Chana dal (also known as gram dal or split Bengal gram) is a popular Indian dal made from black chickpeas, an Indian variety of chickpea, which are hulled and split. In both its uncooked and cooked state chana dal is a rich yellow-orange in colour. It retains its shape when cooked, resulting in a dal with a distinctive texture.
Pre-soak chana dal for an hour before cooking, as this speeds up the cooking time. When cooked, chana dal has a pleasant nutty sweetness to it. Use it to make a classic dal, flavouring it once cooked with spices, ginger and garlic fried briefly in ghee. Pour the spiced ghee mixture over the cooked chana dal to enrich it and give it extra flavour.