Lauki Chana Dal

5 from 5 votes

Lauki Chana Dal is a delicious and nutritious combination of lauki (bottle gourd), chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), and a few spices. Make this Indian lentil curry in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker for your everyday meals (vegetarian, can be easily made vegan and gluten-free).

Lauki chana dal served in a bowl.
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About Lauki Chana Dal

Lauki Chana Dal is a popular North Indian lentil curry prepared with lauki (bottle gourd), chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), and a few everyday spices.

It is a great recipe to make in summer, as the bottle gourd provides the much-needed hydration due to its high water content, and chana dal provides the protein that keeps you full for longer.

This healthy, easy, fuss-free lentil curry can be made in an instant pot or a traditional stovetop pressure cooker.

This lauki chana dal recipe is vegetarian and can be easily made vegan and gluten-free.

It can also be easily doubled or tripled. I used my 3-quart instant pot (or a 3-liter pressure cooker), but if you want to scale the recipe, use a bigger instant pot or pressure cooker. The cooking time will remain the same.

Here are some more lauki recipes you can often make at home

Ingredients

Lauki chana dal ingredients 1
Lauki chana dal ingredients 2
Lauki chana dal ingredients 3

Lauki – Lauki, also known as ghiya, doodhi, or bottle gourd is one of those vegetables easily available in the local Indian grocery store throughout the year. Pick up the one which is pale green in color, firm, light in weight, and tender with fewer seeds.

Chana Dal – Chana dal or Bengal gram lentils is high in protein. Make sure to soak it in water for better cooking.

Ghee – I prefer to prepare this dal ghee for a richer taste. If you want the recipe to be vegan, you can use vegetable oil instead.

Others – You will also need turmeric powder, salt, onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and tomatoes.

Adjust the green chillies as per your taste.

For Tempering – Temper the chana dal with ghee, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, and asafetida (hing). You can avoid adding asafetida to make it gluten-free.

I also like to garnish it with freshly chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) for a refreshing taste.

How To Make Lauki Chana Dal

Preparation

Wash 1 cup chana dal with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear.

Soak it in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes.

Note – Soaking the chana dal is important; otherwise, it will take longer to cook than the lauki, and the lauki will get mushy.

Soaked chana dal.

Peel a small-sized lauki using a vegetable peeler. You need 10.5 oz (300 g) of cubed lauki.

Wash the peeled lauki and cut it into 1-inch cubes. If there are large seeds, discard them by cutting the portion with the seeds lengthwise. Set the cubed lauki aside.

Gather the remaining ingredients.

Cook The Dal

In An Instant Pot

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.

Once it says HOT, add 2 tablespoon ghee.

Ghee added to instant pot.

Once the ghee is hot, add ½ cup chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they turn light brown, stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pot.

Add

  • 2 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes

and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Ginger, garlic, green chilies and tomatoes added to the pot.

Now, add the cubed lauki and cook for a minute.

Lauki added to the pot.

Drain the water from the chana dal and add the dal to the pot along with

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ½ cups of water

and stir well.

Soaked dal, salt and turmeric powder added to the pot.
Water added to the pot.

Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes at High Pressure. The instant pot will take some time to build up the pressure and start the timer (10-12 minutes).

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot.

Cooked dal.

Add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 1 tablespoon lime juice and stir the dal gently.

Garam masala powder and lime juice aded to the pot.

Add more water if the dal is thick.

Check for salt and add more if required.

In A Traditional Stovetop Pressure Cooker

To make the dal in a traditional pressure cooker, pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Then, set the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally before opening the lid. Add more water if the dal is thick.

Add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 1 tablespoon lime juice and stir the dal gently.

Temper The Dal

Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a small pan over medium-high heat. 

Once the ghee is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon asafetida and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds. 

Cumin seeds and asafetida added to hot ghee.

Remove the pan from heat. Add 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and immediately pour the tempering over the cooked dal.

Red chili powder added to the pan.

Stir gently.

