Mom’s Kathal & Chana Dal Kebab

Vegan and gluten-free melt-in-mouth kebabs made with chana dal and jackfruit! These are flavored with whole and ground spices and make a delicious snack or appetizer. You can also enjoy them with parathas!
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My mom made these delicious melt-in-mouth kebabs (patties) made with kathal (jackfruit), chana dal and a bunch of whole spices! We used to relish them with parathas and chutneys. These are also vegan and gluten-free.

two patties placed on a paratha along with chutney and sliced onion

There are few things which I distinctly remember were my mom’s specialty in the kitchen. One of them were these kathal and chana dal kebabs. These kebabs are more of a eastern Uttar Pradesh thing I think? because I have not heard about them anywhere else.

If you guys have my cookbook, I even have a jackfruit and chana dal recipe in it which was inspired by these kababs.

My dad loves these kebabs and every year when kathal (jackfruit) was in season, mom would make these for him. Mom always said that we need young jackfruit for these kebabs and not the ripe one so she would hunt down for that young kathal and then make these kebabs.

You can say that these kebabs are like the vegetarian version of those melt-in-mouth galouti kababs which are made with mutton.

Jackfruit & Chana Dal Kebab

These kababs or patties are made with chana dal and young jackfruit which are pressure cooked with whole spices, then ground to a fine paste and then pan fried.

Since there’s no binding agent here, these kababs are extremely soft and melt-in-mouth. It is for this very reason that you have to be extra careful while cooking them as they break easily.

  • are vegan and gluten-free.
  • can be eaten as a snack or as a meal with parathas.
  • have a melt-in-mouth creamy texture.
  • extremely fragrant and flavorful with all the whole spices.

The jackfruit and chana dal first need to be pressure cooked for this recipe. While mom used her traditional stove-top pressure cooker, I of course used my instant pot.

The chana dal and jackfruit get cooked along with a whole bunch of whole spices. Once cooked, we then grind the mixture to a paste, shape into patties and pan fry.

Mom used to grind the mixture using a “sil batta” (grinding stone), that gave the kebabs much more texture. But since I don’t have it here, I just used my Blendtec for it. Some texture is preferred in these kebabs so we don’t really want a super smooth paste here.

Ingredients

The two main ingredients here are jackfruit and chana dal.

ingredients for jackfruit kebab placed on a board

Kathal (jackfruit): As I mentioned above, we need young jackfruit for this recipe and not the ripe one. I have used canned young jackfruit here as that’s what was available. Fresh jackfruit was also available at my local Asian store but it wasn’t young so I had to use the canned one. But if you can find fresh young kathal, then use that in the recipe.

Chana dal: you can find chana dal (a type of lentil) at any Indian grocery store. I also have an amazing chana dal recipe on the blog if you want to check that out.

Whole spices: there are a lot of whole spices here- bay leaf, cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom, peppercorns. These whole spices add a wonderful aroma and flavor to these kababs.

Ground spices: other than the whole spices, the recipe also calls for few ground spices like garam masala, coriander powder, amchur (dried mango powder).

Other than these, the recipe also has onion-ginger-garlic which are commonly used in Indian cooking. I didn’t add cilantro here since I don’t remember mom adding it but it will taste good and you can definitely add some fresh cilantro in there.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices- cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom and peppercorns. Saute for few seconds until the spices are fragrant.

2- Then add the jackfruit (if using canned like me, make sure you drain all the liquid from the can and rinse it well before using in the recipe), chana dal, garlic, ginger, green chili and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3- Add 3/4 cup water (if you have a 8qt, you might need to add little more water), stir and close the lid.

4- Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

5- Once the pressure is released, open the lid and remove the bay leaf and black cardamom.

6- Transfer mixture to a blender.

7- Add little water (I added around 2-3 tablespoons) and blend. Some texture is okay here so it’s good to have some chana dal remaining in the mixture as such (without blending), it adds to the texture of the kababs. Remember to not use a lot of water to blend else you won’t be able to bind the mixture into kababs.

8- Transfer the blended mixture to a bowl. Add chopped onion, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

9- Mix everything together using a spoon or your hands.

10- Now take a lemon size portion (around 50 to 55 grams) of the mixture, roll between your hands and then flatten it into shape into a circle, around 2.5 inches in diameter. Make all kababs similarly.

11- How heat 3 to 4 tablespoons oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the kebabs into hot oil.

12- Cook one side for around 3 minutes until it turns golden brown, then carefully flip (be very careful as these kebabs are crumbly) and cook the other side until that’s golden brown as well, around 3 more minutes. Fry all kebabs similarly.

Serve these kathal chana dal kebabs with chutney and parathas.

