Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Odiya Dalma - Maa of all Dals! :p

Dalma is a one-pot wonder that is lentil-based and can include almost any vegetable. I usually make a big pot whenever I make it and it is often! I can have one bowl of this when in mood for soup or something light to eat. Alternatively, I have it with rice or chapatti. A veggie fry on the side makes it a complete meal.

The various vegetables and the Panch Phutana (indigenous to the eastern part of India) give it a distinct flavor. Lightly mashing up a fresh green chilli for the raw heat and the smoked Lanka Jeera Gunda take it to a different level. Did I mention it was easy to make? Yes, it is - all the more reason to make it often. I often wonder how it got it's name - anyone with more info about the same, please share. The reference to "Maa of all Dals" is just me being silly - don't quote me! :p

My parents are not much into dals - so this was something I have picked up in my culinary journey as a convenient item to make when in a hurry. Hope you get to try this!


Toor Dal - 1 and 1/2 cup
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup
Water - 3-4 times the amount of this mix, about 6-8 cups of water

Potato - 1 large, chopped into cubes (about 10 pieces)
Pumpkin - 1 inch cubes, about 24 pieces
Brinjal - 1/2 large, chopped into cubes (about 24 pieces)
Zucchini - 1 medium, chopped into cubes
Tomato - 2 medium, chopped in half
Coconut - 2 tbsp, grated
Ginger - 1 inch, grated (I sometimes add it chopped but a bite into it while eating is not that good!)

Turmeric Powder - 2-3 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp

Put all the above ingredients in the pressure cooker. Let it boil before putting the pressure lid on.
Wait for one whistle in Medium-High heat.
Reduce heat to Medium and let it continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
Let it sit without heat till the pressure lid opens without any push from your end.
When open, stir to mix all the ingredients nicely. Be gentle to avoid mashing everything.

For tempering (aka Chaunk aka Tadka aka Baghar)

Ghee\Canola oil - 2 tbsp
Dry bay leaves - 2-3
Dry red chillies - 2-3
Panch Phutana - 2 tsp

Heat ghee (or Canola oil, as I sometimes use). I use the type of heavy-bottomed utensil that is shown in the pic below which is specifically meant for tempering. Ghee gives it a distinct flavor when used.
Add the dry bay leaves and the Panch Phutana (more about this special spice mix below). Let it roast and splutter. Once it splutters, add it to the cooked Dal mixture available in the pressure cooker.

Let the Dal continue cooking for another 5-10 mins and absorb the flavors of the tempering ingredients. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (optional). Add a dollop of Ghee when serving - the more generous and less health-conscious you are, the better it will taste! ;)

Wikipedia entry for "Panch Phoron":
All of the spices in panch phoran are seeds. Typically, panch phoran consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.[2] Some cooks prefer to use a smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds, which have a mildly bitter taste...
In the tradition of Oriya, Maithili and Bengali cuisine , panch phoron is typically fried in cooking oil or ghee, which causes it to immediately begin popping. This technique is known as "tempering", called ବଘାର (baghaar) in Oriya, ফোড়ন (phoŗon) in Maithili or বাগাড় (bagaŗ) in Bengali and छौंक (chaunk) in Hindi.
 Health benefits of this spice (Source: Tarla Dal)
  • The presence of cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, important factors in proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. As with other carminative spices, cumin's digestive stimulating effects are due to its content of volatile oils.
  • Mustard is a good source of selenium and magnesium and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.
  • The seeds of the fenugreek plant are known to be great cleansers of the system and those of fennel acts as a digestive, appetite enhancer.
  • Kalonji seeds have been known to have many healing properties including migraine, chronic colds, palpitations, alopecia, asthma.


Radhika said...

This is something new to me and seems packed with so much nutrients and sounds simple as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Tickling Palates
Event : Fruit Recipes

Priya said...

Omg, super comforting dal..inviting.

Recipeswap said...

I like the fact that its easy to make and that it has loads of veggies. really nice.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

like the new name of dalma - maa of all dals...
I used to hate dalma as a kid, now it is a favorite... healthy, yummy and easy - whats not to like!

Padhu said...

Comforting dish! Nice pics

Pragyan said...

@Radhika - Yes, it is full of nutrients! Hope you get to try and like it! I may have a banana-based post for Fruit recipes event!

@Priya - Thanks - yes, it is! Particularly how easy it is to make...

@Recipeswap - You are right! Most Odiya recipes are a mix of veggies..nutritious and convenient.

@Somoo - Glad you liked my take on the name "Dalma" .. I am not entirely wrong, am I? ;) Like you, I used to hate it as a kid..I am sure my kids will also hate it coz I will make it so often! :D

@Padhu - Thanks for coming by! Appreciate the comment.

notyet100 said...

This dal is new for me,,looks yum,..

Pragyan said...

@Notyet100 - thanks! :) It is yummy and healthy as well (without the ghee)! :)

Paaka Shaale said...

WOW!!! This dal looks yummy. I? had never heard of this. Thanks for introducing me to something new :)

Pragyan said...

Thanks, Paaka Shaale! It is mild and nutritious in flavor. Hope you get to try it - look forward to hear how it turned out! :)