Achari Lauki Chana Dal

Servings: 4 people
Cuisine: Indian
Course: Main Course
Time: 45 minutes
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Looking for something spicy and lip-smacking this summer? Try out the Achari Lauki Chana Dal which packs a flavorful punch. You won’t settle for plain old chana dal again.


For the dal

  • 1 cup chana dal (split chickpea)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tsp oil

For the lauki (bottle gourd)

  • 2 cups diced lauki (bottle gourd)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1-2 chopped green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder

For the tadka (tempering)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2-3 whole red chilies
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves


  • To begin, soak the chana dal for half an hour. Boil it with salt, turmeric powder, and 1 tsp oil until almost cooked. It should still have a bite not be mushy. Drain and keep aside. Save the liquid.
  • Peel and dice the lauki (bottle gourd) into cubes. Soak them in water so that they don't colorize.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add in a bay leaf. Add the achari masala – mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds. Allow them to crackle.
  • Add in finely chopped onions and chopped green chillies. Saute until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in ginger garlic paste. Saute until the onions colorize. Do not brown.
  • Next, add finely chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Add the salt. This helps tomatoes cook faster. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  • Now add in the dry masalas – Kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Add a bit of water. Cover with a lid and cook until the oil starts appearing on the sides.
  • Next, add the diced lauki. Mix well and saute for a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook until the lauki is tender.
  • Now add in the boiled chana dal and tamarind pulp. Saute. Add some leftover water from the dal you boiled. Cover and cook until done.
  • Finally, add garam masala powder. Mix well. Adjust the gravy as per your taste.
  • For the tempering, heat oil in a tadka pan. Add in cumin seeds, whole red chillies, and curry leaves. As they begin to crackle, pour this tadka over the dal.
  • The Achari Lauki Chana Dal is ready to serve. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with puris or parathas.


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This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.

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Achari Lauki Chana Dal Recipe