Instant Pot Chana Dal Recipe – Indian Spiced lentils dish using Bengal Gram or Chana Dal, Onions, tomatoes and basic spices.
Channa Dal is Brown Chickpeas that have been skinned, split and polished.It’s also called Bengal Gram.
Why make Chana Dal in Instant Pot?
I have a trip of reasons for making chana dal in instant pot instead of the traditional pressure cooked – No Noise, Safer & No babysitting.
Those reasons are enough for me but if you are still unconvined, you should read my post on Why Cook Indian Food in Instant Pot.
How to make Chana Dal in Instant Pot
So here is a step by step, more detailed version of how I cook Chana Dal in Instant Pot.If you are looking for a sleeker recipe, scroll down.
Ingredients for Dal
Chana Dal or Bengal Gram
Ginger & Garlic
Oil or Ghee
Spices- Cumin,Coriander Powder,Turmeric,Chilli Powder / Substitute all with Curry Powder
Method for Chana Dal Fry
Step 1: Wash and Soak the Chana Dal in water.
Meanwhile, chop the Ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes.
Step 2: Heat the instant pot in SAUTE mode.Once hot, add the ghee. Use oil to make this dal Vegan.
Step 3: Add the Cumin and let it splutter. Add the ginger, garlic and green Chilli.You can also use ginger garlic paste instead.Also, leave out the green chilli for a milder dal.
Step 4:Add Onions and cook till they are translucent.If you like your onion brown, feel free to extend the cooking time.Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy.This is the most time consuming step.
Step 5:Drain and Add the soaked dal along with salt, spices- turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and 1.5 Cups of Water.You can replace the trumeric, chilli powder and coriander powder with Curry Powder
Step 6:Close the lid.Cancel Saute function and choose PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, after which, quick release. Channa Dal doesn’t get mushy but if you are looking a softer less el dente dal, change the cooking time to 15 minutes.
Step 7:Open the lid,Squeeze half a lime in the dal, give it a stir, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Tips,Tricks and Variations
Do not Quick Release liquid food in instant pot.It has a tendency to splatter.Wait for at least 10 minutes before you release the pressure.
You could make a big batch of Onion- Tomato Masala and freeze in advance for quicker curries. Here is my post on how to make indian masala base.
Ghiya Chane Ki Dal aka Bottle guard channa Dal – This was a staple while growing up.In fact it still is with my parents.All you have to do is , add cubed bottle guard to the dal before pressure cooking.Also reduce the pressure cooking time by 1 minute.
Palak Chana Dal – To make it more nutritious, you can add spinach after you open the instant pot lid.Just cover for 10 minutes after and the spinach will cook on it’s own.
Jain Version – Omit Ginger Garlic and Onion from the recipe to make a jain version of the Channa Dal.
Vegan Chana Dal– Skip on the Ghee while making Vegan version of chana dal.
Gluten Free Chana Dal– Dal is naturally gluten free.Skip using asafoetida to make the dal Gluten Free.
How to Serve Chana Dal
Chana Dal is a chunkier dal than Toor dal or the normal Dal Fry.You can serve it with Rice or Hot, just off the tawa roties.
Here are some Instant Pot Dal Recipes for you
Also, here are some quick rice recipes to go with this chana dal.
- 1/2 Cup Chana Dal or Bengal Gram
- 1.5 Cups Water
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Ginger grated or minced
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 Green chilli- split(optional) or jalapeno
- 1 Small Onion -Chopped about 1/2 cup
- 2 Medium Tomatoes about 1 cup
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves for Garnish
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- Salt to Taste
- Wash and Soak the Chana Dal.
- Meanwhile, Heat the Instant Pot in Saute Mode.
- Once hot, Add Ghee or Oil.Let it melt.
- Add – Cumin.Once it splutters, add ginger, garlic and green chilli(if using).Saute for 20-30 seconds.
- To this, add the chopped onions and cook till they turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes and give it a stir.Cook till mushy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add drained Chana Dal.Add Spices*- turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder.Season with salt.
- Add 1.5 Cups Water.Cancel Saute.
- Select PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 12 minutes with the valve in SEALED position.
- Let the pressure drop naturally for 10 minutes, after which quick release the valve.
- Open the lid, give the dal a good stir and mash it lightly with the back of the spoon.
- Add Lime Juice and mix.Check on the seasoning, add salt if needed.
- Garnish with Cilantro Leaves