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Thali Menu #160 – Hola Mohalla -Punjabi Special

10 Mar, 2020

Thali Menu #160 - Hola Mohalla -Punjabi Special

About Hola Mohalla

Holla Mohalla- Sikh Festival of Brotherhood and Bravery is a famous and colourful 3-day Sikh festival celebrated during spring (Northern hemisphere). While Hola means the charge of an army, Mohalla means an organised procession. Initiated by the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Hola Mohalla is the gathering of Sikhs to exhibit their martial arts, swordsmanship and horse-riding skills,the expertise of which was with Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself. It was he who felt that Holi had lost its meaning of brotherhood and coming together in the community, so he started the festival of Hola Mohalla, making it a similar celebration, but honouring the Khalsa custom.

Hola Mohalla has, thus, been known to mean fun and a jubilant procession of people, with people playing Gatka, a form of martial arts, enjoying the plethora of food which is served at various food stalls, and listening to soothing hymns, reciting the name of God.

Punjabi Vegetarian Meal

Punjabi cuisine is a culinary style originating in the Punjab, a region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Punjab, India and Punjab, Pakistan. This cuisine has a rich tradition of many distinct and local ways of cooking. Distinctively Punjabi cuisine is known for its rich, buttery flavours along with the extensive vegetarian and meat dishes.

This weekend, we celebrate this rich cuisine with a vegetarian menu respecting the tradition of this festival. Join us this weekend and share the joy de vivre that the happy Punjabi’s are so well known for.

Recipe of the Week

Fodniche Varan

Maharashtrian style tempered dal
Course: Lentils
Cuisine: Maharashtrian
Keyword: Comfort food


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

  • 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, open the lid once the pressure is released.
  • Mash or hand blend the dal till smooth.

Making Varan

  • 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.
  • Turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
  • Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Making the tempering

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan.
  • Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  • As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for a few seconds.
  • Then add red chilli powder and asafoetida.
  • Immediately add the tempering to the dal. Stir well.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.