masala dal ( split chickpea dal)

By Shalini Kolluri


Split chickpea dal or chana dal is one of my favorites. This north Indian recipe is best served with roti or basmati rice. A more dilute version of this dal, garnished with cilantro can be eaten as a soup on a cold rainy day.

To make sure they are easily cooked, soak them for a couple of hours before you prepare the dal. Once it is soaked, you can either pressure cook it with 2 cups of water or slow cook it in a pan with water and a pinch of salt. Once it is cooked make sure that it is soft and mashable. If the lentils are half cooked, the whole recipe could fall apart.

It’s more closely related to garbanzo beans, or chickpeas. The differences are that chana dal is younger, smaller, split, sweeter, and has a much lower glycemic index. But you can substitute chana dal for garbanzo beans in just about any recipe.

Health benifits:-


  • Today, we know that chickpeas, like other legumes, provide a valuable source of folate, iron, manganese, and protein. They are also a healthy source of complex carbohydrates and are low in fat.
  • The benefit of a high fiber diet goes beyond regularity and prevention of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
  • It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and may even help protect against several forms of cancer

Down below is a tasty Indian recipe. Hope you like it as much as I do.



3/4 cup dry split chickpeas

2-3 cups water

a pinch of turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin powder

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

4 cloves

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

1 plum tomato

5 cloves garlic crushed

1 tablespoon canola oil

salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper powder

1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

Method :-

Rinse ¾ cup chickpeas in running water a couple of times and drain. Now, soak it in enough water for 2 hours. Add it in a pressure cooker. To this add ¼ tsp add turmeric powder. Close the lid and let it cook upto 3 whistles. If you want to cook it in a pan, add 2-3 glasses of water and boil with a lid for 25-30 minutes till the lentils are fully cooked.

In the meantime, add oil into the pan and heat it. Add cumin seeds to this.

When the seeds turn a nice shade of brown add the crushed garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the four spices (clove, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf). Fry them in the oil for 1 minute.

Add in the chopped tomato.

Once the tomato is cooked add pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder and a pinch of turmeric.

To this, add the boiled chickpeas and stir. Add salt to this and let it boil on low flame for 15 minutes. Add salt as per your taste.

Bring the dal to a boil. Turn off the stove.

Garnish with cilantro. Add in the lime juice and honey at mix at the end. Serve with Basmati rice or roti.




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