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Instant Pot Chana dal Recipe (Split Chickpeas Soup)

Chana Dal is an easy Indian lentil recipe prepared with Chana Dal, assorted spices cooked in Instant pot pressure cooker or traditional Indian pressure cooker under 30 minutes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chana dal, healthy, instant pot lentils
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 195kcal
Author Bhavana Patil


Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml

  • 1 cup chana dal (bengal gram) soaked in hot water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic minced
  • 1 green chili slit lengthwise
  • 2 cups water for cooking
  • 2 tablespoons oil (or ghee)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • juice of half lime
  • salt to taste


Extra Tempering (Optional)


Instant Pot Method:

  • Soak the chana dal in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil, and once it's hot, add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
    step to saute cumin seeds collage
  • Add minced ginger-garlic, green chili, and onions. Saute till onions turn light brown.
    step to saute onion ginger garlic collage
  • Next, add tomatoes, dry spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt, and cook till tomatoes turn soft, which takes 2-3 minutes.
    step to cook tomatoes with spices collage
  • Then add soaked lentils, water and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage. Also, deglaze the pot, i.e., make sure there is no food particle sticking to the pot to avoid burn alerts.
    step to add chana dal and water collage
  • Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
  • Squeeze some lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro). Mix well. Add ½ cup of water to adjust the dal consistency if required.
    chana dal in the instant pot insert with a spoon garnished with cilantro
  • Instant Pot 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 steps from the instant pot instructions. Give 3-4 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.

Stovetop Pot Method

  • Just soak the chana dal for 3-4 hours and then boil it in a large pot for 25-30 minutes or until soft.
    After the lentils are cooked, prepare the tempering. Then saute onion-tomato-ginger-garlic paste and then assemble the dal. 


I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT.

Tips & Variations:

  1. Don’t skip out on soaking the chana dal for at least 15-20 minutes – Chana dal takes a longer time to cook. Soaking softens the lentils and cooks faster.
  2. If dal has more liquid, then you can boil it for few minutes and vaporize the water.
  3. You can also add bottle gourd, zucchini, or pumpkin to this dal.
  4. For a variation, you can also make this dal by skipping onion, ginger, and tomatoes.
  5. Vegan Variation: Skip ghee and use the oil of your choice.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg