When we were kids we took a trip to the Northern parts of Pakistan, to Swat and Kaghan with their beautiful peaks and glacial rivers. I would share pictures, but I have some izzat (i.e. self respect).
Those weren't necessarily my best years.
I don't remember many details about the trip, but I do remember those delicious bags of chana daal that we would pick up from the nearest restaurant for dinner. When I say bags I am serious. The chana daal or chanay ki daal actually came in clear plastic bags that I would clumsily try to serve myself from, using roti to scoop up what I could, spilling some in the process. It was one of my favourite things about that trip and I really wish that I could recreate that kind of nostalgic magic.
So what does this daal taste like?
This simple chanay ki daal is a lighter, soupier, less masala version of the dry version I posted some time ago. When I make it I sometimes give in to the urge to add more spices or temper it twice, but I find that more often than not I regret it. Temper it twice you ask? Many people cook their chana daal in a base of browned onions and then add a second tempering at the end. I recently had chana daal at someones house, a simple, clean tasting one and I was reminded of how good it can be without the muss and fuss. So I went back to the drawing board, dialled back the spices and am far happier with the outcome.
I should confess here that my family is not remotely Punjabi. Therefore if you are and are looking for your mothers chanay ki daal recipe I cannot guarantee that this is it. Mothers have something special in the way they cook, especially Punjabi ones (if anyone's wants to make makkai ki roti and send it my way I won't protest).
Until recently I have always made it the traditional way. That is to say I soak for a few hours or overnight then cook the daal. This time around I washed it, put it on pressure in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, ran an errand and came back to beautifully cooked chana daal.
A Daal Hack I love
Another 'new' thing that I have started to do is to use Passata for cooking Pakistani food. Passata is essenially a robust tomato puree that you can use in desi food without any of the sharp twang associated with canned tomatoes. I love that it is readily available in grocery stores, usually where the tomato sauce or pasta sauce is. It works in any dish where the texture of the tomato isn't important. In other words don't put it in your Karahi Chicken 😉
If you make this recipe do take a few seconds to rate it! I would love to see your recreations so tag me on instagram @flourandspiceblog !
Chana Daal or Chanay ki Daal
For the Daal Mix:
- 1 cup chana daal (split chickpeas)
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 tomato finely chopped or 1-2 tbsp of Passata
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- lemon juice (according to taste)
- 2-3 green chillies, sliced or horizontally split
For the Baghaar/Tadka/Tempering:
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- ½ onion thinly sliced
- 3-4 whole dried red chillies
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Put the first seven ingredients into your instant pot and put on Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release, i.e. don't do anything until it releases on it's own (15-20 minutes)
- The daal should be tender but holding shape, mash lightly to thicken
- Put the IP on Saute, medium heat. Adjust thickness of daal according to preference - cook down to thicken, add water to thin.
- Add the cilantro, green chillies, a little lemon juice and adjust seasoning (I usually add more salt)
- Heat a lug of oil in a small frying pan
- When it shimmers add your sliced onions, whole red chillies and cumin seeds
- Brown the onions and the pour the baghaar over the cooked daal. Eat with roti or rice.
Chanay ki daal not your thing? I have lots of daal recipes for you to try instead!
- My Mamas Masoor
- The simple mixed Moong daal I grew up eating
- The "kaali daal" or Sabut Masoor that my daughters and I love.
I can't wait to try out this recipe in my Instant Pot! Thanks for sharing 🙂
My pleasure (really, I kinda love eating chanay ki daal hehehe). Do let me know if you try it!
Saera Ahmad says
Thank you so much for this recipe! Love Chanay ki Daal & can’t wait to try it in my IP😊
I kinda posted this one for you! But more are coming!
I'm staring to feel like I am missing out without an instant!!
you are. lol
This looks delicious!
Thank you Smitha!!!
I am beginning to crave - not the daal - the Insant Pot! I am at work fantasizing about how easy it would be to make Haleem in that thing 😁
Seriously - if you try that do let me know!!
fine fine don't crave daal - not going to say anything about you being broken, nope not at all. lol
while I haven't used the instant pot to make haleem lots of people to do!
Lol hey I do love me some good daal, especially the dhaba achari daal variety back from the I.I. Chundrigar Road days! If I recall correctly, that used to be chanay ki daal. This post Diddd take me back to that, though I admit I tot distracted by the IP :p
Got, not Tot. Sheesh.
And I love the idea of using passata 🙂
You know what the only daal I had in my chundrigar time was the bland stock exchange ki daal that I used to have to compensate for all my indulging in United ki Biryani!
I love instant recipes! I made it last night and it was so good, the only thing I did different was to add ginger/garlic. BTW quick question, what ingredients do you recommend if I want to make more, like maybe 2 cups of chana daal?
Hi Omar! I am so glad you liked it and ginger/garlic is definitely a great way to amp up the flavour. If you are doubling the quantity then I'd 1.5 times the remaining ingredients and see how it goes. You can always adjust later, but if they are too strong to start off then it's harder to fix!
This recipe turned out lovely. Thank you for sharing.
THANK YOU for taking the time to tell me! I appreciate it so very much!
Do i need an instant pot to make this?
The instant pot makes it quicker, but you can absolutely soak the daal for a few hours overnight and then cook on low heat till tender!
Awesome daal recipe but if you add one tea spoon of garam masla will enhance its taste and aroma.
Great tip thank you!!
OMG. I didn't even read past the first paragraph and just had to comment that my own love of Chanay ki daal stems from a trip to Shogran where we had the most delicious meal of chicken karhai and chanay ki dal at a dhaba near the place where we stayed. Best coincidence ever 🙂
Absolutely! There is nothing in the world like that thhailay wali daal!!!!
Maryam Ejaz says
Okay let me just tell you I read the post "just like that". I'm usually in such a hurry when searching for recipes that I almost ALWAYS click jump to recipe. So by mistake I started reading and LOVED EVERY bit of your writing. So relatable and honest and homely. I'm about to make this daal your way minus the long soaking time. So I'll let you know how it turns out 🙂 in any case I'd be returning to your blog to read up and try more stuff Insha Allah.
Sarah Mir says
ohmigod maryam I can't say what it meant to read that! thank you!!!!
Maryam Ejaz says
So I made it and it was super easy and delish! Loved it 😋
Sarah Mir says
amazing thank you so much!
Khadija Asangani says
Can I make this in a regular pressure cooker? If so, how much time?
Sarah Mir says
Hello Khadija! I haven't used a regular pressure cooker for those in a long time, but I believe you need to cook it for 5-6 whistles!