Here is a treasure trove of information about dal and a compilation of regional recipes by many talented bloggers!
As the weather gets cooler, my thoughts turn to a steaming bowl of dal bhat. Whether one calls it dal-bhat, dal-chawal or dal and rice, it is how most Indians spell comfort food! When children leave the nest, magically these kids come back home for varan bhaat or daal chawal …and the funny thing is some of them did not even like it as much when they were growing up 🙂
Dal is a generic term for split lentils. Mung dal, toor dal, chana dal , urad dal and masoor dal are the most common dals used. When consumed with rice or roti, dals provide the amino acids needed for the body. So it is a great source of protein for vegetarians. The photograph below will help you identify the different dals.
So getting back to Varan bhat, our next generation growing up in or outside India miss this comfort food, so this post is especially for them. In the state of Maharashtra, varan is the most basic dal made for pujas and everyday simple ‘satvik’ food. Some of my friends’ children have often asked me for this recipe, complaining that their mothers say just add a little of this and some of that. So I have measured how much exactly is a little of this and a pinch of that! And have some very handy tips too.
Here is the detailed recipe and tips-
- 1 ½ cup cooked toor dal. I cook the dal with 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/16 teaspoon asafetida (hing) powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons powdered jaggery (gul)
- Salt to taste
- Ghee and wedges of lemon/ lime to serve
To make the Varan-
- Combine the cooked dal and water and whisk with a wire whisk until smooth.
- Place the pan on medium heat. Add the turmeric and asafetida powders, jaggery and salt and let the mixture come to a boil.
- Turn down the heat to low and let the varan simmer on low heat for 8 ~10 minutes.
- Serve with rice, ghee and lemon wedges.
- Wash the toor dal with several changes of water.
- To cook the toor dal, use a pressure cooker. If you do not have a pressure cooker, wash and soak the dal in hot water for an hour or so before cooking. Add water as needed until it is cooked soft and mushy.
- I cook and freeze cooked toor dal in serving size packets in the freezer. So varan and other dals are a matter of minutes to make on weekdays.
- You may substitute the quick cooking masoor dal (red lentils) in a pinch but the taste varies a little.
Godi Aamti is a sweet and sour heirloom dal recipe that I rediscovered during a trip to Goa, India.
This ‘Easy Going’ Tadka Dal on Indfused has been a hit at home and at parties too.
Dals infused with regional flavors- whether it is the spices used in tempering, the seasonal vegetables added or the souring agents like tamarind, tomatoes, lemon, raw mangoes or the sun dried aamsol, all make them unique.
So I asked some of my blogger buddies to send in their favorite dal recipe. And I got a plethora of traditional recipes from all corners of India! Check out their awesome recipes below!
What a mouthwatering array, isn’t it? So many dal recipes from all corners of India!