This Lauki Chana Dal is a nutritious and healthy dal recipe prepared with Bottle Gourd (aka Lauki, Dudhi, or Ghiya), lentils, and a few spices, making it a perfect dish for a wholesome lunch or busy weeknights. Lauki Chana Dal sabzi is an easy one pot Punjabi style dish that can be prepared in an Instant Pot or traditional Indian pressure cooker in under 30 minutes. Vegan, Gluten-free.
Traditionally, Lauki and chana dal are cooked in a stovetop pressure cooker or pot and finished with a tempering (tadka). Today I am sharing a one-pot Bottle Gourd Lentil Curry made in the Instant Pot with an extra ghee tadka added at the end.
This Lauki chana dal is an easy and healthy recipe that goes very well with roti or chapati and rice. I make this dal quite often at home. I make similar varieties of dal with vegetables like Zucchini dal, Butternut Squash Dal, Ridge-gourd Dal, and Raw Mango dal.
Health Benefits of Bottle Gourd & Chana Dal
Bottle gourd has always been one of the healthiest vegetables. This vegetable is full of water, about 92%, and has minerals to keep your body hydrated. It also helps in weight loss, cools your body, helps in digestion, helps in treating sleeping disorders.
Chana dal ( known as split chickpeas or Bengal gram) is an excellent source of plant protein and is diabetic-friendly as it has a low glycemic index of around 8.
Lauki Dal Ingredients
- Lauki (bottle gourd): I used 1 medium lauki, about 500 grams (approximately 3 cups). Wash the Bottle Gourd, peel the skin, discard any seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces else small lauki pieces will get mashed in the pressure cooker. Lauki is easily available in any Indian grocery or Asian store.
- Chana Dal: Soak chana dal for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours because chana dal takes longer to cook compared to lauki.
- Green chilies: I have used two green Thai chilies.
- Ginger and garlic: I have used minced ginger and garlic.
- Onion: I have used finely chopped onions for this recipe for the base. You can prefer to skip it if you are making lauki chana dal recipe without onion garlic.
- Tomatoes: I have used Roma tomatoes.
- Oil: Use any vegetable cooking oil.
- Dry spices: I have used turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala. You can increase or decrease the spices according to your choice.
- Coriander leaves: I have used coriander leaves for garnish.
How to make Lauki Chana Dal in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Firstly, soak the chana dal in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside. Chana dal takes a longer time to cook than lauki. Soaking it softens it and makes sure that both the dal and lauki are evenly cooked in the instant pot.
Wash Bottle Gourd, peel the skin, deseed, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Make sure to cut the lauki into larger chunks to keep their shape in the dal when pressure is cooked.
Press Saute on Instant Pot. Add oil, and once it’s hot, add cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Then add asafetida, minced ginger-garlic, green chili, and saute for 15 secs.
Add onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Then add in the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, lauki, soaked lentils or dal, salt, water, and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage.
Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes.
Lastly, squeeze some lime juice, add garam masala and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well.
Note on the consistency:
If dal has more liquid, try to boil it for a few more minutes and vaporize the water. In case you pressure cook for more time, lauki will get mushy. I suggest pressure cooking for about 7-8 minutes.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method
Follow the same steps as above. Just cook the lauki chana dal on a stovetop pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles on medium flame. Rest all the steps remain the same.
Stovetop Pot Method
Soak the chana dal for 3-4 hours. Cook covered in a pot for 30-35 minutes on medium flame. Lentils must be soft and nicely cooked. Cook the bottle gourd soft in a separate pot.
Follow the step by step process, prepare the tempering, cook onion tomato base, and assemble with cooked chana dal and lauki.
Tips & Variations
- Chana dal requires a longer cooking time so soaking in enough water for 30 minutes is recommended.
- Dice the lauki into larger chunks to retain their shape in the dal after pressure cooking.
- You can also replace the bottle gourd with zucchini or pumpkin.
- You can also add cubed potato or other veggies into this curry along with lauki.
- Dal Tadka – Dal prepared with split pigeon peas lentils, assorted spices
- Chana Dal Fry - Dal prepared with split chickpeas lentils, assorted spices
- Green Lentil Soup – lentil soup made with green lentils, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and Indian spices
- Whole green moong dal – Dal cooked with whole mung beans
- Spinach Dal / Palak Dal – Dhal cooked with spinach leaves
- Panchmel dal – dal prepared with five varieties of lentils
- Red Lentils/Masoor dal - Dal prepared with red lentils
If you love Lentils & Beans and looking for more Instant Pot Indian Recipes? Then here are my 22+ Instant Pot lentils & Beans Recipes you must try.
Lauki Chana Dal Recipe - Pressure Cooker
Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml
- 1 cup Chana Dal (Bengal gram) soaked for ½ hour
- 2 cups water for soaking dal
- 500 grams lauki (bottle gourd) peeled, de-seeded and chopped about 1 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic minced
- 2 green chillies finely chopped
- 1.5 cups water for cooking
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- salt to taste
- Soak the chana dal in cold water for at-least 30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside. Chana dal takes a longer time to cook than lauki. Soaking it softens it and makes sure that both the dal and lauki are evenly cooked in the instant pot.
- Wash Bottle Gourd, peel the skin, dee-seed and cut into 1 inch pieces. Make sure to cut the lauki into larger chunks so they keep their shape in the dal when pressure cooked.
Instant Pot Method:
- Press Saute on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it’s hot add cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Add asafetida, minced ginger garlic, chopped green chili and saute for 15 secs. Then add chopped onion. Saute till onions turn light brown in color.
- Add tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn soft, takes 2-3 minutes.
- Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, lauki, soaked lentils or dal, salt, water and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes (Wait until silver button on lid drops).
- Squeeze some lime juice, add garam masala and garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro). Mix well.
- Lauki Chana Dal is ready, you can also add extra tempering(tadka) and serve hot with boiled rice, quinoa or roti.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method:
- Follow the same process mentioned above for instant pot.Give 3-4 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.
Tips & Variations
- Chana dal requires longer cooking time. Soaking in enough water for 30 minutes is recommend.
- Chop the lauki into larger chunks to retain their shape in the dal after pressure cooked.
- You can replace bottle gourd with zucchini or pumpkin.
- You can add potato cubes or other veggies into this curry along with lauki.