Chana Dal Fry

Dal Fry is a dish made with tur dal or chana dal or a mix of dals. Today’s recipe is Chana Dal Fry made just with chana dal or Bengal gram. Chana Dal Fry is a very tasty North Indian style dal preparation, to be specific a Punjabi style dal fry.

Chana Dal Fry

I had learnt this from a Punjabi friend of mine and having been making it for quite few years now. As chana dal or Bengal gram is very healthy and nutritious, I try to include it often in our day to day cooking. When I learnt the recipe from my friend back then, I immediately tried it and prepared the dal fry. Though the dal fry turned out tasty, I felt something amiss. When I told her, she mentioned the addition of amchur or dry mango powder and kasoori methi, which I had skipped. Since then have been making this yummy Chana Dal Fry. Addition of these two ingredients (amchur and kasoori methi) gives a very delectable dal fry. Resulting dal fry tastes similar to restaurant style dal fry. Though I make a South Indian style masal vadai, kurma, sundal, this Chana Dal Fry is a hit recipe in my family. I quite often make it paired it with chapathis to be packed for my husband’s lunch box. Chana Dal Fry also goes well with steamed basmati rice or any mildly spiced pulao.


Chana dal – 175 gms or ¾ cup
Onion – 2 medium sized
Tomato – 2 medium sized
Garlic – 7 to 8 cloves
Ginger – 1” piece
Green chilli – 2
Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
Amchur or dry mango powder – ½ tsp or to taste (optional)
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Kasoori methi – 2 tsps heaped (optional)
Lemon juice – juice of one lemon (optional)
To temper
Oil – ½ tsp + 4 tsps
Jeera or cumin seeds – ¾ tsp
Hing – a big pinch


Prep time – 15 mins
Cook time – 25 mins
Total time – 40 mins
Serves 4

  1. Wash chana dal well in water and soak in a cup of water for half an hour.
  2. Take the soaked dal in a small pressure cooker. Add 2 to 2 ½ cups of water, ½ tsp of oil, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and pressure cook until done. You can reduce the flame to low after first whistle and cook for 10-12 mins. Let the pressure release naturally. Mash and set aside.
  3. Chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, green chillies and coriander finely.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add jeera and hing. Reduce the flame to low-medium. Let the jeera splutter.
  5. Add finely chopped garlic, green chilli, ginger and onion. Sauté till onions turn translucent.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté till slightly mushy.
  7. Add all the spice powders (turmeric, chilli, amchur (if using) and coriander, garam masala) and salt to taste. Add kasoori methi at this stage, if using. Fry for 2-3 mins.
  8. Now, add the cooked chana dal along with the dal water and mix well. Add more water at this stage to get the desired dal consistency. Let the dal fry boil for 5-7 mins. Switch off the heat.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serve this tasty Chana Dal Fry with rotis or steamed rice or mildly spiced pulao.

Chana Dal Fry


  1. Cup used for measuring measures 200 gms.
  2. Soaking chana dal for half an hour to an hour reduces the cooking time.
  3. You can cook chana dal in an open pan too. Adjust the water accordingly.
  4. Chana dal tends to froth while being cooked; adding a tsp of oil to the dal helps prevent froth formation.
  5. Though amchur and kasoori methi are optional ingredients, addition of both imparts a very nice flavor to the dal.
  6. I sometimes use lemon juice instead of amchur. If using lemon juice, add it towards the end. Do not boil the dal after adding the juice.
  7. Spice levels used in this recipe yields medium spiced dal fry. Adjust the spice levels to suit your taste.

2 comments for “Chana Dal Fry

  1. Apr 12, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Comfort bowl of curry…

  2. Apr 15, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for your comments Ruxana!!

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