Chana dal with onion and spices

Chana dal with onion and spices

Every fasting day, all I ever hear is my dad pleading from the kitchen when he hears I am planning the menu.

And what does he say???? “Bobby, all I want is simple dal, rice, potatoes and greenbeans, do not give me paneer or anything fancy.”

And I keep telling him, how am I supposed to have a cooking blog if we don’t eat different foods.

The other day he was crying for chilli bites, when he saw my buying spinach, so I made him 2 dozen and what does he do??? He eats 3 and says keep the rest for tomorrow, tomorrow comes around and he refuses to eat it. He wants something else.

Men I tell you. My dad is of those people who say cook little little food and then you can cook more the next day. You can see he doesn’t cook, just form that statement alone.

Lord help me, If I make briyani he outright refuses to eat it for 3 straight days. He will hint, what else you got, what nice things you made today Bobby… ohh you know what I am lissing for or his all time favourite, you know what you haven’t made in a loooonnng time.

Seeing as we are all fasting and I always cook for my mother’s taste, I decided to give into my dad’s request. Of course as simple as they may sound, they are far from simple.

Plain dal, there are so many dals out there on the market.

I decided to make a recipe that I came across in one my cookbooks, of course I forgot to put in hing and he was crying, rubbing his stomach all day long and wanting eno like it was going out of fashion. Thank the higher powers the fast is only 10 days long.


  • 2 x tbsp. oil.
  • 1 x tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 x bay leaves.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 x chillies, sliced lengthwise.
  • 1 x tsp ginger garlic paste.
  • ¾ x cup chana dla, soaked overnight in boiling water.
  • ½ x cup red lentils.
  • 1 x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x tsp garma masla.
  • 1 x tbsp. brown sugar.
  • Salt


  • Drain and rinse the chana dal and set aside.
  • In a pot, heat the oil
  • Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves.
  • Cook till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
  • Add in the onions and chillies.
  • Saute till the onions become transparent.
  • Add in the red lentils and dal.
  • Add in turmeric and enough water to cover the dal.
  • Cover and cook till the dal is mushy.
  • Add in the garam masala and sugar.
  • Season well and cook till you get the consistency that you like.
  • We like our dal a little bit on the watery side.

Tell me what you think of this recipe