Rajasthani rendezvous

Daal baati – with a twist

It wasn’t love at first bite for dal-baati and me. To tell you the truth, I hated it at the first morsel I guess it was something to do with the sweet churma that this dish usually is garnished with. I don’t have a sweet tooth really and I’m not apologetic about it and as far as adding a spoonful of sugar in the otherwise spicy daal, its something that I can’t bring myself to do! Its not that I don’t love Gujarati food, I do, but the sweet daal? The buck stops there.

Anyway, on this one Friday evening when I was thinking of what to make for lunch on Sunday I thought that it would be a good idea to give the pasta a break (do I hear sighs of relief there?) and try my hand at something Indian. I went through my cookbook collection and really couldn’t decide between the biryani, fish curry and prawn fry. But then, I also wanted to make something vegetarian just for a change. As I was going through a few sites, it hit me that I could do a daal-baati! I know my mum loves it and minus the churma, I’d happily eat it too!

But the problem began here – every recipe I saw for this dish was either too elaborate or used too much ghee. Yes I do love my cooking but that doesn’t mean I’ll spend my entire Sunday in the kitchen, no way! So finally I found something I liked here and decided to use this recipe as the base for my version of daal-baati.

Best served hot

A handful each (roughly about 1/4 cup) of toor dal, channa dal, urad dal, moong and masoor – soak this in 3 1/2 cups of water overnight and cook in the pressure cooker until soft and done
1 onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 green chillies, slit
2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 cloves
3 cardamoms
1/2 tsp of jeera
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
1/4 tsp of tumeric powder
2 tbsp of desi ghee
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of coriander leaves, chopped – to garnish

Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cloves and cardamom to this. When they begin to change colour, add the jeera and stir well until it begins to sputter. Add the onions and ginger-garlic paste to this and saute until it has turned golden-brown. Next, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and hing and saute for a minute or so. Add the green chillies and tomatoes to this and cook until the tomatoes become soft. Now add the cooked daal to this, stir well, adjust seasoning and allow it to bubble for a while until all the flavours come together. Remove the pan from the heat, keep it aside to cool down for a bit. Garnish with the coriander leaves and lime wedges, if you like, just before serving.

This daal is great with some plain rice or roti too

For the baatis:

1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 tbsp of maida
2 tbsp of ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
Some olive oil (you can use ghee instead)
Salt to taste
Some water

Mix all the above ingredients to form a dough that’s similar to that of chappati dough. Divide the dough into equal portions and flatten them into small discs between the palm of your hands. Using the tip of your finger make a small depression in the centre of the disc. Now, you can deep fry them in hot oil or bake them for about 15 mintues at 160 degrees in a pre-heated oven.

Oven-baked baatis

To serve:

  • Crush the baatis and place them in a bowl. 
  • Spoon the daal over this and sprinkle some coriander leaves. Squeeze some lime juice over this, if you like, and serve. 
  • You can also drizzle some hot ghee over the daal-baati just before serving

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