Wadi aur Lauki wali Chana Daal / Split Gram with Bottle Gourd and Lentil Chunks

My husband got back this weekend after meeting his parents in India. He went there carrying one cabin bag, came back with an extra suitcase. My sister sent me some great Indian suits, jewellery and edible stuff that I like. Although, we get a lot of Indian groceries here, but I just love getting things from Home. One thing that she always sends me is ‘Punjabi wadi‘ or  ‘wadiyan’ as we call them.



Three years ago, CFIA found the Indian wadiyan contaminated with wheat. As far as my memory extends back, wadis  are and were always made with lentils, squash and some  spices. I don’t get, why do some companies have to play with the health of people, when there is no need to mix wheat flour in wadi mixture and if they do, why they hide?

Since 2011, no new reports have come, that means wadis still have traces of wheat.  I don’t want to take the risk of experimenting with every company’s wadi, so prefer to get them from India. My sister buy them from a reliable family who works on a small scale and for sure they don’t add wheat in wadis. These wadis come with varying degrees of spicy-ness and find its way into many vegetarian preparations in the traditional Punjabi cuisine.



Lentils, of course are  the staple in Indian cooking. They are prepared almost daily with some rice, flatbread and a vegetable, accompanied with some yogurt, pickle and a light salad. They are  so satisfying, wholesome and nutritious that many times vegetables and grains are mixed  for added benefits. In summer, we Punjabis cook chana daal / split gram with lauki/ bottle gourd  and wadiyan.  Bottle gourd is a great vegetable in itself to incorporate into your diet for its numerous health benefits but has a very mild taste, as a result, it blends beautifully in chana daal and the end product is a creamy, wholesome and absolutely delicious daal.

Chana daal can be cooked in a pressure cooker or  pot to a consistency you want. You will notice the daal in pictures is quite thick, that’s how we like it  with chapatti , the same daal is made thinner like  soup when serving with rice. Once the daal is thoroughly cooked with the lauki pieces not sticking out prominently,  it is spiced with tadka, which is very much important to create that oomph factor.  Tadka is generally prepared  by heating desi ghee, to which some essentials like cumin, onion and wadi are fried. The tempering changes the flavor, aroma and spiciness……. and you will be amazed at how tiny pieces of wadi added to it  can completely ‘ lifts’ up the taste of daal.

We enjoyed  a typical  summer lunch on  Sunday accompanied by hot weather refreshment- lassi.


Wadi wali Lauki Chana Daal / Split Gram with Bottle Gourd and Lentil Chunks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 5-6 servings

A scrumptious combination of chana daal and lauki, spiced with a tempering of wadi/ dried lentil chunks.


    For daal
  • 190 g (I cup) chana daal/ split gram
  • 185 g ( 1 cup diced) lauki/ bottle gourd or ash gourd
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • For tempering
  • onion(1/4 cup) chopped
  • 1 wadi / dried lentil chunk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Rinse chana daal and dice lauki, Place it in pressure cooker with salt, turmeric, ginger garlic paste and 3 cups of water.
  2. Pressure cook for 15 minutes ( If you are new to pressure cooking check my saag post to see how it works) on medium heat.
  3. Turn off the heat and put cooker aside for cooling. Meanwhile prepare tadka.
  4. Heat oil in a pan or pot (wide enough to hold cooked daal). Break one wadi into 1/2 - 1" pieces. We'll need only 4 pieces if it is spicy. Fry them in oil, once they start changing color to reddish brown, remove them in a bowl with slotted spoon.
  5. Add cumin seeds, let them splutter a little before adding onion, cook until golden brown.
  6. Add turmeric, red chili powder, tomato paste and wadi along with 1/4 cup water. Cook for a couple of minutes until oil glistens.
  7. Open the pressure cooker and immediately add the chana daal and lauki mixture to the pan. Stir.
  8. Add 1 cup hot water and bring it to boil on medium heat. Cook for few minutes for the flavors to blend in.
  9. You can add a tsp of garam masala if you want, garnish with cilantro to serve.


If you are cooking without pressure cooker, remove white scum which appears on daal while boiling, then add lauki and cook till tender. You can adjust the texture to a thinner soup or thick, just by adding more water or cooking a little longer.



Linked to Gluten free Fridays.

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  • comment-avatar
    Malti sharma July 15, 2013 (8:06 am)

    Hey Neetu, I have some bottlegourd sitting in the fridge, and I was thinking to make some raita. Now yr recipe cameup I change my plan. It looks yummy!… and i like the way punjabis cook it thick 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (6:27 am)

      Thank you Malti ,You always inspire me with your kind comments.

