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SAPeople South African Recipes: Explore the Deliciousness of Chana Dhal Curry

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Deliciousness of Chana Dhal Curry:

Deliciousness of Chana Dhal Curry: Savor the rich flavors of Chana Dal Curry, a delectable Indian dish that combines the nutty taste of split chickpeas with aromatic spices. This hearty and nutritious curry is a staple in Indian households and is loved for its comforting and satisfying taste. Whether served with steamed rice or warm naan bread, this curry is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you craving more. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making this mouthwatering dish and address 10 frequently asked questions to help you master the art of Chana Dal Curry.

Deliciousness of Chana Dhal Curry

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  • 1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas), soaked for 1-2 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee or vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds until they release their aroma.
  3. Stir in the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  4. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the saucepan, cooking until the raw smell disappears.
  5. Incorporate the finely chopped tomatoes, ground turmeric, ground coriander, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt into the mixture. Cook until the tomatoes turn soft and the oil starts to separate from the spices.
  6. Add the soaked and drained chana dal to the saucepan, stirring well to coat the lentils with the aromatic spice mixture.
  7. Pour the water into the saucepan, ensuring it covers the chana dal. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  8. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the curry simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the chana dal becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  9. If needed, add more water to achieve your desired consistency. The chana dal should be soft and have a creamy texture.
  10. Once the chana dal is cooked, taste the curry and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  11. Garnish the Chana Dal Curry with freshly chopped cilantro leaves for a burst of fresh flavor.
  12. Serve the curry hot with steamed rice, naan bread, or your favorite Indian bread for a truly satisfying meal.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of chana dal?

While chana dal is recommended for this recipe, you can use canned chickpeas as a substitute. However, the texture and taste may vary slightly.

Can I use garam masala instead of individual spices?

Yes, you can use garam masala as a convenient substitute for ground turmeric, ground coriander, and red chili powder.

Can I add vegetables to the Chana Dal Curry?

Absolutely! Feel free to add vegetables like spinach, potatoes, or carrots to enhance the nutritional value and taste of the curry.

Can I make this curry spicy?

Yes, you can adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder according to your preference.

Can I make this curry vegan?

To make the curry vegan, use vegetable oil instead of ghee, and skip any dairy-based garnish.

Can I make this curry in a pressure cooker?

Yes, you can cook the soaked chana dal in a pressure cooker for faster results. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking time.

Can I freeze the leftover curry?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover curry in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat it on the stovetop before serving.

Can I use other lentils instead of chana dal?

While chana dal is traditional for this curry, you can try other lentils like red lentils (masoor dal) or yellow split peas.

Can I make this curry without onions and garlic?

If you prefer, you can omit the onions and garlic, but they add depth and flavor to the dish.

Can I add coconut milk to the curry?

For a creamy variation, you can add coconut milk or coconut cream to the curry after the chana dal is cooked.


Treat yourself to the delightful flavors of Chana Dal Curry, a hearty and nutritious Indian dish that brings together the goodness of split chickpeas and aromatic spices. With its rich taste and comforting aroma, this curry is a perfect addition to any meal. Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or new to its flavors, the Chana Dal Curry is sure to win your heart with its creamy texture and balanced taste. Enjoy the warm embrace of this delicious curry and relish the authentic taste of Indian cooking!

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