Urad-Chana Dal is a simple, quick, and delicious Instant Pot recipe. This Urad-Chana Dal's luscious, creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture will make this your favorite Dal recipe. Its refreshing deep yellow color is very appetizing to the eyes and palate, and it is cooked using everyday, basic spices making it light on the tummy, which makes you crave it more often. To add an extra punch, top it with freshly made hot tadka. The aroma of fresh tadka and the sizzling sound of it makes this recipe even more divine.
Urad-Chana Dal is a dal recipe made of a mix of two lentils, Skinned Urad Dal (Black Gram lentils) and Chana Dal (Bengal gram lentils). It is a popular dish in India's northern and western regions, especially in Rajasthani households, accompanied by Missi Roti, Tikka, Bajra Roti, or Makka ke Dhokle (Cornmeal Dumplings). Try this recipe for a healthy, hearty dal or lentil soup rich in protein and fiber.
The Difference Between Urad-Chana Dal and Maa Chole ke Dal
Don't confuse this recipe with Maa chole ki dal. In the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, a similar version of this dal is popular as Maa Chole ki Dal. Black whole Urad is known as Maa or Maah in the Punjab region, Chole is whole black Chana, and Chana Dal is dehusked split black Chana. The difference between Maa Chole ki dal is that this recipe calls for split black Urad dal(with skin), whereas, in the Urad-Chana dal recipe, we are supposed to use dehusked split Urad dal (without skin, the whiter version of Urad dal).
This lentil combination gives this dal its unique look, texture, and taste. The creaminess of dehusked urad dal and chana dal's little bite and nutty flavor makes it unique and delicious.
Can Urad Gota lentils be Used Instead of Split?
Dehusked split Urad dal is what we use to make Urad-Chana Dal. My encounter with Urad Gota lentils is very recent. I never saw Urad Gota in my mom's kitchen, so I had yet to learn this version of Urad dal also existed. At Indian grocery stores in the USA, I first encountered this newer version (for me) and bought it to try it out of curiosity. Since now, I have tried both versions of dehusked Urad dal, which are Gota(whole) and split; I can assure you, you can use either of them in this recipe without making any changes in cooking time.
Popular Uses of Dehusked Urad Lentils
Some popular north-Indian urad dal delicacies are dahi vada, papad, Khasta Bedai, Urad dal kachori, Sukhi Urad Dal, urad dal ke ladoo. Dal-makhani is a very popular festive lentil made from the whole Black Urad. In southern India, it is one of the main ingredients of the famous South Indian dish of Idli-Dosa batter, medu-vada, and Urad dal Bonde.
Urad Chana Dal Health Benefits
- Urad (black gram) is also rich in iron, which helps boost energy levels. Adding urad dal to your regular diet can help you feel more energetic throughout the day.
- Urad and chana dal consists of soluble and insoluble fibers, which help the digestive system, making it a good laxative.
- That is why these Urad beans and lentils are consumed all across India in different forms as part of a staple diet.
How to Make Urad-Chana Dal
You can cook this Urad-Chana dal on the stovetop in thick bottomed cooking pot/dutch oven, a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, or the new age electric pressure cookers like an Instant Pot. I used to make this dal in a stovetop pressure cooker but now prefer cooking it in Instant Pot. If you cook this dal in the slow cooker or Dutch Oven, remember it will take longer. I have never cooked in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, so I can't tell how long it will take; you can experiment with it. If you use a slow cooker or Dutch oven, let me know, and I'll update to post with the required information.
Start by washing and soaking these lentils for stovetop and slow cooker cooking. Prepare a base of ginger, green chili, onion tomato masala with Indian spices, add washed lentils, and cook and simmer until it gets soft and creamy. It thickens as it cooks/sits, so adjust consistency with water as needed.
How to Make Urad Chana Dal in an Instant Pot
Urad Chana Dal takes 15 minutes to set up in an Instant Pot and requires only a few everyday ingredients, most of which may be readily available in your pantry.
- Set an Instant Pot on Saute mode, heat the ghee/oil, and add asafetida and cumin seeds. Let the seeds splutter, add cloves, green chili, and ginger, and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add diced onions and saute until they are translucent, and then add the tomatoes and saute them until they are soft.
- Add all the spices except the garam masala and lemon juice and mix all, then add previously washed lentils to the Instant Pot and water (add 3-4 times the volume of the lentils). Mix it all.
- Press Cancel on the Instant Pot and close the lid with the vent in a sealed position. Press Manual or Pressure Cook mode with the timer set for 2 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. The Urad-Chana Dal starts cooking as soon as you hit the pressure cook button, so the total cook time is the time to build up the pressure and the time while the pressure is released.
- Add the garam masala and lemon juice and sprinkle some cilantro when the float valve pops down and the pressure is released.
- For the extra punch, top it with hot sizzling tadka.
How to Store Leftover Dal
To enjoy most this Urad-Chana Dal, cook it fresh. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to reheat it well. To enhance the flavor of leftover dal, top it with a fresh ghee jeera tadka.
This dal is also freezer friendly; you can cook and freeze it in the freezer for a couple of months. Transfer the frozen dal to the fridge a day before using it. Reheat the thaw dal well, and to rejuvenate the freshness, top it with fresh tadka.
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- Rajasthani Bati (Unleavened Bread)
Urad Chana Dal
- ⅓ cup Bengal gram lentil Chana dal– ⅓ cup
- ⅔ cup Black gram lentil Split Urad dal – ⅔ cup
- 250 g Tomato 2 finely diced
- 200 g Onion 1 medium size finely diced
- 20 g Ginger 1 inch piece grated
- 5 g Green chilies 3 to 4 chopped or slit
- 15 g Cilantro Handful chopped
- 2 teaspoon Oil Clarified butter or Ghee preferred – 2 tbs
- 1 tablespoon Lime – juice of 1 to 2 limes
- 3- 4 cup Water can be varied depending on desired consistency
- Start the instant pot on SAUTE mode and heat the ghee/oil.
- Add asafetida and cumin seeds and let the seeds splutter.
- Then add cloves, green chili, and ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
- Now add diced onion. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Next, add tomatoes and saute until soft and mushy.
- Add all the spices except garam masala and lemon juice and mix them.
- Wash the lentils for 3-4 water extracts and then add them to the cooking pot.
- Add water 3-4 times the volume of lentils using the same measuring cup and give it a good stir before closing the lid.
- Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK mode for 2 minutes and let the pressure release naturally(NR)
- When the float valve pops down, open the lid, add garam masala and, lemon juice and, chopped cilantro.
- Urad-chana dal is ready to be served. For an extra rich look and flavors, add additional tadka on the top.