Lauki Chana Dal is a North Indian comfort food. I’ve learnt to make this in the past few years, and now it’s a regular dish in my kitchen. It’s a good variation from the Lau Chingri, something I cook often. Chana dal is our favourite in any form, we love this dish, especially for its rustic taste, and it’s not the kind of dal we always cook in Bengali households. That being said, it can be consumed with roti and rice both. It’s a very easy to cook lentil based sabji, and the recipe varies a bit from home to home. I’m sharing my version here, the way I love to cook this for my family. Hope you’ll enjoy cooking it too. 🙂
Lauki Chana Dal
- Chana dal/Bengal gram/Cholar dal- 1 cup
- Bottle gourd/ Lauki/ Lau- 1 small sized
- Onion- 1 medium sized (thinly sliced)
- Tomato- 1 (finely chopped)
- Garlic paste- ½ tsp
- Ginger paste- 1 tsp
- Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
- Kashmiri mirch powder- ½ tsp
- Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
- Green chillies- 2 (cut into halves)
- Mustard oil- 3-4 tbsp
- Hing/asafoetida – One fat pinch
- Whole dry red chili- 1 (broken into pieces)
- Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
Wash and soak chana dal for minimum 3-4 hours or more. Drain the water and keep aside.
Peel the Lauki (bottle gourd), wash thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a cooker. Temper with all the ingredients mentioned ‘for tempering’. Add sliced onions, sauté on medium heat until light brown in color. Next to add ginger-garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, green chillies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri mirch powder and salt. Mix well and sauté for a minute. Add soaked chana dal into this. Mix briefly with the masala, and cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring in between. Now add 1¼ cup of water into this. The water level should be 1” higher than the dal while pouring the water adjust accordingly. Close the cooker lid and pressure cook with 2 whistles. Open the lid after the pressure has reduced. Add the cubed pieces of Lauki now, adjust the water (remember this dal should be on a thicker side, not watery). Mix, close the cooker lid and cook further for 2 whistles (read note). Open the lid after the pressure disappears, check salt and garnish with coriander leaves.
Your Lauki Chana Dal is ready. Serve hot with Roti, Phulkas or Rice. Enjoy!
Adjust the cooker whistles according to the tenderness of Lauki. North Indian veggies take a bit longer time to cook thoroughly. But, if you’re getting young bottle gourds 1 whistle would be enough to cook them. Bits and pieces of bottle gourd should be visible in this dal, keep that in mind.