Varan bhaat recipe - Maharashtrian varan recipe made from toor dal. It is very healthy, homey dish.
Traditionally Maharashtrian Varan is made from toor or arhar dal. And it is seasoned with salt and turmeric powder. Also sugar or jaggery is added. But today I have made tempering to this traditional varan recipe to just perk up the flavors. And finally ghee or clarified butter is drizzled on top of varan while serving to individual. If you want to make traditional Varan then skip the tadka part.
In this dal recipe no other ingredients or spices are added, so in Marathi language it is called Sadha Varan means plain dal.
This is made almost everyday in Maharashtrian kitchen. For them it is very comfort and homey food. If you translate it in English, Varan = boiled dal or lentil and Bhaat = cooked rice.
There is one similar recipe on the blog which also do not use many spices like this dal recipe. It is Goan style Varan recipe and coconut is added in the recipe.
It is essential part of the meal for Maharashtrian people. It also appears in the wedding menu as well. Apart from that, Varan Bhaat is also offered to the God as a bhog or naivedyam on Ganesh Chaturthi festival along with other dishes like modak, ladoo, puran poli, batata bhaji.
How to make Maharashtrian Varan Bhaat (Step by Step Recipe with Photos):
1) Wash toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear.
2) soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
3) after 30 minutes, discard soaking water. Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water turmeric powder.
4) Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles. let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
5) Mash the dal well so it will smooth. I have used hand blender, you can use mixer or magic bullet.
6) Add salt and jaggery. Add extra water if required to make desired consistency. Again turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
7) While dal is come to simmering, on another stove heat the ghee or oil in a small tadka pan. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
8) As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for few seconds. Then add red chili powder and hing.
9) Immediately add tadka or tempering to the dal. If you don’t do it quickly then chili powder will get burn.
10) Mix the tempering into the dal and serve with rice.
Here I have not mentioned the rice recipe even though I call it varan bhaat recipe. As it will be very simple to make and you guys probably know how to cook rice. If not then check out how to cook basmati rice with many details and explanations.
Serving suggestion: take rice in plate, make small well in the center, pour the ladleful of varan in the center, drizzle about ½ teaspoon of ghee and serve a lemon wedge on side.
Maharashtrian varan bhaat recipe
For pressure cooking:
- ½ cup Arhar dal (toor dal or split pigeon peas)
- 1 ½ cups Water
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery (Gur)
- 2 teaspoon Ghee (clarified butter) or Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- a pinch Hing (Asafoetida)
Pressure cooking the dal:
- Wash toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear.
- soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
- after 30 minutes, discard soaking water.
- Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and turmeric powder.
- Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles.
- let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
- Mash the dal well so it will smooth. I have used hand blender, you can use mixer or magic bullet.
Making varan recipe:
- Add salt and jaggery. Add extra water if required to make desired consistency.
- Again turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
- Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- heat the ghee or oil in a small tadka pan.
- Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for few seconds.
- Then add red chili powder and hing.
- Immediately add tadka or tempering to the dal.
- Stir well and serve with rice.
- Soaking dal and rice is not required. But if you prefer to soak for 30 minutes then reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes only.
- Varan will thicken as it cools down. If serving right away then the given water amount is enough. If serving later (after an hour or the next day) then add ½ to 1 cup of more water. Or add water later while reheating the dal and adjust the consistency.
- Cooking on a stovetop pressure cooker: Cook dal for 4-5 whistles and cook the rice separately.