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Chana Dhal

nutrition recipes Nov 21, 2023
Chana Dhal

Chana Dhal

Chana dhal is made with a type of small dark garbanzo bean called “kala chana”. Regu-lar garbanzo beans are a larger bean which go by the name “Kabuli Chana”. Kala chana dhal is made from a smaller type of garbano bean or “chickpea” as they are called which has a darker skin which has been split and the skin has been removed. Whole kala chana is also known as “Bengal gram” whose flour is called “whole chana” flour. Kala chana dhal (split with skin removed) as a flour is called “besan flour” or “gram flour”. It is a nice protein source for vegetarians and is quite satisfying and filling. Kala chana also provides high amounts of fiber to help lower cholesterol, and has traditionally been used for: weightloss, cardiac health, diabetes (regulate blood sugar-lowest glycemic index of any dhal), chron-ic skin conditions, and provides healthy intestinal micro-flora and bowel regularity. It is cool-ing, drying, heavy, alkalinizing, and reduces Pitta and Kapha. It increases vata, gas and blocks the channels, so it must be prepared properly. It is also a good source of potassium, iron, calcium and folate. It is used in soups, curries, salads, ground into powder, used as a flour (gluten free), binding agent, made into every kind of food imaginable from sweets (such as ladoos and besan burfi) to breads to dumplings such as koftas, pakoras and more.


1 cup split Chana dhal (golden colored with skin removed)

• 7 cups water

• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

• 1/2 tsp turmeric

Optional (for blood sugar folks): 1/2 tsp “garcinia masala” for pitta or kapha, as per requirements

Optional (for blood sugar folks): 1/4 tsp “medagni masala”

• 2 tsp coriander

• 1 Tbs ginger chopped

• 2 Tbs ghee

• 2 zucchinis cubed

• 1/2 stick cinnamon

Few handfuls of greens of choice chopped (parsley or spinach is good)

• 1 tsp garam masala or “Mum’s super spice)

• 1 tsp salt or to taste

Garnish: Juice of 1/2—1 lime, handful of chopped cilantro leaves


• Soak chana dhal overnight in enough water to cover well all night

Strain and cook w/7 cups water, turmeric, 1/2 cinnamon stick, and 1 Tbs ghee in saucepan, bringing to boil, reduce to low, cover with tight lid and boil gently for approx. 45 minutes-1 hour (to desired texture)

• Add squash, salt

• Continue to cook on low for 10 more minutes until squash is cooked but not mushy

• Add garam masala or “Mum’s super spice”, and chopped green of choice and cover

Heat 1 Tbs ghee and roast remaining spices: cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, Optional: “MedAgni masal” and/or “Garcinia Masala” of choice

• Garnish: with squeeze of lime and handful chopped cilantro leaves 


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