Varan is Maharashtrian dal. I came across many varan recipes online. There were recipes with onion and tomatoes, some with only onion and some with just tempering with no onion and tomatoes. A plain dal with no onion no tomatoes with simple tempering is also called sadha varan.
I usually make dal with either onion & tomatoes or with only onion. For seasoning I use green chilies or some green chilies and chili powder. No onion, no tomatoes, no green chilies dal is something I do not make at home. Thus, I chose this simple sadha varan. A tiny piece of jaggery is added to varan and since we do not prefer sweet in savory food, I left it out. I made varan as part of the Maharashtrian thali.
- ⅓ cup Toor Dal
- 2 cup Water
- ½ – ¾ tsp. Salt (adjust to salt)
- 1 tbsp. Oil
- 3-4 Curry Leaves
- ¼ tsp. Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp. Cumin Seeds
- ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
- ¼ tsp. Hing ~ Asafoetida
- ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- Fresh Coriander Leaves for garnish
- Wash dal and cook in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water. In my pressure it takes 7 whistles on high and 5 minutes on low.
- Let the pressure dissipate naturally.
- Open the cooker, mash the dal with back of the spoon, add water to desired consistency and bring it to a boil. Add salt and boil for few minutes.
- In a separate pan heat oil for tempering. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let the seeds crackle.
- Add hing, turmeric and give a good stir.
- Add chili powder and turn off the heat.
- Pour tempering over dal, garnish with coriander leaves and stir.
- Turn of the flame and serve hot with bhaat/rice.
This day in 2014: Maltese Potato Qassatat