Lahori chanay ki daal

Try this version of chanay ki daal for a taste of the street-food stalls of Lahore in Pakistan – black cardamom helps mimic a coal-smoked taste

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:45 mins
    plus soaking
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 442
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 45g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 15g
  • protein 21g
  • salt 0.1g


  • 350g chana daal
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 black cardamom (optional)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2in piece of ginger, peeled
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 red chilli powder or Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek) (optional)
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1⁄2in piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 tsp chaat masala (optional)


  1. Wash and soak the chana daal for about 30 mins. Tip into a large pan, pour over 2 litres of water and boil over a medium heat for 20 mins, until soft but not falling apart or mushy. Add a little more water if it dries up. Drain any remaining water.

  2. Warm the oil and ghee in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Add the cumin seeds and black cardamom, and cook briefly for about 15-20 seconds. Tip in the onion and cook until it turns golden, then lower the heat to low-medium and keep stirring for 5 mins.

  3. Add the garlic and ginger, fry until for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.

  4. Add the tomato purée, a splash of water, the turmeric, a good pinch of salt and the red chilli powder. Fry for about 2 mins, stirring, until the water has reduced completely.

  5. Tip in the cooked lentils and pour in 150ml of water. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring regularly to avoid burning the bottom.

  6. Stir in the kasuri methi if using, then cover and cook for about 2-3 mins more. Serve with the chopped chilli, coriander, julienned ginger and chaat masala scattered over, if you like.

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