Varan is a Maharastrian style no-frills daal that is made in every home in the region and completes every meal. It’s a very comforting dish and is usually served with plain white rice. The classic combination of the two – the Varan (dal) and Bhaat (rice) is usually said together and is considered one word – Varan Bhaat. There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot enjoy this Dhal with Chapatis or parathas. The simplicity of this Dal is what is just so satisfying.
This amazing recipe was given to me by my Mother-in-Law.
Toor Daal – 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.
Watch and learn!