This is a nice Chana Dal that my husband likes very much with chapati. When small, this chana dal and chapati featured quite often on the breakfast menu at their home. And tastes from childhood usually makes for a favorite meal. At home, we don't make this often because this dal irritates my stomach and I cannot eat more than a spoon or so. So every time I make this I have to make some other side dish for me and that is not something I look forward to.
Though different from tuwar dal, it may not be easy to distinguish the two immediately. Chana dal is more curvy than tuwar which is more flattish. I remember this incident years back, when I went to the store to buy stuff mom wanted. One of the items was tuwar dal and I went to the stack of dals and was flummoxed when I saw so many types. I did not really recognize one dal from the other and hence picked a pack of dal and asked a staff which dal it was. He said it was arhar dal. Since it wasn't tuwar I asked him what were the other dals they stocked and since I did not hear tuwar dal I came out of the store without buying any dal. I did not know then that arhar and tuwar was the same until mom told me and then she showed me the two dals and taught me to recognize both.
Chana dal - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coriander pwd - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2
Turmeric pwd - 1 tsp
Red chilli pwd - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Wash the chana dal and soak it in water for half hour to one hour. Then pressure cook it in 1.5 cup water for 2 whistles. The dal should be cooked just right without turning to mush.
Chop the onion, tomato, green chillies and coriander leaves and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a kadai or pan and when hot add the cumin seeds. When the cumin splutters, add the chopped onion and saute till golden. Add the chopped green chilli and tomato and saute. Saute for a few minutes and add the coriander, turmeric and red chilli powders and saute. Add the boiled chana dal with the water and let it all boil together. Add salt and more water if required. Check seasoning and adjust if required. Add the coriander leaves and let it all come together.
This Chana Dal goes well with both chapati and rice.