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Chana Dal + Sweet Potato Chowder

Chana Dal + Sweet Potato Chowder – Full of protein from the chana dal (split chickpeas) and a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato, this creamy vegan chowder recipe is hearty, cozy, and 100% dairy-free!

top down view of bowl of vegan chana dal sweet potato chowder.

Healthy and flavorful, this vegan Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder is packed with protein and fiber. The sweet potato adds a hint of sweetness while the jalapeno gives a bit of spice.

It’s a recipe that will definitely be going on my meal rotation for the next few months. It’s everything you’d want in a chowder – creamy, hearty, and satisfying!

This dairy-free chowder recipe is inspired by Bob Red Mill’s and comes from the back of one of their dried Chana dal packages. I love chowders all year long, but they are especially welcome in these cooler months!

top down view of ingredients used to make chana dal sweet potato chowder recipe.
Chana dal & sweet potato chowder ingredients: chana dal, sweet potato, onion, red & green bell pepper, jalapeno, herbs (thyme and bay leaves), flour, non-dairy milk, vegetable broth, and salt and pepper.

What is Chana Dal?

Chana dal is the desi-type chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that have had their outer layer removed and split in half. Resembling yellow split peas, these little golden legumes are widely used in Indian cuisine. Unlike that of the yellow split pea, chana dal hold their shape when cooking.

Being low on the glycemic index makes them an excellent legume for diabetics. Per 1/4 cup, dried, they contain 190 calories, 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, and zero cholesterol. They’re a good source of phosphorus, folate, magnesium, and iron. If you can’t find them locally, you can order them online from Amazon (affiliate link).

side by side photos of cooking chana dal and sweet potatoes before and after.

How To Make Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

Using one pot and colander, this chowder comes together easily!

First cook your dal and potatoes in water for 20 minutes. Drain and aside.

side by side photos of sauteed veggies before and after.

Next saute your vegetables, set aside with the cooked chana dal and potatoes.

top down view of ladle full of chana dal sweet potato chowder in pot.

Once the combined flour and non-dairy milk have thickened up nicely, add everything back to the pot and finish cooking for 10 minutes.

And now you’re ready to enjoy the deliciousness!

How Long Will Leftovers Keep?

Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Simply re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. Add a splash of water, veg broth, or milk to thin as needed. Because it stores so well, it’s great for weekly meal prep.

Can You Freeze Chana Dal Chowder?

Yes, chowder freezes well for up to 2 months! We love to freeze this chowder using individual small containers that are freezer-safe. And when ready, just pull it from the freezer and warm it up for a warm and cozy meal. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers.

More Hearty Vegan Recipes!

side angle view of spoonful of chana dal chowder with sweet potatoes.

If you try this chana dal recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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CHANA DAL & SWEET POTATO CHOWDER

Full of protein from the chana dal (split chickpeas) and a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato, this creamy vegan chowder is hearty, delicious, and 100% dairy-free!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Entree
  • Method: boil, simmer, saute
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup Chana dal (split baby chickpeas) or yellow split peas
  • 1 sweet potato (orange or white), diced 1/2 – 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water (for water saute)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, most seeds removed and diced
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite plant milk)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (chickpea, spelt, all-purpose, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • chopped parsley, to serve

Instructions

Soak dal: Rinse Chana dal and remove any pebbles or unsightly peas. In a large pot, soak the dal in about 4 cups of room temperature water for 2 hours or hot water for 1 hour. Drain water. If using yellow split peas, skip this step. 

Cook dal + potato: In a large dutch oven or pot, place soaked Chana dal, sweet potato, and bay leaves, cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until dal and sweet potatoes are tender. Place cooked peas and potatoes in a colander, rinse gently and quickly with warm water, set aside. Leave bay leaves with the mix. Don’t worry about getting every pea out of the pot.

