Vibrant Chainsoo

… Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit:


Chainsoo is a staple of Uttarakhandi cuisine and is regularly served at home and in restaurants around the state. Black gramme lentils (urad dal) are the main ingredient in this curry, which gives it a spicy and delicious kick and a high protein content. Black gramme lentils (urad dal), the main ingredient in chainsoo, may be difficult to digest because to their high protein level and are therefore usually eaten with rice or roti (Indian bread). It has been stated, nevertheless, that roasting mitigates the drawbacks. Another comparable dish, made with a different type of soy bean (black bhat), is called bhatwani. The spices used in either dish can be altered to suit individual tastes. Other variations of Chainsoo call for the addition of spices like ginger or asafoetida to amp up the flavour, or the substitution of one type of lentil for another.

  • Origin: Uttarakhand, India
  • Category: Chainsoo is a Pahari Vegetarian Main Dish which is considered Main Course
  • Ingredient: Black Gram Dal, Spices, Asafoetida are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Ghee, Coriander
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 40-50 mins and the flavour is Spicy and Earthy
  • Nutritional Information: Chainsoo contains 170 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 2 g of fat, 7 g of protein and 25 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 1 g sugar and 3 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]
Uttarakhand dish - Chainsoo

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'Chainsoo’ is a flavorful and protein-rich Pahari dish originating from the hill regions of India, particularly Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It’s a lentil-based curry that showcases the resourcefulness of Pahari cuisine using locally available ingredients. To prepare Chainsoo, a combination of soaked and ground lentils, such as black gram (urad dal) or horse gram (kulith) is used. The ground lentils are cooked with a blend of spices like red chili, cumin, coriander, and asafoetida, which are integral to Pahari cooking. The mixture is then seasoned with ghee (clarified butter) and sometimes infused with local greens or vegetables like spinach.

The result is a thick, flavorful curry with a distinctively earthy taste. The use of various spices imparts a robust flavor profile to the dish, while the lentils provide a creamy and satisfying texture. Chainsoo is typically served with steamed rice or local flatbreads like 'Baadi.’ Chainsoo reflects the simplicity and ingenuity of Pahari cooking, where basic ingredients are transformed into nourishing and flavorful dishes. It’s a dish that not only fills the belly but also offers a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of the region, where locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques come together to create a truly authentic dining experience.


  • Black Gram Split [ उड़द दाल छिलका ], 1 Cup
  • Onion [ प्याज़ ], 1 Piece
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Tomato [ टमाटर ], 2 Pieces
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Garlic Cloves [ लहसुन की पुठ्ठी ], 2-3 Pieces
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Green Chili [ हरी मिर्च ], 1 Piece
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Cumin Seeds [ जीरा ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Red Chili Powder [ लाल मिर्च चूर्ण ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder [ हल्दी चूर्ण ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Mustard Oil [ सरसों का तेल ], 1 Tablespoon
    → You Can Use Ghee As Well.
  • Coriander Leaves [ धनिया पत्ता ], A few Grams
    → To Be Used For Garnishing.
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired


Method for preparing Chainsoo

  • After thoroughly rinsing, the black gram lentils should be soaked for up to four hours or overnight. Drain the water before using.
  • The hydrated lentils should be cooked in a pressure cooker or large saucepan with enough water and a dash of salt until soft and mushy. In a pressure cooker, cook food for about 3 to 4 whistles.
  • Ghee or oil should be warmed up in a different pan. Watch the cumin seeds blow up once you’ve added them.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook until golden brown.
  • When the onions are transparent, add the chopped onions and stir.
  • Tomatoes, chopped, and green chilli, if using. The tomatoes should be cooked until they are mushy.
  • Salt, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder are added. Mix thoroughly and cook for one minute.
  • Mix everything together in the pan before adding the cooked lentils (dal).
  • Once the flavours are well-mixed, simmer the mixture for a short while.
  • Add fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.
  • Serve hot with rice, roti (Indian bread), or kuttu ki roti, which are buckwheat pancakes.

Health Benefits

  • Plant-based protein is abundant in black gramme lentils. In addition to supporting general health and wellbeing, protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair.
  • Lentils are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which give you lasting energy and help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. This makes Chainsoo a wonderful option for anybody looking for a well-balanced and substantial dinner.
  • Black gramme lentils' high fibre content and low glycemic index may contribute to blood sugar control. People who already have diabetes or who are at risk of getting it can benefit the most from this.
  • Dietary fibre content is significant in lentils, notably black gramme. Fibre assists with digestion, encourages regular bowel movements, and supports in keeping a healthy weight. By bringing down cholesterol levels it also promotes heart health.
  • Chainsoo can be a low-fat dish if it is prepared without using a lot of oil or ghee. For people trying to control their weight and keep a healthy heart, it can be a better option than dishes with a greater fat content.
  • Iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus are just a few of the important minerals that may be found in abundance in black gramme lentils. These minerals are essential for preserving strong bones, controlling blood pressure, and supporting a number of body processes.
  • Chainsoo provides a variety of vital elements, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, thanks to the mix of lentils, spices, and other ingredients. These assist numerous biological systems and improve overall wellness.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

In conclusion, the Pahari dish 'Chainsoo' is representative of the varied and robust cuisine of the region. Crafted with roasted gramme flour and imbued with a bouquet of aromatic spices, this robust lentil delicacy is a testament to the skill of elevating the ordinary to the sublime. By roasting and mixing, simple ingredients become a textural and flavorful work of art that echoes history and tradition. Chainsoo is more than just a tasty treat; it also conveys the spirit of Pahari tradition and bridges the gap between the generations. In addition to its culinary merits, this dish serves as a model of how to creatively incorporate regional ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The story told by 'Chainsoo' on dinner plates is one of community and shared experiences, which strengthens relationships and creates lasting memories. As a sign of the Pahari people's skill in preparing hearty dishs, 'Chainsoo' embodies the values of hospitality, cultural pride, and the inextricable bond between the two.

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Thank You

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