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  • Writer's picturejyothi varne

Vahrun - Maharashtrian Dal Recipe

There are certain dishes that I relate to as comfort food, especially from the home cooked variety. When I travel for long durations, I miss this simple, healthy, lentil curry very much. Loved it as a kid with ghee, relish it when my taste buds are off during fever or a bad cold and pair it with a nice spicy meaty delicacy - its Nirvana on my plate.

The humble dal rice combo isn't new. It's nothing fancy. As someone who knows their way in a kitchen, as a cook knowing how to make dal is a given, because of its simplicity.

And that Hing wala tadka with Red chillies that we just picked from KR Market - uff!! I'm one of those who likes to squeeze the chilli oil after its thrown into the curry. That spicy, pungent flavour, mixed with a well cooked dal and a morsel of rice is literally "foodgasm" for me.

If you've been to Himachal, in minus temperature and then your guide cooks some humble dal rice with a lemon pickle to go with - its a instant homesick moment for me, yet so damn satisfactory for the palette. And oh! the warmth of that food in every bite is something that words cannot explain.

Indian has a variety of dals/ lentils and their respective curries and ways of cooking. This recipe is close to my heart, its something that I grew up eating and continue to. Its my mom's recipe like many others that I've posted here. And I absolutely love it. The jeera , asafoetida, whole red chillies in the tadka - try it and you'll know what Im talking about.


2 cups - Toor dal

1 medium onion- chopped

1 large tomato - chopped

3 strands of coriander leaves

4 strands of curry leaves

1 tsp - Jeera seeds

1 tsp -Coriander powder

1/2 tsp - Mustards seeds

1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

4 pods of garlic - smashed

5- 6 Whole Red Chillies

A pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing

2 tbsp - Ghee

Salt to taste


1. In a pressure cooker, add dal, chopped onion, tomato, few curry leaves, coriander leaves, turmeric & coriander powder, 1 tsp oil, sufficient water for 3 whistles. If you want the dal thicker, reduce the water

2. Once the pressure is down, use a ladle and mash the dal mixture coarsely, add salt as per preference. Transfer to a large vessel and continue to simmer on a low flame.

3. In a small pan, add ghee, once its hot add the mustard and jeera seeds let it splutter. Next add red chillies, smashed garlic and curry leaves.Turn off flame and add hing powder.

4. Pour the above mixture over dal and give it a good stir.

5. Serve hot with rice or roti OR you can also pair with a spicy gravy dish or fry.

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