Dal Bati Churma

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daal baati churma

With every region, changes taste cuisines, ingredients, specialties, and history of food. When it comes to Rajasthan, land of the kings, diverse geography and agricultural economy, food holds its own unique past. Rajasthani cuisine has evolved, under the influence of factors like state climate, early war conditions, inadequate water and lack of green vegetables. Yet, they are admired with similar enthusiasm throughout the world.

Some famous Rajasthani food items include Lapsi, Malpuas, Ghevar, Raabdi, Panchkuta, Makki ki Sabji, Govind Gatte, Til Papdi etc. and then comes the King of Rajasthani cuisine – “Daal Bati Churma”

Though it is hard to quote the exact time when Dal Bati came into existence, yet two most believed facts constitute the history of Dal Bati in Mewar culture.

One of the reasons being a warlike lifestyle of Rajput inhabitants. During wars, many adverse conditions used to surround armies and during these times long-lasting food was a major requirement. With available ingredients in barren lands of Rajasthan and scarcity of water, one most feasible solution was to bake doughs of wheat in bulk. These nutritious baked doughs were a good solution as these could be cooked fast, and in large quantity to suffice the whole army. These baked wheat doughs were then named as Bati and later added to them included Churma(sweetened cereals) and Daal( a mixture of lentils).

Another fact in light is the formation of Batis by Tribal groups of Rajasthan. These nomadic tribal people would keep doughs of wheat under sand before leaving for their work. Till their return, doughs due to the scorching sun over sand would get baked. Bati was thus their prime resource of food, as it was easy to make, cheap, durable and healthy.
Since those ancient times, Baati has traveled from deserts and war regions to five-star hotels and restaurants. Daal Bati Churma is a commonly prepared dish on religious occasions, wedding dinners, and other festivities.

This tough food was made for tough people of Rajasthan. It is a precious preparation gifted to them by their ancestors. Carrying significance of geography, climate, economy and social conditions it is a perfect example of Mewar culture.

Recipe: (ingredients for 6 servings)

For The Churma

1 1/2 cups coarse whole wheat flour (jada gehun ka atta)

1/3 cup semolina (rava)

6 tbsp melted ghee

3 tbsp almond (badam) slivers

1/3 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder

7 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar

ghee for deep-frying

For The Dal

7 1/2 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram)

7 1/2 tbsp toovar (arhar) dal

7 1/2 tbsp green moong dal (split green gram)

1 1/2 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)

salt to taste

4 1/2 tbsp ghee

4 1/2 pcs cloves (laung / lavang)

3 pcs bayleaves (tejpatta)

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

3 pcs green chillies , slit green chillies

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 1/2 tsp garlic (lehsun) paste

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder

3/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)

1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)

For The Baatis

1 1/2 cups coarse whole wheat flour (jada gehun ka atta)

3/4 cup semolina (rava)

3 tbsp besan (bengal gram flour)

3/4 cup milk

6 tbsp melted ghee

1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)

1/3 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)

salt to taste

ghee for deep-frying

For The Topping

6 tbsp melted ghee

12 tbsp finely chopped onions

3 tsp lemon juice

dal baati churma
dal baati churma

 

Method

For the churma

1. Combine the whole wheat flour, semolina and melted ghee in a deep bowl and mix well. Add approx. ¼ cup of water and knead well to make a stiff dough.

2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.

3. Shape each dough portion in the shape of your fist and press with your fingers in the centre of each portion to make an indentation (as shown in the images 1 to 3).

4. Heat the ghee in a deep non-stick kadhai and deep-fry, a few dough portions at a time on a slow flame, till they are golden brown in colour from all the sides. These will take a long time to fry as the insides also need to be cooked.

5. Drain on an absorbent paper and allow them to cool.

6. Break the fried dough portions into small pieces with your hands and blend in a mixer into a fine powder.

7. Add the almonds, cardamom powder and powdered sugar and mix well. Keep aside.

For the dal

1. Clean and wash the dals. Combine the dals, 4 cups of water and salt in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

2. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Do not drain the water and keep aside.

3. Heat the ghee in a deep non-stick kadhai, add the cloves, bay leaves, cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.

4. When the seeds crackle, add the garlic paste and onions and sauté on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

6. Add the cooked dals (along with the water) and a little salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.

7. Add the coriander and mix well. Keep aside.

For the baatis

1. Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a semi-stiff dough, without using any water.

2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into an even sized round.

3. Flatten the rounds, make a small indentation in the center of the baatis using your thumb. Keep aside.

4. Boil enough water in a deep non-stick kadhai, add all the baatis into the boiling water and cook on a high flame for 15 minutes, while turning them occasionally. Drain and allow them to cool completely.

5. Heat the ghee in a deep non-stick kadhai, add 4 baatis at a time and deep-fry till they turn golden brown in colour from all the sides.

6. Repeat step 7 to deep-fry the remaining 4 baatis in one more batch. Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside.

How to serve

1. Warm the dal again until piping hot.

2. Arrange 2 baatis on a serving dish, break them into pieces and pour 1 tbsp melted ghee evenly over it. Pour ¼ of the dal evenly over it. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of onions and ½ tsp lemon juice evenly over it.

3. Repeat step 2 to make 3 more servings.

4. Serve immediately with churma.