4.1/5 rating (28 votes)

Turnip Chana Dhal

Shalgam Chana

  • Heat Mild
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 40 mins
Turnip Chana Dhal

A homely lentil dhal dish cooked with seasonal turnips.

Hari says

A wonderful dhal dish that is cooked with split chickpeas which are know as chana dhal. These lentils do take a bit of cooking so its best to soak them before hand and cook them in a pressure cooker. If you do not have a pressure cooker then it can take a couple of hours to cook through, alternatively you can use a slow cooker too.

The turnip add a lovely texture to the dish and this is delicious to make in the winter months when you are looking for something warm and comforting.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 4 small turnips
  • 125g Chana Dal 
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes 
  • 1 or 2 green chillies
  • 4cm piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cm piece cassia bark
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder 
  • ½ turmeric powder 
  • 1tsp or to taste salt 
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Clean the chana dal and soak it in water for 3-4 hours before hand.
  2. Peel, wash and cut turnips into small pieces.
  3. Put the soaked dal and turnip pieces into a prerssure cooker, add 2 cups water, salt and then close the cooker and begin to heat.
  4. After the first whistle reduce the heat and leave it to simmer about 4 minutes, then remove from the heat. Leave to cook and DO NOT open until the pressure has been releases.
  5. Meanwhile roughly chop the tomatoes and chillies and ginger.
  6. Place the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds in a frying pan and roast until they turn a shade darker and become frgrant. Crush the spices in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
  7. Then put the tomatoes, green chillies, ginger into a blender to make a fine paste.
  8. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the cumin and cassia. Once fragrant add the sliced onions and garlic until they just start to brown.
  9. Stir in the turmeric powder, salt and ground spices once this becomes fragrant stir in the tomato mixture and leave to cook until you have a thick masala sauce. 
  10. Open the cooker, and check the dhal is well cooked by squeezing the chana between your fingers. If they are cooked stir in the masala sauce into the dhal.
  11. If you want to loosen it a little add enough hot water to get the consistency you want.
  12. Add the chopped coriander and garnish with a little butter. 

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)3
of which saturates (g)0
Carbohydrates (g)19
of which sugars (g)9
Fibre (g)5
Protein (g)4
Salt (mg)527
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments (4)

  • Francesca


    06 February 2020 at 19:30 |
    I'm not a big fan of turnips. Could I leave them out of this recipe or substitute another vegetable?
    I have ordered several of Hari's curry kits and they have all been great! I love this website and Hari's recipes. I grew up in the UK and now live in the US and thanks to Hari, I am finally able to taste some of the Indian flavors familiar from when I was a kid in England.


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      09 February 2020 at 21:44 |
      Hi Francesca Yes you can leave them out - there are other dhal recipes without turnips as well. I am so happy you are enjoying the recipes and that they remind you of home. Thanks for your comments and I hope you enjoy the kits. Please download my free app as I would love to see pictures of you using the kits. Thanks Hari


  • peter


    22 May 2016 at 09:09 |
    Good morning.
    I was looking at the star ratings & thinking it would show people's comments but inadvertently it has sent a score but I am unsure what that has come up as. My actual score would be top marks as we love this dish combining two great ingredients - turnips and chana. We discovered your website some time ago & have loved every vegetarian dish we have made. Your recipes are well laid out & easy to follow.
    Thank you for this wonderful website & we look forward to many more very tasty authentic meals.
    Kind regards.


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      23 May 2016 at 07:22 |
      Hi Peter Thank you so much for your comments. It makes me really happy to think you are enjoying the recipes and using the website and thanks for star rating the dishes too. Please do follow me on social media to get new recipe ideas too. I look forward to hearing from you again about other dishes you have tried. Thanks Hari


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