Lauki Chana Dal (Squash & Bean Stew)

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Some simple comforting flavors bring back the memories of the corner of childhood home where I grew up. The aromas cling the sound of my mum in the background. The textures unfold the brightness of the old golden sunny days. Aah! Such days! We live only in our memories. Rustic but not rusted for sure. Still come back with same fervor. 


Absolute comfort food. Warms up my soul. I, actually don’t need anything  else with this dal or stew. 

It is made using lauki which belongs to the family of squash and is also sold with the name of opo squash in USA. It is rich in fibre and high in water content. The dried beans that are used are kind of split garbanzo beans aka Bengal gram (split), another nutritious addition in the recipe and extremely flavorful.



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Lauki Chana Dal

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kitchen Equipments Required

Pressure cooker or deep sauce pan with lid, stirring spoon, a small sauce pan, chopping board and knife.


Chana Dal – 1/2 cup, washed and soaked in water for 10-15 minutes.

Lauki / Ghiya / Opo Squash – 300 gms or a small one, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces. You may use zuchhini if you want. It is not the same but similar.

Onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped

Tomato – 1/2 cup chopped or a small one.

Ginger – 1 tsp chopped

Cilantro / coriander – 1 tbsp, finely chopped

Turmeric / Haldi – 1/2 tsp 

Salt to taste 

Spices for tempering

Ghee / oil 

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Asafetida / hing – a pinch

Dry red chili whole – 1-2

Red chili powder – 1/3 tsp or to taste

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp, optional

Water – 2&1/2 cups


Cooking Dal and Lauki

Take the pressure cooker and cook the soaked chana dal and lauki with turmeric, salt and 2&1/2 cups of water. If the squash seems very watery then reduce the amount of water. 

After the first whistle in the cooker, lower the flame and cook on simmer for 7 odd minutes. Put off the stove gas. Open only after the pressure is released. 

If you are cooking in the sauce pan, then cook with 3 cups of water to begin with and adjust water along the way. It might take you good 20 minutes to cook in the sauce pan with lid, since chana dal takes longer to cook.

Once cooked, stir it and slightly mash it with the back of the ladle or stirrer. Add garam masala and chopped cilantro / coriander leaves and mix with the cooked dal.

Preparing the Tempering


1. Heat ghee or oil in the small sauté pan. Add asafetida/hing, whole red chili, mustard seeds and cumin seeds to it. Lower the flame.

2. Once the seeds start crackling, add ginger and onions. Sauté them over medium flame till onions turn slightly red. 

3. Now add chopped tomatoes and red chili powder to the pan. Sauté and stir for 4-5 minutes till tomatoes are fully cooked. 

The tempering is ready.

Final touch to the Dal

Add the tempering to the dal. Mix well. Do the spoon lick test and adjust the salt. If you want, you can squeeze a bit of lemon juice to enhance the flavors and nutrition of the dal.

Serving Suggestions

1. Serve it with roti/Parnatha.

2. It goes very well with rice and cumin pulav. 

3. Eat it as is like a stew. It is filling and very flavorful on its own.

Do let me know how you make this dal at home as it is a common fair. Sometimes common needs attention too 😀.

Eat Healthy! Eat Good! Eat Right!


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