Recipe of Chana daal

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

  1.  Chana dal – yellow split chickpeas, rinsed several times and then drained
  2. water
  3.  small to medium tomato, finely chopped
  4. salt, or to taste
  5. coriander powder
  6. turmeric powder
  7. cumin powder
  8. red chili powder, or more to taste
  9. ground black pepper

For the Tadka (Tempering)

  • ghee, or sub butter
  • oil
  • 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.

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