chana dal
Last Updated : Oct 16,2019


What is Chana Dal ? Chana Dal Glossary + Benefits + Recipes with Chana Dal
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Also Known as

Split Bengal gram

What is Chana Dal?

Chana dal is baby chickpeas that has been split and polished. It looks and tastes like small kernels of sweet corn, and is one of the most popular ingredients in Indian cuisine.
Chana dal is delicious, nutritious and easily digested. Apart from being used in soups, salads, curries, dal preparations, savouries, sweets and rice dishes, the legumes are also roasted and powdered into chickpea flour (besan), another ingredient that is widely used in almost every province of India.

Roasted and powdered chana dal
Take ½ cup of roasted chana dal and put in a mixer and blend to a fine powder. Use as required. For coarsely powdered chana dal put the roasted chana dal in a mixer and pulse it one or two times to get a rough texture which is not too fine or smooth. Use as required.

Soaked and cooked chana dal
Clean the chana dal and remove any kind of stones or dirt. To soak chana dal, first wash it twice with water and then soak it in warm water. Drain it and boil it in a vessel full of water or pressure cook till done.
Soaked and parboiled chana dal
To soak chana dal, clean and wash the chana dal and soak in enough water for 4 to 5 hours. For parboiling, drain the soaked chana dal, again add clean water and boil till the dal is almost cooked, but not completely cooked. Many recipes call for parboiled chana dal as it gets cooked completely along with the final dish.
Soaked chana dal
Clean the chana dal and remove any kind of stones or dirt. To soak chana dal, first wash it twice with water and then soak it in warm water. Soaking in water enables the dal to cook faster - thereby saving on time as well as energy. You can simply use the soaked dal in salads, curries and other dishes.

How to Select Chana dal

• Dried chana dal is available all year round, and is easy to store.
• If buying in a pack, check the seal and date of packing. Buy from a trusted store because you cannot check inside the pack.
• If buying from bins, make sure the bins are not left in the open exposed to dust and grime.
• Check the dal to see if it is unblemished, free from moisture damage, insects and stones.

12 Uses of Chana Dal

Chana dal is a split lentil, also known as baby chickpeas, which is very popular in Indian Cuisine. It is highly nutritious, delicious and is used in both sweet and savory recipes due to its rich taste and aroma. Moreover it can be used to make chutneys as well as be used as thickener in many recipes, showing how versatile it is.

1. Besan, a type of flour, is made by grinding up chana dal. This flour is gluten free and is mainly used to make batters for pakodas like onion pakoda or aloo pakoda, for making pancakes or chillas and to make the famous Besan ladoos.

2. Chana dal is used all over India to make dals, curries and subzis. Maharashtrians eat the simple Palak Chana Dal while Sindhis make the wholesome Sai Bhaji. The Gujaratis eat it with bottle gourd in a Doodhi Chana Dal Subzi while the Assamese make a delicacy called Booter Dal. All of these can be accompanied with roti and rice to make whole meal.

3. It used to make a very famous Sindhi breakfast dish called Dal Pakwan which is a whole meal in itself.

For complete uses of Chana dal read this article.

How to Store Chana dal

• Dried dal can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place of your kitchen for up to 12 months.
• Once cooked, they can be stored in the refrigerator for a day. It is better to use it up soon.

Nutritional Information of Cooked Chana Dal

One cup of cooked Chana Dal is 170 grams and comes from 89 grams raw Chana Dal.This Serves 3.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 1 cup cooked Chana Dal.

331 Calories
18.5 grams of Protein
53.4 grams of Carbs
4.98 grams of Fat

131 mcg Folate, Vitamin B9 (FA) = 65.63% of RDA (about 200 mcg)

See here for full Nutritional information of Chana Dal.

13 Health Benefits of Cooked Chana Dal

1. Good for Red Blood Cells, Pregnant Women : Cooked Chana Dal is rich in Folate, Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid which helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, especially red blood cells. It is particularly important for pregnant women to have enough folate. They must start having folate rich foods even while they are planning to conceive. 

See here for full Health information of Chana Dal.




Related Links

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