Chana Dal Fry (Split Chickpeas)


nutty, earthy, split chickpeas cooked in a richly spiced sauté of tomatoes and onions

This dish is a classic in Indian cuisine. Split chickpeas are regular chickpeas with the husks removed and split down the middle. They provide a rich source of vegetarian friendly protein. Protein is broken down in the body to create amino acids that help maintain the tissues in your body. It is important to note that chickpeas are an incomplete protein, so they do not contain every essential amino acid that your body needs. It’s important to consume chickpeas with other protein sources like nuts, whole grains, dairy, eggs or meat to prevent an amino acid deficiency.

Chickpeas also provide a rich source of fiber, which helps keep your colon healthy as well as helps control blood sugar levels. Because fiber digests slowly in our bodies, it allows sugar to move more slowly from our digestive tract to our blood stream. Therefore, you would less likely experience a blood sugar spike or feel a crash after a sugar high subsides. Lastly, consuming chickpeas significantly boost your intake of manganese and folate. Manganese is supportive towards bone development and wound healing as well as an important factor carrying out chemical reactions in our bodies. Folate aids in cell growth, brain cell communication, and protects our cells against cancer mutations. Throw a handful or two into your next salad, make into a hummus dip, or enjoy this flavorful chana dal recipe!

Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)


1 cup split chickpeas
3 ½ cups water
1 large onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp red chili flakes
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 to 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste (depending on your desired consistency)
Salt to taste
1 tbs olive oil

For Tempering:
½ tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafetida (hing)

1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp red chili powder
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Soak the split chickpeas for 1 hour or overnight. Drain and combine with 3 ½ cups water in a saucepan. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes on medium heat.
  2. While that is cooking, in a medium saucepan on medium heat add 1tbs olive oil, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 1 minute then add onions, tomatoes, coriander, paprika red chili flakes, and turmeric. Let the tomatoes and onions reduce and cook all the way through, then add this mixture to the cooking split chickpeas.
  3. Add in the tomato paste and mix. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, until the split chickpeas are soft and tender. Simmer until desired tenderness and consistency. When done, add salt to taste.
  4. Tempering: Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and cook until they become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the asafetida and mix.
  5. Add this tempering mixture, the garam masala, red chili powder, and ½ of the fresh cilantro to the simmering split chickpeas and mix. Taste and adjust for salt and spices.
  6. Take off heat and garnish with the remainder of cilantro.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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