Chana Dal Fry

I never thought of posting dal fry recipe as it is something I make quite often and thought it is too simple for a blog post. But when I posted this picture, a school senior, and Facebook friend requested for the recipe, so here it is for her and for all my true readers.

Channa Dal or Split Bengal Gram is my favourite one because it is so versatile as it can go into a sweet or savoury dish making delicious food. I have already posted a sweet coconut bengal gram parcels which are the most popular post here. Dal fry can be made with other dals like tuvar or split moong too. but I prefer to use channa dal.

Mom makes Dal fry mostly to pair with ghee rice just as a vegetarian option :-) and this is almost her version but with the addition of Kasoori methi at the end. Though I enjoy the yellow-coloured dals with minimum spices, F likes dal flavour packed or I guess it is the "Fry" word that entices him.

Channa Dal Fry

I like to soak my channa dal for some time as its quicker to get it cooked in pot or pressure cooker. I have used a 2-litre prestige pressure cooker, so it may vary in each kind I suppose. So ensure not to overcook it as we need the dal in its shape and not totally mushy. While the dal is cooking, I chop the veggies - garlic, onion, tomatoes and ginger, and green chillies to save time. I prefer to add some salt when sauteing the onions as it helps to break it down faster without getting dried. Sometimes the tomatoes I get are too hard or not too ripe, I add a little water right after adding tomato to help it breakdown so the spice powders don't get burnt. The kasoori methi is a must as it takes the dal fry up a notch. Finally adding the fresh coriander leaves should be done right before you serve to keep its freshness throughout.

Channa Dal Fry


1 cup channa dal
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons ghee or any cooking oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1-inch ginger grated
2 to 3 green chillies slit

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder OR lime juice
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon kasoori methi
Salt to taste
Handful chopped fresh coriander leaves


  1. Soak the channa dal for at least 4 hours and then wash and drain the water 
  2. Cook it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and turmeric powder for 3 whistles. You can choose to cook in a pot too. Switch off and do not open the cooker, let it cool on its own. 
  3. In a deep pan or pot, heat ghee or oil and add cumin seeds to splutter 
  4. Add the grated garlic and sauté until it starts browning 
  5. Add the chopped  onions and a little salt and sauté until it starts browning - not burnt or not just translucent 
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chillies 
  7. Sauté this mixture until the tomatoes break down and then add all the spice powders. Mix until everything comes together and you see oil getting separated or oozing from the sides of the mixture - if the tomatoes aren't the juicy type, you can add a few tablespoons of water after adding the spice powders 
  8. Add the cooked dal with its water and mix everything together and let it boil 
  9. Test the salt and adjust the spices as required
  10. Mix in crushed kasoori methi 
  11. Cover and simmer for a couple of minutes 
  12. Open and cook until it reaches your desired consistency 
  13. Switch off and fold in the chopped coriander leaves 
  14. Serve hot with any kind of Indian flatbread, pulao. or ghee rice

Update: 28th September 2016: New Image
Channa Dal Fry

Even though I made this dal fry again to make notes for the recipe, some days I am so not in the mood of making an effort to take a neat picture, and when I become very hangry (read hungry so angry) all I want is to EAT!

I did not want to delay this post any further.. so I will come around again to update the pictures.. inshaAllah.  (updated! )