Dalma is a delicacy from Odisha, a central eastern state of India. Odia cuisine is one of the very traditional, tasty and healthy cuisines of the world. Dalma is essentially a dal dish with more than one lentil and local tropical vegetables. Rich in protein from dals and loaded with vitamins from vegetables, dalma is a fabulous recipe if you enjoy stew style dishes.
Another speciality of Dalma is the dry spices used in cooking it. ‘Panch phutana’, or five spice seeds (in Bengali it is called ‘panch phoron’) is a perfect mix of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. In dalma cooking an exciting ‘tadka’ is given to cooked lentils and vegetables to liven up the dish and give inviting taste, texture and aromas.
Delicious Dalma Recipe
Here is Your Recipe
½ cup of toor dal
½ cup of masoor dal (red lentil)
1 cup each diced potato, raw papaya, pumpkin, french beans and aubergine pieces
3 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon sliced coriander (optional)
1 inch fresh ginger piece
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon grated coconut
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon panch phutana
1 teaspoon ground jaggery
4 dried red chillies
1 Indian bayleaf
½ teaspoon hing
4 tablespoons of ghee (coconut oil for vegan option)
5 cups water
salt to taste
Wash and soak dals for a minimum of 1 hour (max 3 hours).
Dry roast 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 2 red chillies in a pan.
Once cooled grind these into fine powder and keep aside.
Switch on the kettle with 5 cups of water.
Place a thick bottom large pan on the hob.
Pour boiled water, soaked dals, turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon ghee.
Cook for 10 minutes or until the dals half boiled.
Add diced potato, raw papaya, pumpkin pieces, french beans and stir.
Cook for another 10 minutes so that the above vegetables are half cooked.
Now add diced aubergine pieces and 3 whole tomatoes.
Grate the fresh ginger piece in.
Cook for another 10 minutes and make sure all the ingredients are cooked soft.
Remove the pan from the heat and keep aside.
Take another small pan and heat ghee.
Crackle panch phutana.
Add hing and red chillies to fry for a minute.
Pour this tadka into the cooked dal and vegetables mix.
Sprinkle cumin and red chillies powder over.
Cook for another few minutes while mashing the dals and vegetables.
Garnish with grated coconut and sliced fresh coriander.
Serve hot with rice.
You may use moong dal and chana dal for a faster cooking time.
Adding moringa sticks, raw banana (plantain) or other tropical veggies makes it more exotic.
Want it to be more irrisisting? Do double tadka!