Watali Dal / Watli Dal / Vatli Dal

Watli dal is made of whole channa dal that is soaked, ground to a paste and then cooked into this soft and dry snack.

There is often confusion between ambe dal and watali dal. Ambe dal too is made with channa dal but is it very different. Here is the recipe for ambe dal. As a child I was not fond of this dal at all. It was made in my grandmothers house when we visited Pune in summer and I guess it was too dry for me in the hot Pune summer. I have made it a few times over the years. But it was only after I found this recipe in an old book that I truly began to like it.

The key to get the dal to be soft is to grind the dal as soon as it is removed from the water. Draining the dal dries it out. Follow these steps exactly and you will have a delicious snack ready in no time.

You will need
1/2 cup channa dal
1/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. shredded fresh coconut (I used frozen)
cilantro for garnish

Soak the channa dal in 2 cups water and keep aside for 4-5 hours.

This step is the key to a soft dal. Transfer the dal along with a 1/4 cup of milk into a blender. Discard the remaining water. Grind to a fine paste. Add paprika, turmeric, asafoetida and salt to the dal paste.

Heat oil in a pan. I used a ceramic coated pan and it worked really well. Add the dal mixture to the pan and stir it around. Cover and let it cook on medium heat for a 3-4 minutes. Uncover and saute the contents. Cover and repeat another two times.

At this stage the dal will be cooked through and needs to be dried out. Add the coconut and continue to saute on medium heat.

This step takes some time. Avoid the temptation to get it done quickly on high heat. When done the dal would have dried out and separated such that no piece is bigger than a pea.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with chilled panha.



  1. Oh this is like the pappuru usli we make and add to the veggies...I know it tastes great..very nice one

  2. We make something like this with yellow moong dal, we call it as seeralam, watali dal looks protein packed snacks.

  3. That is a very healthy & nutritious snack. Thanks for the step by step pics.

  4. Healthy and delicious snack..

  5. Yeah. This is just like Valli said - Parupusili. Never thought of having it as a snack though. An interesting one.

  6. Wow So many similarities in the way some things are cooked. Love this!

  7. what a unique dal - very new to me

  8. This is so much like the paruppu usili which we make as a curry., will try this definetely!!

  9. We use this as a base for curry but it was surprising to learn that it is eaten as a snack too. BTw do you use that milk to grind the chana dal?

    1. Yes, the milk is used to grind the dal. Thanks for pointing that out Suma. I have updated the post.

  10. A different kind of dal altogether. Healthy too.

  11. planning to make this Varada ! let me know where I need to drain the dal and add the milk - I think that step / pic is missing unless am not seeing it :))

    1. No Kalyani. Do not drain. To keep the dal from drying out transfer the dal to the blender with a spoon and discard the remaining water.

  12. Thanks Varada, loved this as young child , will now again prepare


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