Chana Daal is a split chickpea or garbanzo bean. Literally! #30daysofdaal has not included many recipes with chana daal so far, other than the Panchmel Daal which has a bit of it. But Chana Daal is very tasty and a universal favorite.
A lot of thought and discussion went into this particular recipe. This is actually a family recipe and I am not sure if it is prevalent in other homes. I think this comes from the central region of the country where I grew up, the reason being lack of fresh produce in the harsh summers.
The way I prefer it is to use the onion as main ingredient and the chana daal just to add texture and protein. But since this is a series on daal, I decided to focus on the daal. Of course, some people at home prefer it this way. I guess going 50-50 on the daal-onion ratio is a good compromise.
Another aspect of this recipe is when to add the onion. If you want the onion for flavor only and don’t mind it receding in the background, you can add the onion first, cook it down a bit and then add the daal. But if you want the onion to be the star, then add it after the daal is half cooked. I hope that does not sound too complicated. It really isn’t.
You can take the easy way out and just try this recipe the way I am writing it here.
This dry chana daal can be eaten with roti, served as a side dish with daal-rice or just eaten as a snack. It is actually quite a filling vegan snack. And like any Indian dish, it is spicy and seasoned enough to make it yummy J.
Green chillies can be used here but I am not adding any. You can just go with the local chilli or a mild deseeded jalapeno. Adding other herbs like cilantro or mint will give it a different flavor, so will fresh curry leaves. And you can mix it up this way.
Dry Chana Daal is pretty simple and the only important step here is soaking the daal. Use a wide sauté pan if you want to crisp up the daal after it is cooked.
Dry Chana Daal with Onions
- ½ cup chana daal
- 3-4 medium onions
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch of Hing or Asafoetida
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp goda masala or garam masala
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro or coriander
- Salt to taste
- Soak the chana daal with 2-3 times the water for 4-5 hours.
- Chop onions in a medium dice.
- Heat the oil and add mustard seeds once it is hot. Let the seeds pop and then add hing, turmeric and cayenne in rapid succession.
- Immediately add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the soaked chana daal and mix well.
- Cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame. Do not add water.
- The Daal is supposed to cook on steam. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring it periodically so it does not stick.
- Season with salt.
- Fry the daal without the lid for 5-10 minutes if you want to get a crisper texture.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti or just as a snack or side dish.
Dry Chana Daal with onions is an easy vegan recipe. I hope you give it a try.
#30daysofdaal are still going strong. And I have many more yum recipes in store. Stay tuned or sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any of these.