3 kebabs placed on paratha

Serving Suggestions

You can serve these with cilantro chutney or ketchup as a appetizer or snack. Or serve as a side along with a salad.

Or you can enjoy them like we did- with parathas! You can even make a paratha and kebab roll.

Apply chutney on paratha, place the kebab in the center, add sliced onion and sprinkle some chaat masala on top and enjoy.

Can You Air Fry These?

So, I did try air frying these because I knew you guys would ask.

If you want, you can air fry at 375 F degrees for 12 minutes. But the kebabs become hard when you air fry them and these kebabs are supposed to be melt-in-mouth. So if you ask me, I would not recommend air frying these since the texture completely changes.

Using Canned or Fresh Jackfruit

I have used canned here but you can use fresh jackfruit.

The only thing is that you have to make sure the jackfruit is young. It should not be ripe.

You can find canned jackfruit at Asian grocery stores, even Indian stores have it. Again, look for young jackfruit.

Storing Leftovers

Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate the kebabs. They should stay good for 3-4 days.

You can also refrigerate the mixture as such. Shape into kebabs and fry when you want to eat them.

Tips & Notes

  • Do not use ripe jackfruit to make these kebabs. You need young jackfruit.
  • The amount of spices can be adjusted to taste. For spicier kebabs, add more green chilies. You can also add red chili powder in the mixture along with rest of the spices.
  • These kebabs are extremely fragile since there’s no binding agent. So be very careful while pan frying them, flip these gently using a spatula.
  • You can also use ghee to cook these kebabs. It will taste good but I prefer using oil.
kebabs with chutney on a board

Frequently Asked Questions

How to re-heat the kebabs?

I prefer re-heating on a pan on medium heat. Flip and heat from both sides.

Can I make these without an Instant Pot?

Yes, just use a stove-top pressure cooker and cook for 7-8 whistles on medium-high heat.

Can we freeze these kebabs?

Probably, I haven’t tried. But you can try freezing them without pan frying. Fry directly when you want to eat them.

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Kathal & Chana Dal Kebab

two patties placed on a paratha along with chutney and sliced onion
Manali
Vegan and gluten-free melt-in-mouth kebabs made with chana dal and jackfruit! These are flavored with whole and ground spices and make a delicious snack or appetizer. You can also enjoy them with parathas!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 kababs
Calories 105 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oil 10 ml
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 14 oz can young jackfruit drained & rinsed, 235 grams jackfruit
  • 1/2 cup chana dal 105 grams
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1-2 green chilies adjust to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
  • 3/4 cup water + extra water to grind the mixture
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur dried mango powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil for cooking the kebabs

Instructions
 

  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices- cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom and peppercorns. Saute for few seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  • Then add the jackfruit (if using canned like me, make sure you drain all the liquid from the can and rinse it well before using in the recipe), chana dal, garlic, ginger, green chili and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Add 3/4 cup water (if you have a 8qt, you might need to add little more water), stir and close the lid.
    Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once the pressure is released, open the lid and remove the bay leaf and black cardamom. Transfer mixture to a blender.
  • Add little water (I added around 2-3 tablespoons) and blend. Some texture is okay here so it's good to have some chana dal remaining in the mixture as such (without blending), it adds to the texture of the kababs. Remember to not use a lot of water to blend else you won't be able to bind the mixture into kebabs.
  • Transfer the blended mixture to a bowl. Add chopped onion, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix everything together using a spoon or your hands.
  • Now take a lemon size portion (around 50 to 55 grams) of the mixture, roll between your hands and then flatten it into shape into a circle, around 2.5 inches in diameter. Make all kebabs similarly.
  • How heat 3 to 4 tablespoons oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the kebabs into hot oil.
    Cook one side for around 3 minutes until it turns golden brown, then carefully flip (be very careful as these kebabs are crumbly) and cook the other side until that's golden brown as well, around 3 more minutes. Fry all kebabs similarly. Serve these kathal chana dal kebabs with chutney and parathas.

Notes

  • Do not use ripe jackfruit to make these kebabs. You need young jackfruit.
  • The amount of spices can be adjusted to taste. For spicier kebabs, add more green chilies. You can also add red chili powder in the mixture along with rest of the spices.
  • You can also add chopped cilantro to the kebab mixture.
  • These kebabs are extremely fragile since there’s no binding agent. So be very careful while pan frying them, flip these gently using a spatula.
  • You can also use ghee to cook these kebabs. It will taste good but I prefer using oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 164mgPotassium: 135mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

2 thoughts on “Mom’s Kathal & Chana Dal Kebab

  1. I love jackfruit & used to devour on them as a kid when my mom used to make them. They taste like nonveg kebabs :). Thanks for a throwback recipe!! Gonna try soon

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