An authentic meal of Dal Baati Churma is much loved in Rajasthan. Very simple and very rustic, this common man's food from rural India is very common to a Rajasthani or Marwari family. Not only is it easy to cook, but also is very filling and so makes a complete meal of grains, lentils and sweet at the end.
On our many trips to Rajasthan, we have eaten at numerous simple roadside eateries or highway side dhabas on our lookout for simple local cuisine.
Even though Dal Bati is readily available everywhere, I could not get myself to eat them outside just because they are prepared right there on the side of the road ... in slow embers of cow dung cakes. No, not even the heady aroma of the baked wheat could shake me.
Maybe that's because am not a Rajasthani ... so am not used to it. My Rajasthani other half enjoys them without any qualms. :-)
Back home, it is cooked under more 'sanitised' conditions ... plain baked in my good ol' oven.
And when do I make this meal? When am too lazy to go the kitchen to rustle up something ... or for a late Sunday meal ... or anytime when I want easy cooking as well as a quick home cooked meal.
To the recipes now.
Do not be daunted by the long post .. it takes just a while in the kitchen for the prep work. After that set the pressure cooker to cook and the oven to bake. And go laze. :-)
The Dal :
The Dal is commonly known as Dal Panchmela or Dal Panchmel. The reason being it is a mix of five dals.
Very simple with no masalas at all, this dal tastes the best when kept for a day and then eaten.
Many people add garam masala powder to it ... I do not. I love the taste of the each dal seperately, accentuated by a bite of ginger here or a green chilli there.
Just keep the quantity of the moong and chana dal less than the other three dals as they tend to soak up water more ... resulting in too a thick dal.
Check out the snap for an idea of the quantities.
Moong dal ( around 2 tbsp )
Tuvar dal ( 1/2 cup )
Chana dal ( around 3 tbsp )
Masoor dal ( 1/3 cup )
Urid dal ( 1/3 cup )
Onion sliced lengthwise
Ginger sliced lengthwise
Green chillies chopped
Jeera / Cumin seeds
Hing / Asafoetida
Haldi / Turmeric powder
Lal Mirch / Red Chilli powder
Lemon juice or Amchur/Dried mango powder
Salt to taste
Ghee / Clarified butter ( Can use any white oil too )
How to :
Wash the dals and soak in a bowl.
Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
Add the jeera, when it starts to splutter add the hing.
Add the onions immediately and stir fry for a while.
Now add the ginger and stir.
Add the dal, haldi, mirchi, salt and enough water.
Add the lemon juice or Amchur powder ... whichever you are using.
Close cooker and set on low heat for around 5 to 6 whistles.
Remove cover when cooker has cooled.
Give a stir ... add more water if necessary ... the dal should be thickish and not watery ... and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Btw ... this dal goes great with rotis or steamed rice too.
Traditionally, Batis are roasted on open fire .... that is kept on low by not disturbing the ashes as they form.
Later, after the baking is done, the batis are dunked to hot ghee so that they soak it up well ... and stay moist.
But I skip that part.
Instead I use the ghee while preparing them for baking ... so only the minimum of ghee is used ... and the aroma stays the same.
Whole Wheat flour - 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Ghee / clarified butter - 2 tbsp for the kneading and 1 tsp for rolling
Water to knead dough
A lot of people add suji or rawa to get that crumbly feel .... but it is not traditional.
I never use it. If baked properly, the batis will get their texture well.
How to :
Knead the dough as you would for chapatis/ rotis. It should be firm and not too soft.
Line a baking tray liberally with ghee.
Apply a little ghee on you palms, break off a medium sized ball from the wheat dough and roll it between your palms to give roughly roundish shape.
Do not roll them into very smooth balls .. let the surface stay uneven and broken ... helps it to cook well, lets in the ghee and gets some wonderfully crispy sides that taste heavenly when eaten with the dal.
Pre heat oven at 150 degrees C.
After keeping the baking tray in, set the temeprature to 120 degrees C.
Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the batis over.
Bake for another 20 minutes.
If you want them slightly brown, then grill them on high for around 5 minutes.
How to assemble :
Break or crumble the baati into pieces ... like so.
Douse it with the Panchmela Dal generously.
Mix well with your fingers ... what?! ... this is Indian food ... you have to use your hand and fingers.
At this point you can add a small dollop of ghee on it too.
And savour! :-)
Am giving the Churma recipe here ... no snaps as we ate up every single grain. Will post later.
For an idea you can refer to the Roti ke Laddoo.
A few Batis
Sugar to taste ( it is a sweet dish )
Elaichi / cardamom ( optional )
Ghee ( yes, yes, I know ... optional )
How to :
Break the baatis (and the ghee + elachi , if using ) and run in a mixer for a coarse powder.
Remove and mix the sugar well.
Serve with the Dal and Baati.
Here's another look!
Enjoy all !
( I had promised in this post that I'll post this recipe soon. Just realiseed that inspite of making this very regularly at home, it took me two whole years to make a post. )