Quick Fried Lentils


Growing up, this was a favorite dish made only during Ramadan for Iftars. It was something my mother made with simple ingredients but lots of love.  We would pair it with Dahi Barray and then have it later as a late-night munch. Channa daal (or gram lentils) is not my favorite lentil but this recipe is definitely one my favorite snacks.

This year, when we spent our first Ramadan away from home, it was quite a challenge. We made an extra effort to make Iftars special and cook food that we missed from Pakistan. However, somehow we missed this dish all through the month. After Eid, when we were having Pakoras and Dahi Barray withdrawals, I remembered this recipe. I made this at once  and then some more times. 😉 My favorite thing about this dish (other than the taste) is that there is hardly ever a time when we don’t have the ingredients on hand. So on days I want a taste of childhood food, this is one of my go-to recipes.


  1. Boiled gram lentils- 1 cup
  2. Vegetable oil- 2 tbsp
  3. Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Red chilli flakes- 1 tsp
  6. Red chilli powder- ½ tsp
  7. Green chilli (chopped)- 1 (more if you like)
  8. Fresh coriander (finely chopped)- according to your taste
  9. Chaat masala to taste


  • To boil the gram lentils: rinse 1 cup of lentils twice with cold water. Then soak them in 2 cups of water for 1 hour. Discard the water and boil lentils in 2 cups of water until they are tender. Discard the water and set the boiled lentils aside.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add oil. Once it is hot, add cumin seeds. Stir until they begin to splutter.
  • Add boiled lentils and fry for a 2-3 minutes. Stir regularly.
  • Now add salt, red chilli flakes and powder. Mix well.
  • At the end, add chopped coriander. Turn off the heat and give a good stir.
  • Dish out the lentils and sprinkle some chaat masala.
  • Top with some more fresh coriander and serve.

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