Coconut Channa Dal

Recipe by Daydream

Posted in response to a request. Channa dal, also called Bengal gram dal, is related to chickpeas, but is smaller and split. It has a sweet, nutty flavour, and a low glycemic index. Looking just like yellow split peas, it is the most popular dal in India. This recipe produces a mild-tasting dal, which goes beautifully with Lemon Rice with Dals #84304. Please only use fresh or frozen curry leaves, not dried :-)

Top Review by Blue Jasper

My family loves this recipe. So comforting on a cold night, and easy on the digestion! I find if I remember to soak the channa dal ahead of time (for a couple of hours), it doesn't take quite so long to soften in the cooking. I live at a high altitude, so that probably contributes to the amount of cooking time. I served this with saag paneer and it was great, though I also find it enough just to have with some fresh hot basmati rice. Thanks Daydream!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the lentils well in cold water, then drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based, preferably non-stick, saucepan and saute the onion and garlic with the curry leaves, chili and mustard seeds, until golden and fragrant.
  3. Add the drained lentils, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, fenugreek, asafetida powder and coconut milk.
  4. Mix well, then add the water.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 40 minutes, or longer if necessary. Stir occasionally to ensure the dal does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. You may choose to increase the cooking temperature, and/or partially uncover the dal towards the end of the cooking time, if you prefer your dal with less fluid (as I do), rather than 'soupy'.
  7. When the dal is soft, season to taste with sea salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with curry dishes and rice or parathas.

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