Chana Dal with Ghiya

A little birdie told us, some of our UK friends are observing “National Vegetarian Week” from May 15 to 21st. Since many of our nearest and dearest observe vegetarian week every week of the year, we had to share a family favourite vegetarian dish with all of you.

This is a traditional Punjabi dish that is a favourite of both Quidee’s father and daughter … and maybe also her blog partner. Wink wink. It is a mash of chana dal and ghiya tempered with garlic, chilies, ginger, tomato and spices. You may be more familiar with “Chana Dal” as “Split chick peas” or “Ghiya” as “Bottle Gourd”. If you still can’t find these ingredients in your area, you can try using lentils and zucchini instead, the taste may vary slightly but the result should still be delicious.Chanadal

This is clean meal packed with fibre, fresh vegetables, and is a decent source of protein. Serve it up with a side of rice or chapati. Yogurt or raita make a great accompaniment to cut the heat.

Chana Dal with Ghiya

Makes about 6 portions, and takes approximately 1 hour to prepare.


2 ½ cups Chana Dal (Split Chick Peas)
500g Ghiya (Bottle Gourd)
6 cups Water
1 ½ tbsp. Salt
2 tsp. Turmeric
½ bulb. Garlic
40g Ginger (about 2 inches)
1 Red Onion
¼ cup Mustard Oil
1 ½ tsp. Cumin Seed
1 tsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1 Large Tomato
3 Green Chilies (Optional)


  • Peel, quarter and slice the guard into ½ slices.
  • Rinse the dal.
  • In deep pot or a pressure cooker, add the dal, guard, water, salt and turmeric.
    • If using a pot bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until the dal is tender.
    • If using a pressure cooker, heat on high until the cooker begins to whistle. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Finely dice the onion, ginger and garlic.APC_0434
  • In a wok or deep skillet, heat the oil on high heat.
  • Add the cumin seed, garlic and ginger to the wok and sauté about 3 minutes.APC_0435
  • Add the onion to the wok, stir to combine then cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Dice the tomato.
  • To the wok, add the garam masala, chili powder, the tomato and the chilies (if desired)
  • Stir and cover, simmer for 5 minutes.APC_0436
  • With a mixing spin or ladle, gently mash some of the gourd and the dal.
  • Carefully add the dal and gourd mixture to the wok.
  • Stir to combine.



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