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Chana Dal Recipe

4.30 from 10 votes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 4 PEOPLE

Chana Dal Recipe

A quick and easy chana dal recipe without onion and garlic. Simple yet elegant! Since no onion and no garlic is added to this dal, it can be enjoyed during Navratri or on any fasting day. Though I love onion-garlic in my food but on some days eating food without onion and garlic feels wonderful and the best part is food gets cooked up fast.

Chana dal tempered with aromatic spices and ginger-tomato tadka creates a wonderful no onion – no garlic meal. You can mix and match any dal to this ginger- tomato and spice combination. The process for making the dal and its tadka remains the same, only cooking time may vary. For me this dal was cooked in 2-3 whistles but cooking time will vary depending on how old the lentils are. For some it may take up to 4-6 whistles. If you choose to add onion, garlic to this dal, feel free to improvise according to your needs and tastes. 

Some people avoid eating chana dal at night because it can be a little heavy on their system. Try adding hing (asafoetida) to their tadka/chaunk and this will aid in digesting the lentils. Pair this dal up with pakwan and create a lovely Sunday brunch without onion and garlic.

While you are here try other dals – Chana dal with Lauki, Dal tadka, Dal makhani

Chana Dal Recipe

Chana Dal Recipe

4.30 from 10 votes
Mildly flavored chana dal cooked with tomatoes and spices makes it a perfect everyday dal recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 PEOPLE





  • Clean and wash chana dal.
  • Assemble: ingredients that are required for boiling the dal.
  • In a pressure cooker add dal,salt and turmeric powder. Add enough water to cook the dal. For me it was 2 cups of water for 1 cup dal.
  • Cook for 2- 4 whistles or until dal is tender. Cooking time may vary depending on dal texture and may take 4-6 whistles to cook the dal. Boiled dal is ready.
  • Meanwhile assemble ingredients for tadka.
  • In a kadhai heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and when they start to sputter add in chopped ginger and saute for a minute. Mix in chopped tomatoes..
  • Mix in all the spices, add 3 tablespoon water, cover and cook on medium low flame until tomatoes are tender and soft.
  • Mix in boiled dal. Add water accordingly.
  • Add in amchur powder and adjust the salt content.
  • Chana dal is ready.
  • Garnish it with cilantro leaves and serve with pooris or Pakwan.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi

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  1. Pauline says:

    Oh man. I’m definitely going to utilize this.

  2. Moti says:

    Thanks a lot just finished making this amazing recipe and it came out perfect.
    I have added ajwain seeds and fresh curry leaves to my tadka.

  3. KJ says:

    What do you mean by 4-6 whistles??

    • Ruchi says:

      KJ, the term whistle refers to non electric pressure cooking.
      1 whistle means 5 minutes of cooking time.
      Chana dal usually get cooked in 2-4 whistles that’s 15-20 minutes into cooking. Hope this helps!

  4. Dilshard Modak says:

    I see in the picture the either yogurt or cream is put in but its not in the ingredients

    • Ruchi says:


      There is no cream/yogurt in this recipe. It’s the light in the bowl that gives that illusion.
      Hope this clears your doubt.

  5. Tara says:

    How long do we cook the dal in an instant pot ?

  6. Rasmi Singh says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this easy recipe. This recipe was delicious. I also liked the hint of mango powder in the dish. I have been avoiding cooking with onions and garlic for some time now. I made this last week and will be making more today. This is definitely going to be one of my go to recipes.