Chana Dal Hummus

Since I dabbled in something-other-than-white-bean hummus with my chickpea hummus recipe, I’ve been inspired to try other varieties of beans/legumes as hummus. A few months ago I asked a friend (who moved to the States from India) how to cook with Chana dal because Sis had an inordinate amount of Chana dal in jars on shelves in her kitchen and I had no clue how to cook with it. She sent me a recipe for Chana dal hummus from Wildly Organic.

I can’t recall any hummus recipe I’ve tried recently that worked perfectly according to the recipe’s ingredients and directions. I always have to adjust the ingredients by adding more olive oil or tahini or some other sort of liquid. This recipe was no exception. This is why you will see a range of ingredients in the below recipe. You can start with the low end of the range and increase as needed, according to your taste and texture preference. I also took cues from another Chana dal hummus recipe while making this dip.

One bit of advice I’d give you when making this recipe (or any other recipe) would be to use a food processor. I have used two different Vitamix blenders to try to make hummus before and I just find it really difficult to get the liquid down near the blade. This can result in your Vitamix over-heating. I literally spent the day attempting to mix this in Sis’s Vitamix continuing overheating the blender every few minutes and then having to wait a super long time for the blender to cool off before it would work again before Sis suggested: Why don’t you use the food processor? That’s what I always use to make hummus.

When it comes to certain tasks I can get functional fixedness where I can’t see another way out and continue going on my same path determined to triumph. That’s what happened here.

I had added a bunch of extra cooking liquid in the Vitamix in my vain attempt to get the Vitamix to blend my hummus. It didn’t work. So by the time I transferred the hummus to a food processor it easily whirred my hummus through the blade and created a smooth but thinner-than-normal hummus. It did thicken up in the fridge and it wasn’t so thin it would drip from a spoon but it wasn’t the consistency I was aiming for or expecting. The flavor though? On point.


  • c. dried chana dal, sorted, rinsed, and soaked overnight
  • cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ to 1 tsp. ground turmeric (optional)
  • tsp, kosher salt or sea salt
  • ¼ to ½ c. lemon juice
  • ¼ to ½ c. olive oil
  • reserved cooking liquid
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste (optional)
  • smoked paprika, for serving
  • olive oil, for serving
  • warm flat bread, naan, pita or pita chips or your favorite veggies, for serving


  1. Rinse, sort, and soak chana dal for 8 to 12 hours in enough water to cover by 2 inches. 
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked chana dal. Add soaked, drained, and rinsed chana dal to a large stock pot and add enough fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes or until the chana dal is tender, adding additional water if needed. Stir occasionally. Skim off any foam that develops and discard. After the chana dal is cooked, strain and reserve all the cooking water.
  3. Allow to cool until at least warm. When the chana dal is cooled add to your food processor bowl or blender jar along with the garlic, lemon juice, reserved cooking water, salt, and spices. Start with ½ cup of cooking water.
  4. Puree until smooth. Add more of the reserved cooking liquid if needed. (I had to add a whole bunch as noted above.) 
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and eat immediately or refrigerate for later.

Recipe rating: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s