One of the healthiest Indian recipes, chana daal fry is simple to make at home with readily available everyday ingredients and spices.

Chana Daal – Gram Lentil is one of the most popular pulses in India. It is a staple food for the Indian people. The lentil is shaped like tiny half balls and is commonly consumed by Indians in form of a variety of dishes.

Gram Lentil has a mild flavor and is often cooked with spices such as chili pepper and garlic paste to add flavor to the dish.

Chana daal fry is a popular side dish in India. If you have been looking for a simple recipe for gram lentil fry, then this is the one for you. The technique used here is quite basic and easy to follow but makes really good food.

Gram lentil fried (Chana daal fry) is a simple, yet healthy and appetizing dish that tastes great when served with some rotis or naan.


See Quinoa Upma, Turmeric Potato Rice, and Pumpkin Bhaji

Chana daal fry

What Is Gram Lentil?

Bengal gram, often known as chana dal, is a staple food in India. It also goes by the names gram lentil, split chickpeas, or baby chickpeas. Ground into flour, it takes on the name “besan” or “gram flour.” There are many mouthwatering recipes that use flour and dal.

Its name originated from the Sanskrit word ‘चणक’ or ‘chanaka,’ indicating that it has been grown in India for a very long time. It belongs to the Leguminosae family and is thought to have its origins in the eastern Mediterranean.

Health Benefits of Gram Lentil

I also like to highlight the health benefits of gram lentil.

Gram Lentil (Chana Dal) is a very nutritious dal that is also readily available. It is a great source of numerous minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Gram lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron. They’re also high in folate and potassium—both important for healthy pregnancies!

Incorporate it into your diet for the following additional reasons:

  • It is an excellent plant protein source.
  • Helps to provide instant energy.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight or manage your weight, it’s a fantastic option for you. Prolongs your feeling of fullness. Thereby controlling your appetite.
  • For the eyes, skin, bones, teeth, and heart, chana dal is regarded as a Superfood.
  • Eat chana dal since it lowers blood pressure if you are prone to having high blood pressure.
  • It benefits diabetics by improving insulin responsiveness and maintaining pH levels.
  • You make a heart-healthier decision when you choose lentils over red or processed meat.
  • Gram lentil is high in fiber. A daily fiber intake helps your digestive system move waste out while also preventing constipation.
  • Antioxidant-rich, it prevents inflammation and maintains the health of the organ.

Why You Should Try This Recipe?

This recipe is sure to impress your family and friends because:

  • This is a tasty way to enjoy lentils.
  • It’s also a great way to get more protein into your diet. As it’s made with gram lentils, which are low in fat and high in fiber and protein.
  • It is also low in calories, which means you can eat more of this dish without increasing your calorie intake.
  • It’s also a great vegetarian option for dinner!
  • It’s gluten-free!
  • It’s quick and easy, so you can make it on any weeknight when you’re short on time.
  • The best part about the recipe is that it can be prepared with simple ingredients already available in your kitchen.
  • You can use any type of lentil you prefer, but we recommend using gram lentils for this recipe.

Chana daal fry ingredients

Ingredients Description

  • Gram lentils – One of my favorite lentils, earthy, yummy has this amazing texture and bite to them! Great source of protein! 
  • Onions – Red or yellow whatever onions are available. 
  • Tomatoes – You may use canned or fresh your choice. 
  • Garlic – you may add more cloves if you are a garlic lover.
  • Ginger – Aids digestion as gram lentils can be a Lil gastric at times.
  • Green chilies – add freshness and heat to the dish.
  • Cilantro – Green chilies and cilantro go hand in hand and add the perfect freshness to the dish! 
  • Salt – Pink Himalayan or white your choice!
  • Red chili flakes – Red chili flakes are perfect for fried lentils. They add the perfect heat to the dish! I used cayenne pepper.
  • Turmeric – Brings out the perfect color and warmth to the dish. 
  • Roasted Cumin seeds – Aids digestion and add a lovely nutty flavor. 
  • Dry fenugreek leaves – You don’t want to ignore this ingredient! Trust me when I say this because they add such amazing flavor and aroma to the dish! I used fenugreek powder.
  • All spice powder/ garam masala – The dry spice blend adds heat aroma and flavor to the dish! Only a little is enough! 

Step by Step chana daal fry recipe

How To Make Gram Lentil Fried?

  1. Rinse, wash and soak the gram lentils for about 2 hours. 
  2. Boil the lentils enough soft that they retain their shape and reserve the remaining water! 
  3. In a pan, heat some oil and fry the onions along with button red chilies and roasted cumin seeds! 
  4. After the onions are slightly fried add in tomatoes, ginger, and green chilies.
  5. Fry the veggies a bit until the tomatoes are a bit soft and add boiled lentils along with spices.
  6. Fry the lentils and masala for about a minute and add the reserved water from the boiled lentils. 
  7. Cover and simmer until the water evaporates. 
  8. This blends the lentils and spices together! 
  9. After the water is evaporated, give the lentils a good mix and top it off with some fresh ginger and coriander! 
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

Serve with chapatti, paratha, or naan. It is delicious and served with plain boiled rice. These lentils taste best with some gluten-free flatbread! 

