30-Minutes or Less!/ Recipes: Vegan/ Recipes: Vegetarian

Chana Dal Masala

I have a morning ritual of sorts that I like to follow, which includes setting out a fresh pot of coffee to brew, make a dinner plan (Chana Dal Masala for this particular day!), catching up with my emails, and enjoying breakfast while reading through my favourite blogs. This little routine of mine almost always never changes. Except when something (delightfully!) unexpected happens. Like this past Monday morning, for instance.

Recipe for Chana Dal Masala taken from www.hookedonheat.com. Visit site for detailed recipe.

As I sipped on my last few drops of coffee, I received an email that instantly caught my eye. The subject simply said: The Mom Show, and its contents blew me away. I was asked if I would be available to do a cooking segment on Indian food for one of their upcoming episodes. They wanted me to show a few simple, kid-friendly recipes and discuss the best ways to introduce young kids to Indian food. Sweet! The catch? It would have to be taped the very next day in the afternoon. What could I say? Me, on TV, on The Mom Show, talking about Indian food? You bet I was available! Once things started to take shape (picking out the menu was a breeze!), and the timing and all other necessities confirmed, I set out to take care of another important task – my wardrobe! What followed, was a really looooong day of running from store to store looking for the perfect outfit, which might I had, didn’t quite exist as I had hoped! But whatever, I had a look at the clips after the shoot and think I looked pretty cute yapping away on the best ways to introduce kids to Indian food.


The taping took merely half an hour, but I was at the studio close to over three hours – prepping the food, and watching the taping of other segments being filmed. Needless to say, it was another long day but one I will never forget! By the time I got home, I was exhausted and the strain of the many hours spent shopping, prepping and finally shooting, made me crave for some homemade comfort food. Chana Dal is definitely one of my personal favourites, and trust me when I say this – no matter how tired you may be, the mere 10 minutes you’ll spend in prepping for this meal is truly worth it all the way. But why wait for the dreaded day when you feel that even lifting a finger could drive you to your grave? It tastes just as good when you’re your normal happy, active self. I can truly promise you that!

CHANA DAL MASALA (SPICED SPLIT PEA LENTILS)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 large-sized tomato finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups chana dal (split pea lentils)
  • water as needed
  • fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and sauté cumin seeds, fennel seeds, green chillies, and onions till lightly browned and fragrant. Add in spices and ginger-garlic paste, and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes and salt, and cook for a few minutes to combine well. Add lentils, and enough water to cover them. Pressure cook for 15-20 minutes till lentils are soft and done. Stir in more water if you want a much thinner consistency, and let it come to a boil.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and serve warm with a big bowl of rice.

If you liked this recipe, you will surely like my Tadka Dal.

Tried this recipe? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Henna
    April 8, 2012

    5 stars
    I’ve made this a number of times following it to a T, except I don’t use a pressure cooker and just simmer away until the daal is cooked… we LOVE it!

  • Reply
    anthony stemke
    October 21, 2010

    5 stars
    Only just found this gorgeous chana dal recipe. Wonderful.

  • Reply
    Anne
    May 29, 2010

    5 stars
    Yummy recipe. This looks tasty. I hope my little brother will enjoy this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Erin
    November 6, 2009

    Any way to format this recipe for use WITHOUT a pressure cooker?

    • Reply
      Meena
      November 13, 2009

      If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this is what you can do – simply boil the lentils for 20-25 minutes until each grain is soft enough to crush between your fingers. Then strain them, reserving the liquid, and follow the recipe for frying the onions and tomatoes with the spices. Once that’s done, simply add the cooked lentils and some of the reserved liquid, depending on the consistency you want, and let it come to a boil.

  • Reply
    Asma
    June 17, 2009

    5 stars
    Love you for putting this recipe up 🙂

    I was looking for something like this with authentic taste since weeks.

    And just tried too ~ its so yummy 🙂

    Thanks dear

  • Reply
    cathy
    March 2, 2009

    hi,
    i just wanted to know how to make garlic-ginger paste. could you please put a post on how you make yours? can it be put in the freezer in small single container?

    thank you.

    cathy

  • Reply
    Jeffery
    December 31, 2008

    5 stars
    I just wanted to drop a line of greetings and thanks to you. I have used 3 of your recipes now, including this one just today, and your dal makhani last week. They’re some of the best I’ve found anywhere! Thank you for all the great ideas!

