This sadha Varan bhaat, Maharashtrian dal rice recipe, is a simple and easy recipe. It is a comfort food. Varan bhaat is a Maharashtrian name for 'dal rice'.
It is a Ganesh chaturthi or any other festival item when this is made as an offering - naivedya to the deity.
Toor dal /arahar dal or pigeon peas are cooked soft, which is known as 'varan' in Marathi. It is commonly made in Maharashtra as well as Karnataka.
It is served in the beginning of a wedding feast as well as any traditional meal too.
You may use pressure cooker for cooking dal for making varan as that really saves time.
You can also cook it on the stove top in a pot/pan if you wish.
Washing and soaking toor dal for 15-20 minutes before cooking reduces cooking time.
Wash toor dal and soak it for 20-30 minutes.
Add to the pressure cooker directly, along with 2 cups water, if you are cooking only dal . Or you may use a stainless steel separator and cook dal in it along with plain rice in another seperator. I usually use seperators as I cook rice too with dal in a pressure cooker.
Add turmeric powder to the toor dal in the pressure cooker.
Close the pressure cooker and let it cook till 2 whistle.
Switch off and let cool.
When the cooker has cooled, stir the dal mixture, check for consistency.
Add more water if needed.
Add salt and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Adding tempering / phodni is optional.
Heat a teaspoon ful oil/ghee in a small pan. Add 1/4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds and a pinch of hing (asafetida). Let the seeds
splutter and then take off the flame and add to the hot varan/dal. Cover
and keep covered for 4-5 minutes.
For serving varan/dal with plain rice
For serving varan/dal with chapati
Take hot varan/dal in a big bowl. add some ghee and a few drops of lemon juice if you wish.
Break chapati into small pieces and dump them all in the varan bowl.
Enjoy them while they continue soaking in the varan/dal.
If cooking dal on the stove top without using pressure cooker, wash and soak dal for 15-20 minutes before cooking. This will reduce cooking time.
Serve hot with rice, roti etc.
Wash and soak dal.
Add turmeric while cooking dal or later while boiling with salt.
Serve hot dal with hot plain rice and ghee.