Chana dhal is an British Indian Restaurant favourite!
One of the first Indian recipes I ever learned was chana dhal. I was visiting my then girlfriend – now my wife Caroline – in Manchester while she was still at university.
I was a young American who knew little about Indian cuisine and even less about cooking it. One of her roommates was from India and luckily for everyone in the house also loved to cook.
She used to place meals on the table that could stand up to any five star restaurant. Unfortunately, we have lost touch with her but this recipe brings back memories of those awesome meals.
Chana dhal is made with yellow split gram lentils but you could substitute other types of lentil if you prefer.
No – this is not one of the jaw-dropping meals she used to present at the table but it is the recipe she taught me. Chana dhal is an easy and wholesome dish that should be in every Indian food lover’s recipe library.
My 319 page ebook is available now
for Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac and PC right here.
- 300g ( 1¼ cups) chana lentils (soaked in water for 2 hours and then rinsed.)
- 1000ml (4 cups water)
- 1 large white onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 2 fresh green chilli peppers
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Swirl the water around with your hand until the water become cloudy.
- Drain and repeat until the water runs clear.
- Now place the lentils back in the pan and cover with one litre of water, half the chopped onions, the cumin and red chilli powder.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a rolling simmer.
- While the lentils are simmering away, place the ghee/butter in a frying pan and melt over a low heat.
- Add the chopped garlic, ginger, the remaining onion and the chilli peppers to the ghee and brown lightly. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the butter mixture to the simmering lentils and continue cooking until the lentils are soft.
- You want to cook the lentils slowly being very careful not to let them burn to the bottom of the pan. Cook them low and slow.
- Once the lentils are very soft, I like to blend them with a handheld blender for about a minute to make them very creamy though this is not necessary.
If you enjoy this and the other recipes on my site, please be sure to subscribe. I add new recipes on a regular basis.