Mamta's Kitchen

Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) With Bottle Gourd 2, With Curry Leaves Tarka

Channa Dal with Lauki 2

Mamta Gupta

This is a slightly different version of Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) with Bottle Gourd 1. I have started with the ‘tarka’ here, unlike most other dals, where tarka is given after a dal is cooked. I made it in a pressure cooker, as I do with most dals, haven’t tried it without the pressure cooker, so I am not sure how it will come out in flavour. Prolonged cooking to soften the dal without pressure, may take away from the gentle flavor of curry leaves and mustard seeds.

Lauki/Doodhi is the size of an average marrow, light green in colour and with a silky skin. It belongs to marrow family and also comes in 'round' variety, both taste the same. When buying, note that the freshest ones will have fine 'baby hair'. If you dig your nail into the flesh, it slides in easily. Over-ripe ones have tough, almost impenetrable skin. Serves 3-4

Edited January 2016


  • 1 cup skinless chana dal

  • 1 small lauki or dudhi (Indian/bottle gourd), about 1 1/2 cup chopped

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil.

  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds.

  • A bunch of curry leaves (about 15-20)

  • 1 tsp grated or finely chopped ginger

  • 1 tsp. chopped/crushed/grated garlic

  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder or flakes, adjust to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder.

  • Salt to taste.

  • 1 cup water.

  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped.*


  1. Wash and soak chana dal while preparing other things.

  2. *Place tomato in a bowl and pour boiling water to the top. Leave for a few minutes. Once the skin is loose, peel it off. Chop and keep aside. You can place the tomato on a fork and cook it directly over a flame. This will also loosen the skin.

  3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.

  4. Add mustard seed. When they crackle, add ginger/garlic and curry leaves. Stir fry for a minute or so.

  5. Add dal and stir fry for a minute. Add lauki/bottle gourd, spices, salt, tomatoes and water. Mix everything well.

  6. Close lid and cook under full pressure for 3-4 minutes. Too much cooking will mash the dal. Cooking time may vary according to your pressure cooker and for how long you soaked the dal before cooking. Grains should be soft but not mushy.

  7. Cool and open pressure cooker.

  8. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot as part of an Indian meal.

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