Friday, June 1, 2012

Chaney ki dal, masale wali | spicy chana dal from Uttar Pradesh

Spicy chana dal or chane ki dal is a popular everyday dal recipe all across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. some people like adding some cubed lauki (bottle gourd) to this spicy chana dal and some like it without the vegetable. Served with parathas or roti or even with plain boiled rice, this chane ki dal makes a simple everyday meal special with its flavours.

This is not any other dal in fact. The spice quotient may vary in different homes but everyone calls it masale wali chane ki dal as bhuna masala is an integral part of this chane ki dal.

I had actually forgotten about this daal as a close sibling of this dal is a Bengali version which I had adopted about a decade ago and have been loving it since then.

Someone requested for this recipe and I made it the same day. This is one such recipe you would want to cook right away if you are reminded of the taste. I think this is the daal version of chhole. Cooks faster because there is no soaking time. Thank you P for requesting this daal as it reminded me of the old times.

(2-3 servings)

For boiling in pressure cooker..
chana daal (split chickpeas) 1/2 cup
water 1.5 cups
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

To make the masala tempering...
ghee 1 tbsp
1 tsp cumin seeds
finely diced onions 2 tbsp
ginger 1 inch piece
garlic 3 cloves
whole dry red chillies 3 or to taste
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 small black cardamom or split into half if you have a big one
a half inch piece of cinnamon
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp amchoor powder (optional)


Boil the daal with the suggested ingredients in the first list. Lower the flame after the first whistle and then cook for 12-15 minutes. I normally rely on my nose to smell the cooked daal aroma. Let the pressure cooker cool down on it's own.

The daal can be cooked in a pan as well. takes about 40 minutes to cook on medium heat.

Grind everything together on the second list, except the ghee, 1tsp cumin seeds and the diced onions. Add a litle water while grinding to make a smooth paste. Keep aside.

To prepare the masala tadka, heat the ghee and tip in the cumin seeds. Wait till they crackle and then add the diced onions and fry them till pinkish brown.

Pour the ground masala paste to this frying onions pan, add salt to taste and keep stirring and bhuno till a bhuna aroma wafts through. Bhuna is the word for frying the spice mix while scraping the base of the pan so the masala paste becomes very uniquely aromatic. In the end, the masala paste should get a shining glaze and  if you use more ghee there will be some ghee separated from the masala.

Pour the boiled daal mix to this bhuna masala and give it a gentle boil.

Serve hot with a tsp of ghee on top.

Goes best with chapatis, plain parathas and pooris. Some people like it with pulav and plain boiled rice as well. You can try tbis daal with naan, kulcha or even Bhatoora for that matter.

I told you it's the younger cousin of the Punjabi chhole. Gets cooked immediately and tastes as good.

This Chane ki daal is a specialty dish served the next day of a wedding in some families, along with Kadhi, Chawal and Dahi bade, off course a few more things on the side. I was reminded of this by P who requested me for this recipe. I myself don't remember having this daal at a wedding function as I skip meals a lot during such get togethers.

The daal was made during summer months in my family along with some guard family plain vegetables so the cooling vegetables can be enjoyed while still having something spicy on the side.

Let me know what way you enjoy this daal.


  1. Dear sangeeta
    Very nice recipe and I must try it. I was looking for a chana dal recipe away from the typical Bong version....I am commenting from IE as I cant access from chrome!
    Have a nice day

  2. UP special to try karna hi padega.. :-) looks lovely

  3. i have to make this UP special chane ki dal... the dal is looking so good :-)

  4. Dear Sangeeta,
    The recipe is good and I cook it the same way, well almost :)
    However, what I loved the most about this post was that you mentioned 'Dahi Bade' and not 'Dahi Bhalle' as is commonly known. As I am from Lucknow, I have grown up eating 'Dahi Bade' and whenever I mention it anywhere outside my family, people dont seem to get it. Its either 'Dahi Vada' or 'Dahi Bhalla.' Makes me nostalgic :)

    1. Thanks Fariha. We cale them Dahi bade at home. In Delhi n North India it is Dahi bhalle,in the southern states may be dahi vada or thayir vada..Talking about regional food, i feel like naming them accordingly :-)

  5. i love channa dal with lauki... this looks like a richer version of the dal... i'll try it. like that comment on vada/bade nomenclature ;)

    1. Thanks Rajani. The daal is rich in taste and texture but not very high on calorie scale. So it can be a regular daal to be made now and then.

  6. :) i like this also , did you know .. ah well how will you know .. you never invited me for food :( ... but just letting u know just in case ..

    I have to have DAAL with my meal always :) and this is one of my favourites tooo


  7. Yum! chana dal is one of my favorites! I normally make a very simple chana-dal curry that my mother taught me. This recipe looks totally worth trying out..I so am tempted now! :)

  8. Hi Sangeeta, I tried this masala with tur dal (was out of chana dal!) and loved it SOOOOOOOO much that I made it again with chickpeas - and it was GLORIOUS! Absolutely fantastic. I think it's my most favourite masala ever, because it's so easy to make (no need to even dry fry the spices!) and smells and tastes so fantastic. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this and other recipes :) Long live your blog!

    1. Glad you liked it Shammi :-)
      Yes, this is one of those daals you would cook as soon as you are reminded of the taste. Homely spice blends are the only way with foodies like us. Isn't it?

  9. I made this with kaala chana. It was lip-smacking good! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!