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The protein that we vegetarians need comes mainly from dal. So dal in its various forms is much needed and a compulsory food.
I awoke to the sharp contrasts in the cooking styles in Maharashtra and Karnataka before marriage with this dal. I am from Karnataka and hubby’s is from Maharastra.
My FIL was posted in Poona and since hubby’s granny could not make it to the marriage I was on the “Ladki Dekho” in Poona. After a long and incident prone journey we hubby, SIL and I made it to Poona.
Boy was I hungry. We sat down to eat I found the vegetable sweetish and not something I was used too. So I decided to attack Varan Bhat only to find that too sweet. I lost my appetite then. Even now I find it difficult to eat the varan that is served.
In Karnataka too we add a small bit of jaggery to the Taavi or Varan but its minuscule and there are people who do not like it at all.
Anyway coming down to Sadha Varan as made in Maharashtra that is eaten with a dollop of sajuk tup or homemade ghee.
There is no recipe as such but here goes…
Sadha Varan or Plain Dal~Dal the Maharashtrian Way
This dal is generally made on a festive occasion and is served first with steamed rice and homemade ghee.
- 1 cup toor dal
- 2 peas sized balls of jaggery
- ½ teaspoon jeera/cumin (optional)
- ½ teaspoon asafoetida/hing
- Salt to taste
- Wash and add the dal with sufficient water. The amount of water required varies from place to place and dal to dal. 1:1 ½ is a good enough ratio.
- Add Jeera if using.
- Boil the dal in the cooker for 3 whistles. Let the pressure drop naturally.
- Remove the dal and if it’s well cooked you can mash it with the back of the ladle.
- Add the jaggery, hing/asafoetida and salt.
- Adjust the consistency of the dal.
- Serve hot over rice with a pickle.