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Thali Menu #148 – Rajasthani Thali

12 Nov, 2019

About Rajasthan

Khamma Ghani! Padharo mhare desh! 
Come, let us take you on a wondrous culinary journey to Rajasthan, which literally means ‘Land of Kings’ – a state in North-Western India that brings to mind images of valour, imposing landscapes, folk music and dance, royalties, stunning attire, vivid colours and of course its unique cuisine, one fit for kings! Amongst the most popular states on the destination tourism in India, Rajasthan is full of ancient history, art and culture with that royal enigma.

Rajasthani Cuisine

Rajasthani cuisine was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. Scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables have all had their effect on the cooking.

Rajasthani cuisine is also influenced by the Rajputs, who are predominantly non-vegetarians. Their diet consisted of game meat and dishes like Laal Maas (meat in red gravy), Safed Maas (meat in white gravy), Khad Khargosh (rabbit cooked in underground pit) and Jungli Maas (game meat cooked with basic ingredients).

There is a lot more to this glorious cuisine than the well known dishes like Daal-Baati Choorma, Laal Maas and Ghatte Ki Sabji. We present in this weekend’s menu a mix of the known and also some unique dishes from the Royal Kitchens of Rajasthan that have been lost in time. So, come join us this weekend and enjoy the Rajasthani thali at Daana.

Recipe of the week

Fodniche Varan

Maharashtrian style tempered dal

For pressure cooking:

  • ½ cup Toor dal or split pigeon peas
  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder

For varan:

  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Jaggery

For tempering:

  • 2 teaspoon Ghee
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • a pinch Asafoetida

Pressure cooking the Dal

  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.
  4. Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and turmeric powder.
  5. Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles, open the lid once the pressure is released.
  6. Mash or hand blend the dal till smooth.

Making Varan

  1. Add salt and jaggery to the dal. The dal needs to be thin consistency but not too watery, add water to get the desired consistency.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
  3. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Making the tempering

  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan.
  2. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  3. As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for a few seconds.

  4. Then add red chilli powder and asafoetida.

  5. Immediately add the tempering to the dal. Stir well.

  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.