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This no-frills daal recipe was given to me by my Mother-in-Law. Varan is a Maharastrian style daal which tastes great with chapattis or plain white rice.



ToorDaal – 1 cup
Water – 3 cups
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Methi Seeds (Fenugreek) – 1/4 tsp
Green Chilies – 1 or 2 (to taste), slit length-wise
Onion – 1/2 medium, finely diced (optional)
Salt – ½ tsp (to taste)
Lemon Juice – ½ tsp (to taste)
Cilantro – 5 sprigs, chopped (for garnishing)

For Vagar (Seasoning):
Oil – 4 tsp
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – ½ tsp
Haldi (Turmeric) – ¼ tsp
Hing (Asofoetida) – pinch
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic – 5 large cloves, roughly smashed
Tomato – 1 medium, diced


1. Wash Toor Daal with water until water runs clear.
2. Add 3 cups of water to the ToorDaal and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
3. In a pressure cooker, add soaked Toor Daal with Water, Ginger, Methi Seeds, Green Chilies, and Onion.
4. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
5. In a separate small pan, heat Oil.
6. Add Jeera and allow it to sputter.
7. Add Haldi, Hing, Curry Leaves and Garlic.
8. When Garlic is slightly brown, add tomatoes, stir and cook for 1 minute.
9. Mix the garlic/tomato seasoning with pressure cooked daal.
10. Add Salt and Lemon Juice to taste.
11. Allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes.
12. Garnish with Cilantro.
13. Serves 4


1. If you don’t have time to let the Toor Daal soak, just let the pressure cooker whistle 3-4 more times.
2. If you like your daal with a thinner consistency, you can add more water at the end before you allow the daal to boil.
3. Don’t overcook the Toor Daal. The texture of the daal should be seen.

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Varan (Maharashtrian Daal) recipe