Chana Daal Tadka – Bengal Gram lentils

 “Eating lentils is not only good for your body, but also healthy for the environment.  Farmers can replace the lost nitrogen of the soil by growing lentils in rotation.  Lentils take nitrogen from the environment and give it back to the soil, which will help the next crop to give a better yield.” 

Chana Daal- or Bengal Gram is a very nutritive lentil, has a beautiful flavor, has superb binding qualities and also is a great texture.  Sadly, it is going away from regular kitchens as a main dish.  I don’t get the reasons, but mainly because people are either having heavy lentils like whole Black beans, Kidney beans, Chickpeas, or they straight away opt for moong lentils.  Chana is the Original Dhaba Daal Tadka – that was made popular by the highway restaurants that were specifically meant for Truck drivers who loved spiced up Daal with Roti.  This is the cheapest, healthiest and filling meal.  The flavors are also so exciting that it compensates the craving of a lavish meal.    Today, I am sharing a recipe that my mum used to do. Its quite popular in Northern India and it is a best way to eat lentils and veggies together.  One thing I always suggest in our  cooking session, is that moderation is a key for making better meal.  In today’s competition of creating new recipes everyday for the Social media post, we are somehow losing the beauty of the dishes..  far too many ingredients in a dish is good for your Post but definitely, it ain’t good to cook.

This lentil recipe has Tinda (apple gourd  ), you can add Lauki (Bottle gourd )  in places if you do not find any of these you can try zucchini.


Just make it without the veggie, if that doesn’t excite your taste buds


Chana Daal 1 cup (washed and soaked in cold water for at least an hour)

Half a cup of chopped tinda (or bottle gourd or courgette).  The basic idea is introducing a green vegetable in Daal, so do not add too much veggie it would not be balanced)

1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste ( I used half a green chilli too for more sharpness, but that is optional)

1 whole red chilli dry

1 big bay leaf

few cloves, black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

Ghee 2 tbsp

1/2 tsp of chilli powder

Green fresh coriander leaves (for freshness and iron)


  • Heat a heavy pan
  • Add all the whole spices – cumin, bay leaves, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, whole red chilli
  • In few seconds add the ginger garlic paste and saute well till the paste is well cooked (a minute or two on medium heat)
  • Add 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Add the veggie pieces, mix
  • Add the soaked lentils.  Saute well for a couple of minutes on a low heat to brown all ingredients together.  This is the flavor building time.  Do not skip the step.
Let the veggie and lentils brown properly to build best flavor
  • Now add 2 cups of water, add salt to taste and let the lentils simmer for around 20-30 minutes on a medium to low heat
  • I used a pressure cooker but still cooked for 20 minutes for best result.


  • Once you find the lentils are soft, add coriander leaves gently stir and prepare Tadka like in the below picture
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in small pan and add chilli powder


See the video below for add Tadka to Daal

Daal Tadka is ready to serve.


I made it yesterday for lunch with some Bhindi and chapati.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Looks tasty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melita Gul says:

    This looks very delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Payal Biyani says:

      Thank you Melita 😀


  3. Melita says:

    I just made this today in my home in Australia. I used pumpkin instead of courgettes. It turned out so well, it was delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

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