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Protein alert! Lentils are a great source of protein and with the Indian masalas it is marriage made in heaven. I have gone with the concoction of urad daal (black lentils) and chana daal (split Bengal gram) here. This is a very healthy and lush dish and best known as maa chole/ maa chana daal in Punjab, it is a perfect meal when combined with rice/roti or parantha or even as a soup/stew on busy days when you do not intend to spend much time in the kitchen. A very regular daal in North Indian households, it tastes best with cut raw red onions or pickled onions and mango pickle.


  • 1 cup black gram or lentils/urad dal
  • 1/2 cup split bengal gram/chana dal
  • 4 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 2 tbsp butter/oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida/hing
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • salt, as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp cream (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped finely, for garnish


  • Rinse and soak both the dals in hot water for at least 30 mins.-1 hour.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the butter/oil and cumin seeds until they split. Add asafoetida, bay leaves, onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook for a further few minutes until the aroma disappears.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander cumin powder and cook till the tomatoes become soft. Stir in the dals with water and pressure cook for 15-20 mins. until both the dals are cooked.
  • Once cooked, add more water as required. Add garam masala, simmer for a few more minutes until all combined well and mash some of the cooked lentils while the dal is simmering.
  • Garnish with some coriander leaves and cream. Serve it hot with some roti/paratha or rice.
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