Pahadi Cuisine: Phaanu

Made with gahat or chana dal, this hearty lentils dish is a pahadi staple. Give this easy recipe a try and bring a taste of the mountains to your table.

Serves 4-5


  • 1 cup split bengal gram (chana) or horse gram (gahat/kulath)
  • ½ cup oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp jakhiya/cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak the gahat/chana dal in water overnight.
  • Next morning wash & rub the lentil in running water. Grind it with green chillies, garlic & ginger.
  • Place a flat pan on moderate flame. Put some oil & make thick pancakes with half of the batter.
  • Mix water with the remaining paste. Heat oil in a pan & add cumin/jakhiya and asafoetida. Now add the lentils paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder & salt.
  • Cover & cook for about 10 minutes on low flame. Add lentil cakes to the gravy & let cook on simmer for another 10 minutes. Add more water if the consistency is too thick.
  • Garnish with pure ghee & chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Click here for another hearty lentils recipe from the mountains.