My husband loves the combination of daal fry with Air Fry Tofu and Brown Jasmine Rice.

The dish can also be used as a filling for sandwiches or wraps.

How To Store Leftover Gram Lentil Fried (Chana Daal Fry)?

Once the dal has been served, immediately place the leftover dal in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Only properly stored leftover daal can last for 5–6 days in the refrigerator. When you want to eat some of it, simply reheat it on the stovetop in a pan or in the microwave. Make sure to reheat as much as you need, and avoid reheating the entire dish.

Cooking chana daal fry step by step

Chef’s Notes

  • You can prepare a dal-fry using Chana Dal, Split Masoor, Tuar Dal, or washed Moong Dal. However, the majority of people enjoy Punjabi-style spicy fried chana dal.
  • If desired, mash the dal slightly with the back of a spoon.
  • You can skip the boiling step and cook the dal in an instant pot to shorten the cooking time.
  • For a wonderful flavor, combine 1 teaspoon of vegan butter with the oil in step 3.
  • Instead of soaking the dal for 20 minutes, you can soak it for 4-6 hours. That’ll make digestion easier.
  • By adding more or less water as the chana dal simmers, you can alter its consistency.
  • Although the recipe as written is excellent, you can always add more spices, such as red chili flakes or green chilies, to make the dal spicier. You can choose to skip the onions and garlic from the recipe, but the flavor will change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Dal And Dal Fry?

In Hindi, lentils and lentil-based dishes are referred to as ‘dal’ or ‘dahl’. As a staple of Indian cuisine, lentils (also known as “dal”) are a great source of plant-based protein. Dal Fry is a famous Indian dish that may be prepared in many different ways and can be made with either pigeon pea lentils or gram lentils.

What Are Gram Lentils?

There are several recipes that call for Bengal gram lentils! Essentially, it’s a darker kind of chickpeas, sometimes known as “black chickpeas.” Similar to chickpeas, they are a heart-healthy option, rich in protein, and can decrease cholesterol. 

Is Bengal Gram And Chana Dal the Same?

Bengal gram is among the earliest legumes to be cultivated. It is commonly referred to as Chana Dal in Indian cuisine.

How Do You Soften Chana Dal?

Put lentils into a bowl. The chana dal should then be covered with water and soaked for one hour. For a quicker alternative, soak lentils in hot (not boiling) water for 20 minutes.

Is Dal Tadka And Dal Fry the Same?

Dal fry refers to lentils with fried seasoning (tadka). In Hindi, this is also referred to as chaunk. Tadka is a method of cooking in which a meal is seasoned with spices, chili, and garlic, and fried in hot oil or ghee. Therefore, it is often referred to as Dal fry.

Why Chana Is Soaked Before Cooking?

Soaking lentils boosts the body’s mineral absorption rate. Soaking the dal for some time activates an enzyme called phytase. Phytase aids in phytic acid breakdown and aids in binding calcium, iron, and zinc. The process of absorption is greatly facilitated by this.

Is Gram Lentil Good For Weight Loss?

Not only consuming gram lentils is beneficial for weight loss, but it is also an excellent source of nutrients for diabetics. This is due to the grain’s high fiber content, which assists in the release of glucose into the bloodstream and maintains blood sugar levels.

Other Vegan Indian Recipes 

  1. Daal Makhni
  2. Coconut Chickpea Curry
  3. Gram Flour Flatbread
  4. Tamarind Chutney
  5. Cauliflower Coconut Stew

Chana daal fry recipe in a saucepan on a white net background

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Gram Lentil Fried (Chana Daal Fry) in silver pot

Gram Lentil Fried (Chana Daal Fry)

One of the healthiest Indian recipes, chana daal fry is simple to make at home with readily available everyday ingredients and spices.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Gram Lentil Fried (Chana Daal Fry)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 329kcal


  • 1 pound lentils
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 2 green chilis or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon frenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Rinse, wash and soak the gram lentils for about 2 hours.
  • Boil the lentils enough soft that they retain their shape and reserve the remaining water!
  • In a pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add onions along with roasted cumin seeds! and cook until onion is soft about 3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and green chilies.
  • Fry the veggies a bit until the tomatoes are a bit soft and add boiled lentils along with spices.
  • . Fry the lentils and masala for about a minute and add the reserved water from the boiled lentils.
  • Cover and simmer until the water evaporates.
  • After the water is evaporated, give the lentils a good mix and top it off with some fresh ginger and coriander!


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 819mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 6mg