Dal Kanda

Dal Kanda | Saoji special

Dal Kanda (kaanda / कांदा ) is a speciality from Maharashtra. This is the traditional dish of Saoji community (also spelt as Saoji, Souji, Sauji), having their origins in Malwa region.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Maharashtrian
Keyword Chana dal, saoji cuisine, kanda, onion, spicy, masalas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
soaking time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Rama G


  • 1 cup soaked Chana dal (1/2 cup chana dal soaked for minimum 2 hours)
  • 3 big onions chopped finely
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 4 -5 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • asafoetida (Hing / perungayam / kayam)
  • 5 cloves garlic and 1" piece ginger finely chopped (Or 2 tsp ginger garlic paste)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds powder
  • 1 tsp Kanda masala (Or kala msala / garam masala / any masala of your choice)
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • approximately 2 cups water


  • Dry roast the onions till they become pink and reduce in size (See the write up for this step).
  • In a pan heat 2 tsp oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves and asafoetida.
  • Once done add garlic and ginger and sauté.
  • In the meantime mix chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder in ¼ cup water and add to the pan and sauté further for few more minutes.
  • After few minutes add the pre-roasted onions and sauté further.
  • Now drain the chana dal and add to the pan. (reserve the water)
  • Add salt and sauté well till the dal absorbs all flavours of the spices. 
  • Add reserved water plus some extra water as per your desired consistency.
  • Cover & cook on low flame till the dal gets cooked well (test by mashing few dals between your fingers).
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti, rice or bhakri.


[vc_video link='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azjtVydU0f0']


  1. This Dal is traditionally spicy. You can adjust the spice to your desired levels. 
  2. It is not required to pre cook the dal. The dal has to get cooked along with the spices. 
  3. To avoid excess oil, I have pre roasted the onions in my cast iron skillet. However this is my personal choice. You can use extra oil and roast the onions directly after the tempering is done.