Pahadi Dal Chainsoo, A Must-Have Dish Before Winter Ends

As winter bids adieu, there's no better time to savor the hearty warmth of Pahadi Dal Chainsoo, a quintessential dish of Uttarakhand that embodies the essence of Indian cuisine's versatility. Also known as Chaunsa, this protein-packed Garhwali dish is a beloved favourite among locals, providing warmth and nourishment in the chilly winter season. 

It is more than simply a meal; Chainsoo is a culinary legacy that is strongly established in the heritage of the region. Chainsoo is crafted from black gram, also known as urad dal. The creativity of Pahadi cuisine, in which ingredients are converted into dishes that nourish both the body and the soul, is reflected in the dish's distinctive flavours, which are both simple yet effective. 

Despite its humble origins, Chainsoo captivates with its unique aroma and distinct taste, thanks to the traditional method of grinding the dal. Rich in protein and profoundly filling, this dish showcases the art of simplicity, proving that sometimes, the most unassuming meals are the most satisfying. 

Before bidding farewell to winter's chill, embrace the opportunity to indulge in the heartwarming flavors of Pahadi Dal Chainsoo, a culinary gem that promises to leave a lasting impression on your palate and your memories alike. 


1 cup black Urad Dal 

4-5 cloves garlic 

1 piece ginger 

2 green chillies 

1 tsp coriander seeds 

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1 tsp mustard seeds 

2-3 dried red chillies 

½ tsp Asafoetida 

¼ tsp turmeric powder 

2 tbsp mustard oil  

2.5 Cups water 

3 tbsp Whole wheat flour 

Salt to taste  

Coriander leaves 


Crush green chilies, ginger, garlic, and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. Preheat a cast iron pan. Toast the lentils for approximately 3-5 minutes until a light aroma is released, making sure not to overcook and char them. Allow it to cool before grinding into a coarse powder. Begin by heating oil and then adding mustard seeds, red chillies, hing, jeera, and ground paste. Combine the powdered lentils and cook for 1-2 minutes. Incorporate whole wheat flour and cook until it releases a fragrant smell.  Add turmeric powder, salt, and water in the mixture. Heat the entire mixture until it reaches a boil. Allow the dal to soften by covering and cooking, then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. 

The protein-rich black gram lentils used to make it are great for building and repairing muscles. It also helps with digestion and promotes gut health due to its high fibre content. Iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are just a few of the essential vitamins and minerals found in abundance in the dal. These nutrients are great for your bones, your blood pressure, and your vitality. Additionally, anyone checking their cholesterol levels will appreciate chainsoo dal because it is heart-friendly and minimal in fat. It lowers the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases by fighting oxidative stress. Chainsoo dal is a great complement to a healthy diet because it contributes to weight management and gives you lasting energy.