In most homes and almost every restaurant, chutneys for south Indian tiffins include combinations of peanuts, roasted gram daal, coriander leaves, and coconut.  As far as my husband and I am concerned peanut chutney is our favourite alternated once in a while with coconut chutney. But I avoid peanuts and coconuts as both my kids gets itchy on the tongue and in the throat when they consume these even though they were tested negative for peanut allergy and coconut is not a nut( my daughter is allergic to Tree Nuts and carries epi-pen; we don’t use any tree nuts at home at all). It is a big challenge for me to make many varieties of chutneys. Even though they love chutney with roasted gram daal(putnalu), it does get boring after few repetitions. I remembered this chutney with chana daal my mom used to make very rarely, but she said this was only kind she remembered other than coconut chutney when she was growing up.  Apparently roasted chana daal was not readily available everywhere when she was little.

This saved me, as it gave two other versions of chutneys, chana dal chutney with green chillies, and also chana daal chutney with red chillies. This is how it is made…

One cup of chana daal(bengalgram) dry roasted, small gooseberry sized tamarind, red chillies, and jeera.


Grind all these together by adding salt. I find it easy when I dry grind these ingredients into powder, then add water and grind again to smooth consistency chutney.


Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan, add urad daal, mustard seeds, jeera, red chillies, and curry leaves. Once urad daal turns brown and mustard seeds starts splattering add this to the ground chutney.


Tastes wonderful with idlis, dosas, pongal(uppa pongali), and upmas.



Chana daal (Bengalgram daal)                    – 1 cup

Red chillies                                                   – about 5

Tamarind                                                      – small gooseberry sized

Jeera                                                             – 1 tsp

Salt                                                                – as required


Blackgram dal (urad dal)                           – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds   (rai, avalu)                       -1 tsp

Cumin (jeera)                                              – 1 tsp

Red chilli                                                       – 1

Curry leaves                                                – a few

Hing (Inguva)                                             – a pinch


  • Take a pan and once it is warm enough, add chana daal and slowly roast until raw smell is gone and until they turn to light brown colour.
  • Take this aside into a plate and let it cool down.
  • Grind roasted chana daal, red chillies, tamarind, jeera and salt into powder, and then add sufficient water to grind this smoothly into a chutney.
  • In a small pan add 1 tbsp. of oil, once oil is warm enough, add urad daal, red chillies, mustard seeds, curryleaves and hing. When urad daal turns brown and mustard starts splattering, add this to the ground chuntey.
  • Enjoy with idlis, dosas or upmas.

4 thoughts on “BengalGramChutney

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