Chana Dal


A legume common in Indian cuisine. Chana dal resembles yellow split peas but is actually split black garbanzo beans without their seed coat. Chana dal is an excellent source of protein, and has a low glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics.


Other names: Split Chickpeas, Buta Daali, Chana Daal, Kaḍalai Paruppu, Channa Dal, Kadale Bele, Shanaga Pappu, Chholar Dal
Translations: チャナダル, حانا دال, Dal Chana, Chana dal, חנה דאל, Цхана Дал, चना दाल, Хани Даля, 沙纳德尔, Ханы Даля, Chana Дал

Physical Description

Chana dal is a smaller chickpea called desi, and the commonly used variety of this is called myles. It's a red chickpea that is skinned and split to become chana dal.

It is more closely related to garbano beans or chickpeas. Only, chana dal is younger, smaller, split, sweeter and has a much lower glycemic index.

Colors: yellow

Tasting Notes

Food complements: Chili peppers, Coriander, Cumin, Curry, Garam masala, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Onions, Parsley and turmeric
Substitutes: Garbanzo beans

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Buying: Try Indian grocery stores.
Procuring: Chana dal is produced by removing the outer layer of kala chana or black chickpeas, and then splitting the kernel. Machines can be used to perform this process, but it can also be done in the household by soaking them first, before removing the loose skins by placing the chickpeas between two towels and rubbing with a rolling pin.

Preparation and Use

Soften chana dal before use by adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the water before boiling. Don't do this though if you're using a pressure cooker, otherwise it will turn to mush. Many use pressure cookers instead these days.


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