Bihari Channa Dal

India has such a beautiful array of regional food, it will be lifetimes before anyone can try it all. I will do my bit to keep sharing whatever I know and love so that you can try new things and develop an even deeper love and appreciation for Indian food πŸ™‚ The Aloo posto, kasundi chicken, pepper chicken , lemon rice are some such dishes you must try!

Given my Bihari-Bengali roots, it’s natural to want to share some of those cuisines more than others πŸ™‚ This simple channa (split Bengal gram) dal is a staple in most Bihari households.

It is super easy to make. Just needs a pressure cooker and a tiny pan for tempering.

The tadka (tempering) adds the extra deliciousness to the dal. The ghee and spices are essential to make this something you can’t have just one helping of.

The dal is thick and just the right amount of mushy with tomatoes and spices to make it enough to be a meal. My recommendation is to have it with some rice and if you really want, add some vegetables as a side. This is one of those dals which is the hero by itself.

Ladle it on generously and trust me you will be a happy bunny!

Meals like this remind me of home and are always great to uplift your mood. Simple, delicious and comforting πŸ™‚

PS – this cute bowl is made from coconut shells and is from Kerala. Love it!

Bihari Channa Dal

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1 cup Channa (split Bengal gram) Dal

1 tbsp moong (yellow split gram)

1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder

1 tomato – finely diced

2 bay leaves

1.5 inch ginger – finely diced

1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds

5-6 peppercorns

1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)

2 green cardamom (choti elaichi)

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp lemon juice

4 cups water


1 tbsp ghee

1/4 tsp asafoetida (Hing)

1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds

1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish


  1. Soak the dals in water (completely covered with water) for 30 mins
  2. Drain the dals and put them in a pressure cooker
  3. Add the Bay leaves, cardamoms, pepper salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, tomato, ginger, cumin to the cooker. Add 4 cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for 5-6 whistles (around 20 minutes)
  4. Once done, release the pressure and open the lid.
  5. In a small pan/tempering spoon, heat the ghee.
  6. Add the Hing, cumin and let the seeds splutter. Be careful not to burn the cumin.
  7. Once spluttering, add the tempering to the dal and mix well.
  8. Adjust for salt. Add lemon juice and coriander. Serve hot.

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A baker, a dancer, a marketeer. Sometimes lazy. Always up to try new food, read interesting books and meet amazing people :)

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