  • comment-avatar
    Angie@Angie's Recipes July 15, 2013 (9:05 am)

    So creamy and delicious! Totally love the gravy…

  • comment-avatar
    Ansh | Spiceroots July 15, 2013 (10:28 am)

    Delicious! I miss eating wadi. Yes they are available here, but the taste of the freshly made ones from back home can never be matched. I always look forward to goodies that my sister sends in from India! Enjoy your goodies!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (6:45 am)

      Yes, fresh wadis always taste good and I am fortunate to get them from India. I was always so excited when my mother used to send me achars, chutneys and stuff like that and now after her death my sister try to do the same.

  • comment-avatar
    Choc Chip Uru July 15, 2013 (12:33 pm)

    I never have eaten this Indian dish but it sounds delicious 🙂
    My mum often comes back with an extra suitcase too – the best!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • comment-avatar
    Monica July 15, 2013 (3:19 pm)

    A friend made a very similar recipe recently and shared some with me (I’m so lucky)…and it was delicious. Yours looks so good! It looks like such a satisfying lunch – that lassi you mentioned would be a nice bonus!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (6:46 am)

      No doubt it was a, SATISYING summer lunch with a glass of lassi to end. Have you tried lassi? Its made with yogurt.

  • comment-avatar
    Katerina July 16, 2013 (11:44 am)

    One of the things I realized while blogging is how much Indians eat lentils. We have the brown type in Greece and we eat them quite often but not as much as you do. This is a delicious meal and I am sure you have enjoyed it without any reservation!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (6:53 am)

      We eat all types of lentils, brown green, yellow and red. They are cheap, vegetarian. and so hearty. I always enjoy daal, whether I add it to pasta, cook it as stew or make patties with it.

  • comment-avatar
    Kitchen Belleicious July 16, 2013 (6:47 pm)

    i love reading and seeing you talk about all these ingredients that are totally knew to me! this looks amazing

  • comment-avatar
    Sugar et al July 16, 2013 (10:57 pm)

    I have eaten channa dal for as long as I can remember. Though not recently. And looking at your pictures. I am missing home. The Daal looks so lovely and inviting. I am travelling soon to visit my family after a year and suitcases are at the top of my mind right now. I hope to come back with extra baggage too:-)

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (7:04 am)

      I travel light to other places but when it comes down to India I always come back loaded. Glad to know that you have eaten chana daal and it made you miss home. Do get some Papad and wadiyan from India on your next visit.

  • comment-avatar
    anne July 17, 2013 (4:30 am)

    Wadi sounds interesting – I learn new and exotic Indian ingredient(s) every time I lurk here 😀 That dish looks hearty and flavorful and for sure taste really good !

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (7:10 am)

      Hi Anne, thank you for your kind words and compliments. Yes, lauki chana daal makes for a very satisfying and nutritious meal.

  • comment-avatar
    cquek July 17, 2013 (4:45 am)

    You’ve inspired me to make one soon.

  • comment-avatar
    Vicki Bensinger July 17, 2013 (2:28 pm)

    This dish sounds quite satisfying. Although I’ve never tried the majority of these ingredients I will make it a point to stop by the specialty market and gather these ingredients as well as others you’ve listed in your recipes to try. I look forward to it.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder July 17, 2013 (4:29 pm)

      Vicki, wadi is the only ingredient for which you need to go to a speciality or Indian store, rest of the ingredients are available in general grocery stores.

  • comment-avatar
    Juliana July 17, 2013 (2:37 pm)

    Looks delicious Balvinder creamy and so tasty!
    Hope you are having a lovely week 😀

  • comment-avatar
    yummychunklet July 17, 2013 (4:17 pm)

    Looks very healthy and delicious.

  • comment-avatar
    Nava Krishnan July 17, 2013 (6:42 pm)

    Ahhhh! Our favorite which has become a must for my our meals. Yet your version is slightly different and its delicious and one which is a must try for another version.

  • comment-avatar
    Coffee and Crumpets July 17, 2013 (7:10 pm)

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried wadiyan. I’ve been trying to remember while reading this but it has been so long since I went to India. My favourite daal is chana with lauki, I love it, we add imli to ours though. This reminds me that it’s has been a while since I made daal.


  • comment-avatar
    Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) July 18, 2013 (11:51 am)

    Oh, I like this recipe! It looks like it would warm your soul no matter what the temp outside! 🙂 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope your week is great!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  • comment-avatar
    Amelia July 19, 2013 (6:18 pm)

    Hi Balvinder, your comfort food look so nice and creamy. Very appetizing! You must be very thrilled to received goodies from your sister. 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  • comment-avatar
    easyfoodsmith July 22, 2013 (3:12 am)

    Wadi with lauki chana dal sounds wonderful. I have always had alu wadi ki sabzi but never with dal. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.

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