Chana Dal – Indian spiced dal with greens (vegan, gluten free)

Chana Dal – Indian spiced dal with greens (vegan, gluten free)

This chana dal is the perfect hug in a bowl when you fancy something comforting and filling. Cooking the greens with the dal creates a lovely soft texture while retaining all of the goodness! It may seem like this recipe takes a while to make but the hands on work is only about 20 minutes then you just need to keep an eye on the dal as it simmers. It also freezes beautifully making a perfect easy weekday dinner! I am a big fan of creating recipes I can double up and freeze well as there is nothing better when you are feeling tired than a home cooked meal ready in minutes!

The creamy thick texture of the dal works perfectly with rice or bread, but is equally tasty eaten on its own as a soup. What is amazing about dal is that you can make it exactly how you like it – if its a bit thick add some water and if its too runny keep simmering – it’s impossible to mess it up! I like my dal pretty thick so I can mop it up with some homemade gluten free Indian bread but its also delicious runny over a bowl of rice.

If you love curry as much as I do my spinach and chickpeas curry is one of my all time favourites and a weekly staple in our house. Sunny is a massive tofu fan and her favourite curry is my saag tofu paneer which is creamy and delicious! Or create a vegan Indian banquet and cook all three!


Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1-2 chillies
  • 200g tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 200g spring greens / collard greens


  1. Rinse the dal and add to a saucepan with the turmeric, pinch of salt and about 5 cups of water. Bring to the boil and add the chopped spring greens. Simmer partly covered for 45-60 minutes. Keep stirring every now and again, you will need to stir more frequently towards the end as the dal thickens. Add water as needed 1/2 a cup at a time
  2. While the dal is cooking finely chop the onion and cook on a low heat in olive oil for around ten minutes
  3. Add the cumin seeds and turn the heat up until fragrant
  4. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry stirring continually for a minute
  5. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the pan with the garam masala and chilli powder and cook until soft
  6. When the dal is ready add the tomato mix and stir well. Taste and adjust the salt if needed
  7. Lovely served with rice or breadΒ  and garnished with fresh coriander and chilli


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