Mama’s Punjabi Recipes – Chane di Daal di Parantha (Chana Daal Parantha)


In most Indian homes there are always plenty of left over vegetable dishes, and especially some daal because it usually made in large amounts in a saucepan. Cooked daal of all sorts is so easy to keep, even in warm weather as it can be left in a pot for a day or two. Also, daal has a tendency to get thicker when kept a day or two and tastes even better.
But sometimes when you are tired of eating daal just by itself with roti, this little recipe using chana daal can add an unusual twist to it and provide a different taste. Try making a nice, crispy, hot Punjabi parantha coated with a dab of olive oil and notice the difference. This is a type of parantha that is rooted in the folk recipes of rural Punjab and is not normally made in most Punjabi homes in the city.

Chana daal is also known as chickpea daal and is very special to Indian cuisine as it can be ground and used for many purposes. When the chickpeas (also known as garbanzos) are dried either on the stalk or roasted dry, they can be ground into a powder called besan or gram flour which is high in carbohydrates and has more protein than other flours. Chane are produced by removing the outer layer of the kala chana (black chickpea) and then splitting the kernel.

When making chana daal paranthas, you have to be careful how you make the dough pudde (balls) and then how you roll the balls into a flat pancake. Be careful not to make the pancake too thin as it will hard to pick it up and also the flour will tear. Also, be careful when turning the parantha while cooking as the weight of the daal can cause the bread to rip open.

This parantha goes well with plain yogurt, achaar (pickles) or if the daal is spicy enough, with a plain piece of raw onion, eaten the country-folk way!

2 cups chana daal (split chickpea daal)
4 cups pani (water)
1 cup atta (unbleached wheat flour)
2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil – to make the parantha soft
Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), garam masala, dhania (coriander) powder

1.Wash the chana daal to remove any dirt. Place in a saucepan and pour in the 4 cups of water, adding 2 teaspoons of salt. Place the saucepan on high heat, cover and bring to a boil for about 30 minutes or until it is firm but cooked.

2.Pour the water out of the saucepan through a sieve and collect the water for use in making the dough. The water is also very tasty and nutritious as a thin soup or broth; just add some pepper and a little bit of oil and then drink it. Collect the daal and let it cool down for 20 minutes.

3.After the daal has cooled down, mix in the pepper, garam masala, and dhania (coriander) powder. Do not add any salt as this time will make the daal shed water and ruin making the parantha.

4.Pour the flour into the bowl, add the oil, salt and pepper, then slowly pour only enough of the water in while kneading the dough till it becomes a nice, round, tender firm ball.

5.Dab the surface of the dough ball with a little water to keep it moist, cover the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.

6.Pinch off a portion of the dough and make into a 2 inch round ball. Pour a little dry flour on the counter and roll the ball in it to coat it. Now use a velna (rolling pin) to roll the ball into a nice round, flat pancake, about 1/8 inch thick.

7.Place some of the daal mixture in the center of the pancake. Gather the sides of the pancake and close off with your fingertips into a ball. Now roll the ball out again carefully into a pancake, making sure the dough does not tear.

8.Place a tava (flat plate or flat skillet) on the stove and heat on medium. Now carefully place the flattened dough on the tava and spread a dab of oil around the circumference on the tava. When small brown spots appear, turn the parantha over and let it cook and use the oil again. When brown spots appear on this side, turn over and repeat till the parantha is lightly brown.

9.Remove the parantha and serve while warm with yogurt or achaar.

mamas recipe inside3

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.



Ilachis (cardomans) are used all the time in Indian dishes, whether in masala tea, or plain ilachi tea but especially crushed and sprinkled over sweet dishes like custard, rabri, ras malai, sewian, khir and so many more. Many people usually crush a bunch of ilachis and keep them in a bottle for future use. But this is usually not helpful as I have discovered that the crushed ilachi have lost their aroma and taste. It is much better to crush them ilachi just before you are ready to use them.