Tempering poured over the dal.

Tip – Keep some tempering to garnish the dal.

Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Ready lauki chana dal garnished with chopped cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make vegan lauki and chana dal?

Replace ghee with any cooking oil to make this dal vegan.

How to make gluten-free chana lauki dal?

Skip adding asafetida to make a gluten-free version of this lentil curry.

Variations

You can make this dal with different vegetables like tinda (apple gourd), palak (spinach), or methi (fenugreek leaves), etc.

You can replace lauki with zucchini.

Chana dal can be replaced with moong dal, toor dal, or masoor dal.

Some crushed and fried Punjabi dal wadi can also be added to this dal.

Add some Achari Masala Powder, goda masala, malvani masala, sambar masala powder, rasam powder, or meat masala for a taste change.

You can also add other Indian spices like coriander powder and cumin powder to spice up the dal.

Serving Suggestions

Lauki chana dal can be served with a dry sabzi and phulka for a wholesome lunch.

It also tastes great with other Indian bread such as Plain Tawa Paratha, Lachha Paratha, Missi Roti, jowar roti, etc.

I also enjoy this dal with steamed rice, brown rice, Jeera Rice, or lightly spiced pulao. Do not forget to serve roasted papad and some sliced onions on the side.

Storage Suggestions

Chana Lauki Dal can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving again. If you feel it has become thick after refrigerating, add hot water and adjust the consistency.

You Might Also Like

Lauki Chana Dal is a delicious and nutritious combination of lauki (bottle gourd), chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), and a few spices. Make this Indian lentil curry for your everyday meals and serve it with rice or roti (vegetarian, can be easily made vegan and gluten-free).
5 from 5 votes

Lauki Chana Dal Recipe

Lauki Chana Dal is a delicious and nutritious combination of lauki (bottle gourd), chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), and a few spices. Make this Indian lentil curry for your everyday meals and serve it with rice or roti.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (use oil for vegan)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green chili
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 10.5 ounces lauki (bottle gourd, doodhi) (300 g, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, If there are large seeds, then discard them by cutting the portion with the seeds lengthwise. Set the cubed lauki aside.)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 and ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For Tempering

  • 2 tablespoons ghee (use oil for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
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Instructions 

Preparation

  • Wash chana dal with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
  • Soak it in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes.
  • Note – Soaking the chana dal is important otherwise it will take more time to cook as compared to the lauki and lauki will get mushy.
  • Gather the remaining ingredients.

Cook The Dal

    In An Instant Pot

    • Press SAUTE button on the instant pot.
    • Once it says HOT, add ghee.
    • Once the ghee is hot, add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they turn light brown, stirring frequently.
    • Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, and tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    • Now, add the lauki and cook for a minute.
    • Drain the water from the chana dal and add the dal to the pot along with turmeric powder, salt, and 2 and ½ cups of water and stir well.
    • Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
    • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 12 minutes at High Pressure. The instant pot will take some to build up the pressure and start the timer (10-12 minutes).
    • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
    • Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot.
    • Add garam masala powder and lime juice and stir the dal gently.
    • Add more water if the dal is thick.
    • Check for salt and add more if required.

    In A Traditional Stovetop Pressure Cooker

    • To make the dal in a traditional pressure cooker, pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Then set the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes.
    • Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally before opening the lid. Add more water if the dal is thick.
    • Add garam masala powder and lime juice and stir the dal gently.

    Temper The Dal

    • Heat ghee in a small pan over medium-high heat. 
    • Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and asafetida and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds. 
    • Remove the pan from heat. Add chili powder and immediately pour the tempering over the cooked dal.
    • Stir gently.
    • Tip – Keep some tempering to garnish the dal.
    • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. I used my 3-quart instant pot (or a 3-liter pressure cooker) but if you want to scale the recipe, then use a bigger instant pot or pressure cooker. The time of cooking will remain the same.
    Adjust the green chilies as per your taste.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 335kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 597mg, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 295IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 4.7mg
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