For Cooking Lentils

  • ▢1 cup chana dal (bengal gram or split chickpeas) – 200 grams

  • ▢2.5 to 3 cups water for stovetop pressure cooking and 2 to 2.5 cups water for Instant Pot cooking

  • ▢¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Other Ingredients

  • ▢3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)

  • ▢1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ▢2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic or 4 to 5 medium-sized garlic

  • ▢½ cup finely chopped onions

  • ▢1 cup finely chopped tomatoes or 2 medium-sized tomatoes

  • ▢½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger

  • ▢½ teaspoon chopped green chilies or serrano pepper or 1 green chilli

  • ▢½ teaspoon red chili powder

  • ▢¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)

  • ▢½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder

  • ▢½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) or add as required * check point 4 in notes below

  • ▢1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional

  • ▢1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)

  • ▢1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) – crushed, optional

  • ▢salt as required

  • ▢1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

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Instructions Cooking Lentils

  • Pick and rinse the chana dal well in running water.

  • Soak the dal in enough water for an hour. Or soak in hot water (not boiling hot water) for 30 minutes.

  • Drain the lentils and add them to a 3 litre pressure cooker along with turmeric powder. Add 2.5 to 3 cups water in the cooker and stir well. For Instant pot add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

  • On a high heat pressure cook the lentils for 10 to 11 minutes or for 7 to 8 whistles or more, till the dal is softened and well cooked.

  • In the instant pot, pressure cook on high mode for 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Allow the cooker or Instant Pot to do a complete natural pressure release before unsealing the lid. That means to let the pressure falls on its own in the cooker or instant pot.

  • Check the lentils. They should be very soft and easy to mush with the back of a spoon.

  • Cover and set aside the cooked chana dal.

Making Chana Dal

  • In another pan, heat oil or ghee.

  • Add the cumin seeds first and fry for a few seconds till they splutter.

  • Then add the garlic and fry till they become light brown.

  • Now add the onions and fry till they get golden stirring often.

  • Now add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chili.

  • Stir and add all the dry spice powders – turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida, dry mango powder and coriander powder.

  • Sauté stirring often till the tomatoes soften and the oil starts to leave the sides of the mixture.

  • Add the crushed dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and stir.

  • Pour the cooked chana dal together with its stock to the sautéed masala mixture or vice versa. Season with salt according to taste.

  • Stir and simmer the dal for 6 to 8 minutes or more till you get medium consistency of the dal. The consistency is neither thick nor thin.

  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

  • Serve the chana dal hot with some basmati rice or roti or bread.

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