Sookhi Chana Dal: Snack-Time Bengal Gram

7 Sep

Sookhi Chana Dal

A snack or side dish made of chana dal (Bengal gram) that capitalizes on this dal’s nutty taste. Sookhi chana dal needs very few ingredients and is easy enough to be put together by a kitchen newbie. Those who rely on instant noodles or packaged bhujiya for snack-time with the excuse "I don’t know how to cook" – prepare to shed that line!

You Need:

[for 2-3 servings]

  • Chana dal (Bengal gram) – 3/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Green chili – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida powder (optional) – a pinch
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt – to taste

For garnishing:

[quantities to taste]

  • Ghee/butter
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

How To Make Sookhi Chana Dal:

Wash and soak chana dal in 3 cups of water for at least 3 hours.


In a pressure cooker, place the soaked dal and add only enough water to submerge the dal. Stir in a pinch of turmeric powder.

Pressure cook the dal till it is soft to bite but not mushy. [In my Indian-style pressure cooker, I cook it on high flame till one whistle, then on low flame till another 3 whistles.]

Once done, take the cooker off the heat and let it release pressure naturally. When you unlock the lid, you should find inside pearly chana dal grains – and no water.

Pressure Cooked Chana Dal

Do the tadka:

Chop green chili finely.

In a tadka ladle, heat a teaspoon of oil. To hot oil, add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder. As soon as the cumin seeds splutter, add finely chopped green chilies and let it fry for a couple of seconds,.

Pour the tadka over the chana dal. Mix it in, along with salt to taste.

Sookhi chana dal is ready to serve.


Garnish with ghee/butter, freshly squeezed lime juice and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy sooki chana dal as a snack:

Sookhi Chana Dal

Or as part of a meal. Below: chapatis served with sookhi chana dal, methi dahi and mooli chutney.

Methi Dahi, Chana Dal, Mooli Chutney, Mangoes

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