Infused Dals of India!

Here is a treasure trove of information about dal and a compilation of regional recipes by many talented bloggers!

Very easy, gluten free, vegetarian recipe for Indian comfort food
Varan Bhat Toop = comfort food

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.

Varied dals used in Indian cooking
Infused Dals of India-Dal recipes

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.

Very easy, gluten free, vegetarian dal recipe for Indian comfort food
Steaming hot Varan with rice hits the spot!

Here is the detailed recipe and tips-


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 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-

  1. Combine the cooked dal and water and whisk with a wire whisk until smooth.
  2. Place the pan on medium heat. Add the turmeric and asafetida powders, jaggery and salt and let the mixture come to a boil.
  3. Turn down the heat to low and let the varan simmer on low heat for 8 ~10 minutes.
  4. 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.

Authentic recipe for Godi dal- delectable Indian sweet and sour dal served with rice
Godi Dal- An heirloom recipe

This ‘Easy Going’ Tadka Dal on Indfused has been a hit at home and at parties too.

#Protein rich, #gluten free #tadka #dal #recipe with a #vegan option served with #fragrant #Basmati #Rice and #crunch #apple #pickle is truly a #treat in the #fall #weather
Easy Going Tadka dal

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!

Suchitra’s Dali Thoy

Suchitra's Dali Thoy
Suchitra’s Dali Thoy

Sumith’s Dal Chawal

Sumith's Dal Chawal
Sumith’s Dal Chawal

Binjal’s Red Lentil Curry with Shallot

Binjal's Red Lentil Curry with Shallot
Binjal’s Red Lentil Curry with Shallot

Ruchi’s Tangy Urad

Ruchi's Tangy Urad
Ruchi’s Tangy Urad

Piyali’s Cholar Dalcholar dal

Aish’s Dal with Green Mango


Freda’s Sambhar

Freda's Sambhar
Freda’s Sambhar

Molly’s Quintessential Dal Makhani

Molly's Quintessential Dal Makahni
Molly’s Quintessential Dal Makhani

Sandhya’s Onion Sambhar

Sandhya's Onion Sambhar
Sandhya’s  Pallakad style Onion Sambhar

Sharvari’s Saufwali Masoor Dal

Sharvari's Saunfwali Masoor Dal
Sharvari’s Saunfwali Masoor Dal

Rita’s  Parsee Dhansak-

Rita's Parsee Dhansak
Rita’s Parsee Dhansak

Aruna’s Gongura Pappu

Aruna's Gongura-Pappu
Aruna’s Gongura-Pappu

The belly rules the mind’s  Odia Daalma

Soniya's Odia Daalma
Soniya’s Odia Daalma

Uma’s Palak Dal-

Uma's Palak Dal
Uma’s Palak Dal

Namrata’s  Vegan Pumpkin Dal

Namrata's Vegan Pumpkin Dal
Namrata’s Vegan Pumpkin Dal

Shailaja’s Chintachiguru Pappu

Shailaja's Chinthachiguru Pappu
Shailaja’s Chinthachiguru Pappu

What a mouthwatering array, isn’t it? So many dal recipes from all corners of India!





39 thoughts on “Infused Dals of India!

Add yours

  1. Varan bhaat or daal chawal is so similar to the Parsi (Parsee) Dhan Daar or as we say it “Mora Dal Chaval” .

    Thanks Sandhya for compiling this and including my “Parsee Dhansak”.

    Sharing to my Parsi Cuisine​ page and group. This one is a keeper!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Rita for sharing the page. I was at a friend’s place Friday night and she had made dhansak, I asked her to check out your authentic recipe too.


    1. Thanks Judi. I was so happy that I got an overwhelming response from blogger buddies to my request for dal recipes from all parts of India. I am also posting a 2nd compilation with some modern day adaptations or fusion recipes this week.


  2. I’ve learned a bit more about dahls from this post Sandhya. A great compilation of dahls from the various regions of India. I can’t help but remember my mother in law who’s favorite dish was Dahl and rice. I’ve shared your link on FB as I know many of my Goan friends would benefit from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing the post Loretta. It is so sweet of you to remember your mum-in-law too. Yes dal and rice is such a comfort food for many.
      I remember the dal my mom made and feel I just cannot match that magical taste.


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