Saute veggies: In same pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add bell peppers, jalapeno, onion, and thyme, saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove sauteed vegetables to the colander with the chana dal and potatoes, set aside. Don’t worry about getting every vegetable out of the pot.

Make soup base: In same pot, over medium heat, add flour and 1/3 cup of milk, whisk well until it thickens and lumps are barely visible, stirring continuously, slowly add in the remaining amount of liquids, stirring continuously, continue to heat over medium-low, lumps with dissolve completely as the liquid warms up. Careful to not boil or milk will begin to curdle. Continue to stir and heat until liquids begin to thicken about 7 –  10 minutes.

Simmer: Add in the Chana dal and vegetable mixture, heat over low until everything has warmed, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt as needed, remove bay leaves, and discard.

Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers and a sprinkle of parsley over top.

Serves 4 – 6

Notes

You may consider using 3 1/2 cups milk w/ 1 veggie bouillon cube. Just be sure you have 3 1/2 cups liquids. Add more liquids as needed.

Edit: I’ve added in soaking the dal first for quicker cooking time. This will ensure that your dal is perfectly tender.

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22 Comments

  1. Delicious and filling, great recipe!

  2. Delicious!

  3. Has anyone tried this recipe with coconut milk instead of almond milk?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Loren! I’m assuming you mean canned coconut milk, which will alter the flavor a bit, but if you don’t mind it’ll be great. Do let us know if you give it a try!

  4. When I made this, it took my milk mixture quite a while (maybe 10-15 minutes) to thicken, and I let it boil a little (while constantly stirring) because I felt the higher temperature would promote quicker thickening. The mixture didn’t necessarily look thick, but once I added the veggies, everything came together really nicely!

  5. Debra Nevill says:

    Oh goodness this sounds just gorgeous perfect for this winter I’m going through … Time to hit the market ?

  6. I tried this recipe and its just wonderful. I am an Indian girl and i have grown up eating dals almost daily in lunch or dinner. I love channa dal and using ur recipe i added vegetables with soaked Dal and boiled that with turmeric and salt. And i seasoned with lil olive oil put cumin , garlic(roast each ingredient) and onion, chilli and sauteed and then add flour and milk. it was like thick soup kinda and garlic gave nice aroma. Anjali

  7. SweetEndeavor says:

    Will this work with yellow split peas?

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I haven't tried it myself but I suppose you can try soaking and cooking the yellow split peas just as you would the dal in this recipe. I'd love to know how it goes! :)

    2. SweetEndeavor says:

      it came out great! It tastes amazing and mine looks just like your picture here. I am curious now how it tastes compared to the chana dal version. I will have to order some. Thanks for posting this! I looove soup ^_^

    3. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Great, so glad it worked well! xo

  8. I tried the split chickpeas, and they did not get cooked through. After trying to get them cooked, the other veg got mushy. I love the smell and flavor of the soup, though, and will try again with already cooked or canned chickpeas.

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Chana dal should cook up tender but still have a bite to it. They may have been cooked but you may have expected them to be much softer all the way through like whole cooked chickpeas. I think using whole cooked chickpeas will be great and hope you give it a try soon. I think I'll try some next time myself. Cheers :)

    2. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I've updated the recipe adding in a soaking of the dal to ensure tenderness all the way through. I just tried this method and it worked perfectly! You may like to try it again or go with the cooked chickpeas next time. Enjoy…

  9. This recipe sounds wonderful. Do you think regular dry chickpeas would work here? I don't have easy access to chana dal (I think I'd have to order online). Thank you.

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Sure, you can use cooked chickpeas. Cook the potatoes alone for 20 minutes, or until tender. Add about 3 cups (or 2 – 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed) cooked chickpeas with the rest of the ingredients after the milk has thickened and heat until warmed through. Would love to know how it goes!

    2. I used 2 cans of chickpeas, and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Wow that looks amazing!! I love love sweet potatoes, and dal, and so obviously I have to make this. Looks so creamy and flavorful :)

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