    Jeffery

  • Reply
    Brandi
    October 27, 2008

    5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner. It was fabulous! I’ve had channa dal in my pantry and didn’t know what to do with them. I added some zucchini in with the tomatoes because I had it on hand. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Kay
    October 24, 2008

    5 stars
    Oh Meena! It would be so nice to finally ‘see’ you. You’ve been a huge inspiration from the time I started blogging.

    Would you let us know when this show will be aired? OR has it already been aired?

  • Reply
    Cassie
    August 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Meena, wanted to comment again to let you know I’ve made this dish several times since you first posted it and it is always a hit. I’ve served it to guests twice and even made a pot of it while we were camping recently to share with a large group (for something different from the usual pot of Chili). Everyone loves it!

  • Reply
    rahul
    August 3, 2008

    5 stars
    Hi meena, you know Channa Dal is my favorite,It’s gone a long time to taste it, I tried it at home and it turned out great. Mazaa aa gaya!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 2, 2008

    5 stars
    I’m filled with so much excitement at this very moment because I just happened to find you doing a search online. YEA!!! I’ll continue to have a look around as I just love your site.

  • Reply
    At Home with Kim Vallee
    July 21, 2008

    5 stars
    Congratulations on being on TV. This is so exciting for you. If I am making your CHANA DAL MASALA without the pressure cooker, do I need to do other changes besides the cooking time?

    • Reply
      Meena
      June 21, 2008

      Thanks Kim! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this is what you can do – simply boil the lentils for 20-25 minutes until each grain is soft enough to crush between your fingers. Then strain them, reserving the liquid, and follow the recipe for frying the onions and tomatoes with the spices. Once that’s done, simply add the cooked lentils and some of the reserved liquid, depending on the consistency you want, and let it come to a boil.

  • Reply
    Dale
    July 12, 2008

    What exactly are split pea lentls do you need to get them in a Indian store, which I do have access to, i was going to try this recipe today but i am confused and to what to use.
    Thanks
    Dale

    • Reply
      Meena
      July 13, 2008

      It’s also called as Chana Dal in Indian stores.

  • Reply
    Dale
    July 11, 2008

    5 stars
    I really want to make this recipe, do I have to use a pressure cooker. Also what kind of pressure cooker do you use.
    Thanks Dale

    • Reply
      Meena
      July 13, 2008

      If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this is what you can do – simply boil the lentils for 20-25 minutes until each grain is soft enough to crush between your fingers. Then strain them, reserving the liquid, and follow the recipe for frying the onions and tomatoes with the spices. Once that’s done, simply add the cooked lentils and some of the reserved liquid, depending on the consistency you want, and let it come to a boil.

  • Reply
    Sorina
    July 3, 2008

    5 stars
    I like the sound and look of this. I shall mark this on my to-do list.

  • Reply
    mandira
    June 30, 2008

    5 stars
    Congratulations Meena, that sounds like fun. Do people in US get to see it too? I know what you mean by dal-chawal as comfort food. It’s on my list too with mango pickle 🙂

  • Reply
    kalva
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    wow looks so good!!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Meena, congratulations! That must have been a very exciting experience to be on The Mom Show! I made this dal for dinner tonight and it is really, really delicious and perfectly spiced. I’m already looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mallika
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    That’s amazing… congratulations! What did you wear eventually and cook, most importantly? Here’s to many many more TV appearances.

  • Reply
    Sangeetha
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Hi Meena….I love ur blog so much…am gonna try this recipie today:)

  • Reply
    rachel
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Very Very visually appealing…great presentation

  • Reply
    Karishma
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    Congrats on your tv show! If a clipping or a pic or youtube link is available, pls share it too!

  • Reply
    notyet100
    June 26, 2008

    5 stars
    looks yummy,,,congrtas..

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    Hey! Congratulations! do you think they will post the segment online so we can see it?

  • Reply
    sunshinemom
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    I too like chana dal in my dal better than tuvar! Very yummy, and simple too:)

  • Reply
    nags
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    that’s a nice and simple recipe for a quick dal dish. i cook the dal first and then do the saute-ing. this seems so much simpler 🙂

  • Reply
    maheswari
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    That sure is comfort food…beautiful pic.

  • Reply
    sowmya
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    on tv..thats cool…chana dal masala looks great

  • Reply
    Christy
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    The food looks divine of course, but the Mom Show !?! Very cool 😉

  • Reply
    JZ @ Tasty treats
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    congrats to u on ur cameo role! when does it air? 🙂

  • Reply
    JZ @ Tasty treats
    June 25, 2008

    5 stars
    oh what a beautiful picture meena!! so inviting! 🙂

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