Zucchini cooked with chana dal, onion, tomatoes & fresh ginger makes a flavorful dish. This dal is great with roti or with rice. Healthy & vegan!
When I was little, mom would often make Chanal Dal (Split Garbanzo Beans) with Lauki (bottle gourd). Lentils (or dals as we call them) are a part of everyday Indian diet so we ate some or the other lentil every day. Chana dal was made not everyday since it’s little heavy on the stomach compared to other dals like toor/arhar or moong. Now those were made like everyday and we had to eat 1 cup for lunch, it was kind of mandatory.
One of the most common ways to make chana dal in North India is to mix it with lauki. I don’t know if it’s a way to make kids eat veggies or they taste great together but lauki was always added to only chana dal and not to any other dal, or at least I don’t remember! Lauki is not a common vegetable here in US but it is back home. It’s a very healthy vegetable but not very delicious for most (I find it delicious though but then I am a veggie-holic remember? ;)) It tastes almost like zucchini, in fact you can easily confuse the two, they are that similar.
So the other day when I got some fresh zucchini from the grocery store, I was instantly reminded of mom’s chana dal recipe and so I made this Zucchini Chana Dal.
Chana dal has actually becomes quite popular in USA as well now. I see it in almost every grocery store. This recipe comes together quickly if you use a pressure cooker. I have said this before, if you love Indian food and want to learn making it you need to buy a pressure cooker. We make too many lentils, beans etc. and everything is always cooked in a pressure cooker. It saves so much time! Cooking chana dal in a pan would take hours. There are some lentils which cook quickly but chana dal isn’t one of them. So my whole point is that you need a pressure cooker in your life to make dals!
This recipe uses very simple ingredients like cumin, ginger, onion and tomatoes but the results are extra-ordinary. This zucchini chana dal turned out delicious and my hubby who doesn’t like zucchini as such ate 2 bowl of it! Isn’t it awesome when healthy is also delicious? This dal is great with plain rice or with roti. I hope you guys give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I did! This recipe is vegan.
Soak chana dal in enough water for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer dal to a pressure cooker and add water.
Add diced zucchini, turmeric powder and salt. Stir to combine.
Close the pressure cooker and cook on high for 5-6 whistles and then let the pressure come off on it’s own. The dal and zucchini will be cooked by now.
Add oil to a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let them crackle. It’s important to wait till mustard seeds pop else they taste bitter.
Then add hing, chopped green chili, chopped ginger and saute for few seconds.
Add chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes or till onion starts turning light golden in color.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes or till raw smell goes away. Also add salt to taste. Remember we also added salt to the dal and zucchini so add accordingly.
Add the cooked chana dal and zucchini to the pan and mix.
Simmer the dal on medium heat for 5 minutes or till it comes to a boil. You can add more water at this point to adjust the consistency to taste and preference. I added almost 1 cup of water at this step.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice if you like! I always do!
* The total prep time doesn’t include the time for soaking the chana dal.
* I think tomatoes are awesome with chana dal so I added 2 medium tomatoes here. You can use 1 if you aren’t a tomato fan!
Zucchini Chana Dal
- ½ cup chana dal split garbanzo beans , soaked for 1 hour
- 1.5 cups water 1 more cup to add later on
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 zucchinis medium, cut into cubes [around 2 cups zucchini cubes]
Onion Tomato masala
- 1 onion medium, chopped
- 2 tomatoes medium, chopped
- 3 teaspoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon hing asafoetida
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- salt to taste
- cilantro to garnish
- 1-2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice optional
- Soak chana dal in enough water for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer dal to a pressure cooker and add water.
- Add diced zucchini, turmeric powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- Close the pressure cooker and cook on high for 5-6 whistles and then let the pressure come off on it's own. The dal and zucchini will be cooked by now.
- Add oil to a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let them crackle. It's important to wait till mustard seeds pop else they taste bitter.
- Then add hing, chopped green chili and chopped ginger and saute for few seconds.
- Add chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes or till onion starts turning light golden in color.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes or till raw smell goes away. Also add salt to taste.
- Add the cooked chana dal and zucchini to the pan and mix.
- Simmer the dal on medium heat for 5 minutes or till it comes to a boil. You can add more water at this point to adjust the consistency of the dal to preference.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (optional) and serve zucchini chana dal hot with rice or roti.
Zucchini Chana Dal
49 thoughts on “Zucchini Chana Dal”
I’d love to make this recipe in the Instant Pot. (I don’t have a pressure cooker.) About how long would you have to cook the zucchini and chana in IP? Thanks, Manali. We are new to your site and love all your recipes so far!!! 🙂 Especially the instant pot ones!
Thanks Kirsten..hmm I am thinking..chana dal would need at least 10 minutes to cook in IP but zucchini would turn total mush in that time. I would probably soak the chana dal for 1 hour and then pressure cook the dal and zucchini on high pressure for 5-6 minutes. Hope that helps 🙂
Thanks! It was delicious…so comforting. 🙂
I’d love to make this recipe in the Instant Pot. (I don’t have a pressure cooker.) About how long would you have to cook the zucchini and chana in IP? Thanks, Manali. We are new to your site and love all your recipes so far!!! 🙂
Where do I get Ming to buy – never used it before!!! I use a lot of Indianspice, but not this one!!!
Hi Carol! I think you meant “hing” , also known as asafoetida. You can find it easily at any Indian grocery store. It’s also available at amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Rani-Asafetida-Hing-Ground-3-75oz/dp/B006POH22Y/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1497278862&sr=8-3&keywords=asafoetida). Hing has a very strong smell and it’s good for digestion. You can skip it in this recipe, won’t make a huge difference. Hope that helps!
MManali I love this idea! Such a change from the normal lauki!! Will be trying it for sure 🙂
Thanks Ami, it was good!
Its a great way to have zucchini in all lauki recipes 🙂 This has given me more reasons to buy zucchini 🙂
I know right? Zucchini is the perfect replacement for lauki!
I love that you added zucchini to this dal! It looks so bright and beautiful, Manali! Yay that it’s vegan too! It sounds delilcious with perfect with some rice!
Thanks Kelly, I love zucchini!
Um about to try this recipe it looks amazing. I am using an instant pot. Can you tell me how long I should cook the dal & zucchini in it?
I would soak the dal for an hour in warm water and then cook for 9-10 mins on high pressure
healthy, vegan and delicious?! I love this Zucchini Chana Dal. I’ve packed away my pressure cooker but now I need to find it!
Thanks Alice! Yes you need to!
Dal is my all time favorite and this version looks so delicious and flavorful dear. I am hungry now 🙂
Same here! Thanks dear!
There are so many wonderful spices in this dish. It looks fabulous and I can only imagine how good it must smell.
Thanks Linda, it’s very flavorful!
Oh I love this daal. So many veggies go so well with this. Absolutely love the zucchini in it, haven’t tried but sure will.
That’s a comfort looking meal there.
Happy weekend Manali.
Chana dal is one of my favorites too! you will love it with zucchini 🙂