Dirt(y) Bengal gold chana dal is an Australian desi chickpea that has been split and lightly polished. Because it’s a chickpea, not a lentil, it requires a soak. Chuck dal in plenty of cold water overnight, drain dal and add twice their volume of cold water to cook. Bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. If you have a pressure cooker, there’s no need to soak and your dal will cook in around 6 – 10 minutes. Once cooked, there’s no need to strain – the dal will be nestled in a puddle of golden syrupy water; the grains will burst, be soft, earthy and sweet like corn.