chana dhal

Chana dahl (chickpea curry)

A warm and moderately spicy vegetable curry - great on its own, or as a side dish.

Adjust the spice levels to your taste. Adding more chilli will increase the heat. For a mild version, leave out the chilli powder and add a little more paprika.

Use kidney beans instead of chickpeas for an interesting swap of texture and colours.

Difficulty level: Beginner

Serves: 4 people

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


Typical values per serving:
817kJ, 196kcals | Fats 9g | Saturated fats 0.7g | Carbohydrates 19g | Sugars 7.6g | Protein 6.5g | Salt 0.21g | Fibre 5.6g


2 medium onion - chopped

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

400g chopped tinned tomatoes

1 tin chickpeas - canned in water, drained

1 pinch salt

1 small bunch fresh coriander

For the spice mix

1 tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander



  1. Prepare the spice mix for the curry. Add all the spices to a small bowl - bruise the cumin in the palm of your hand with your thumb before adding.

  2. Roughly chop onions into small pieces and add to a large pot with the oil. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they are golden brown. They should still be soft and not dry. Stir the onions as they cook to stop them burning and catching at the bottom of the pan. If the onions look like they are about to burn, add a teaspoon of tepid water into the pan and stir to reduce the temperature.

  3. Once the onions are cooked enough, reduce the heat slightly and add the spice mix to the pot. Cook whilst stirring for 2-3 minutes until the onions become fragrant and are coated in the spiced oil.

  4. Add the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer while stirring. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3-4 minutes until the oil separates from the tomatoes.

  5. Add the drained chickpeas and stir. Top the pot up with 400ml of hot water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the most of the liquid has been absorbed and the chickpeas are soft (with a little bite).

  6. Roughly chop the coriander, including the stalks, and stir into the curry.

  7. Serve immediately with steamed brown rice or couscous.