Chana dal, also called cut up chickpeas (garbanzo beans), yellow split peas, or cut up yellow gram, is a kind of dal that’s very famous in Pakistani and Indian menus.
Although ‘chana ‘dal directly translates to ‘chickpea ‘dal, those chickpeas are a various types than those we’re used to in the United States. Rather than a skinny layer of skin, yellow split chickpeas have a dark outer pores and skin that is removed (husked) and then break up in half.
In Pakistani menu, there’s a dry, ‘dhaba (roadside) fashion’ Chana dal that is eaten with roti or naan, and then there’s the everyday Chana dal which can be cooked in a myriad of ways and is served with each roti and rice.
To Pressure Cook
- Chana dal – yellow split chickpeas, rinsed several times and then drained
- small to medium tomato, finely chopped
- salt, or to taste
- coriander powder
- turmeric powder
- cumin powder
- red chili powder, or more to taste
- ground black pepper
For the Tadka (Tempering)
- ghee, or sub butter
- cumin seeds
- small or ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
- garlic cloves, crushed
- small green chili pepper (or sub whole red chili pepper), chopped
- garam masala
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ginger, julienned
- cilantro leaves, chopped
- Instant Pot
To Pressure Cook
- Add all the ingredients listed under ‘To Pressure Cook’ to the Instant Pot and mix to combine.
- Secure the lid and set valve to Sealing. Select the Manual/Pressure Cook setting and set time to 22 minutes** on High Pressure.
- Once dal is cooked, allow pressure to release for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
- In a medium sauté pan, heat oil and ghee over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds. Add the onions and sauté until they turn golden (~5-6 minutes).
- Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and set to Less to heat the dal.
- To the tadka, add the garlic and sauté until the raw smell disappears, about a minute. Add the green chili pepper and sauté for another minute.
- Transfer the tadka to the dal in the Instant pot. Continue to simmer on low Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Use a wooden spoon to mash dal against the edges to enhance texture.
- Add the garam masala and lemon juice and give it a stir. Top with the cilantro and ginger. Serve alongside achaar and chopped crunchy vegetables.
If you pre-soak the dal, pressure cook for 18-20 minutes depending on how long you soaked it.
Depending on the type/age of Chana dal, you may need to decrease pressure cook time by 8-10 minutes.