to make this spicy Punjabi Chana Dal recipe
How to make Indian Chana Dal – Ingredients list
- Chana Dal or Split Bengal Gram
- Ginger & Garlic
- Ghee or Clarified Butter
- Cumin Seeds
- Cumin Seeds Powder
- Coriander Seeds Powder
- Garam Masala Powder
- Green Chillies
- Cashew Nuts
- Foxnuts or Makhana – alternate would be pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds in case of nut-allergy
- Dry Red Chilli Powder or Paprika
Like most of the Indian daal recipes, we will create a base gravy for this Chana daal recipe using tomatoes, ginger, garlic and the powdered spices as I have mentioned here in the list. These are fried in the oil and seasoned properly before adding the boiled Dal to it.
Usually, the Indian dal recipes which are served with Indian flatbreads do not have a runny consistency. Rather they are thick and mildly spicy.
Unlike most of the soupy dal recipes, this chana dal recipe is a bit towards thicker and creamier consistency.
Another highlight of this easy chana dal recipe is that it has been tempered with spices in two stages. First, we cook the tomatoes, ginger and garlic with the powdered spices before adding the Dal in it. Before serving we prepare another tadka of fried nuts Fox nuts and garlic which is added on the top of the dal. This gives this chana daal a strong garlicky flavour along with a beautiful reddish colour hence making it more alluring and appetizing.
Below is the recipe card, where you will find my version of easy and spicy Punjabi chana ka dal recipe
Punjabi style Chana Dal recipe is a perfect spicy side dish to go with Naans or Chapatis for a hearty weekday meal. It is absolutely easy to put together and the ingredients for this recipe is pretty much pantry staple. This Channa Dal is mildly spicy but comes with a garlicky tadka (tempering) of fried cashew and foxnuts which adds to the oomph of this dish.
- ¼ cup Chana Dal
- Salt to Taste
- 2 Tomatoes Medium
- 1 inch Ginger
- 6 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil alternate would be any oil
- 1 tsp Ghee or Clarified Butter alternate would be any oil
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Cumin Powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- ½ tsp Kasuri Methi or Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- Salt to Taste
- ½ tsp Sweet Paprika Powder or Kashmiri Laal Mirch Powder
- ½ cup Foxnuts
- ¼ cup Cashew Nuts
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
Pressure cook the Chana Dal for 4-5 minutes on high or 4 whistles with some water and salt.
Grind the tomatoes, ginger and garlic (keep 2 cloves aside for final tadka) into a fine paste.
Heat the pan and dry roast the foxnuts till they tun golden. Keep them aside.
In the same pan, heat the oil and add the tomato-ginger-garlic paste. Fry till it reduces into half in quantity
Add the kasuri methi, salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder. Fry for couple more minutes.
Add the cashew nuts, foxnuts and cooked chana dal in it. Let it simmer. Adjust the consistency of the dal. Check for seasoning as well. Once done, remove from heat.
In another pan or a smaller tadka pan, heat the ghee. Turn off the flame and then add cumin seeds, finely chopped garlic, paprika powder and a couple of cashew nuts. The seeds will splutter, so give it a stir. Allow the garlic to steep in it for a couple of seconds.
Now pour this prepared topping on the dal. Serve hot.