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Chana Dal Pulao

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

Looking for a fabulous recipe to wow your friends and family? Look no further than this Chana Dal Pulao.

While the ingredient list may seem exhaustive, the pulao is easy to make with the option of preparing a few components a day in advance. Like frying the Onions for the garnishing and cooking the lentils, which makes it very easy to assemble on the day when you want to cook the final dish.


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice

  • 1 cup Chana Dal

  • 3 Onions, finely sliced

  • ¼ cup dry apricots, chopped

  • ¼ cup raisins

  • ¼ cup cashewnuts

  • ½ cup chopped coriander

  • ½ cup chopped mint

  • 2 cups vegetable oil

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/3 cup warm milk with a pinch of saffron

  • 2 tbsp ghee

  • 1 tsp ginger paste

  • 1 tsp garlic paste

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 6 cardamoms

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sticks cinnamon

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • Salt to taste


  1. Lightly fry the cashews in a tsp of Ghee and keep aside.

  2. Pick & wash the lentils and soak them in water for 30 minutes. Boil in just 3 cups of water with salt and a pinch of turmeric, till tender but not mushy. Drain the water and keep aside

  3. Soak the rice for 30 minutes. Parboil in 5 cups of water with salt, 1 bay leaf, 3 cardamoms & 3 cloves till half done. Drain the water & spread the rice on a tray and keep aside.

  4. Soak apricots in water for 15 minutes, drain & chop into small bite-size pieces.

  5. In a pan, heat oil, fry half of the onions till golden brown, remove half, and keep aside. In another pan heat 1 tbsp of Oil, and add 3 cardamoms, Ginger, Garlic paste, and cumin seeds. Add the remaining onions and fry till translucent.

  6. Add the Chana Dal, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, apricots, raisins, and salt & mix well.

  7. Add the yogurt & gently mix everything on a low flame. Turn off the heat. Take a heavy-bottomed pan & coat it with Ghee. Spread half of the parboiled rice, add the lentil mixture over the rice, and some of the mint, coriander & lemon juice.

  8. Add with remaining rice, fried onions, mint, coriander, cashews, lemon juice, and the milk & saffron mix. Dot the rice with ghee, cover & cook for 15 mins on low flame. Serve hot.

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