Dal Baati Churma is an authentic Rajasthani dish that is loved and adored by the locals as well as the tourists alike. Rajasthani cuisine has always played a big role in attracting tourists to the desert state. And it’s not just the taste of the dish but the way it’s eaten also reflects the culture and heritage of Rajasthan.
Dal Baati Churma has been an important part of Rajasthani cuisine since time immemorial but the exact root of its origin is not known. It’s believed that the dish originated during the reign of Bappa Rawal, the founder of the Mewar Kingdom in Rajasthan. At that time, Baati was considered as a wartime meal.
It’s said that during the time of battles, the Rajput leaders used to leave the chunked dough buried in the sand before leaving for the war. By the time they returned, the scorching heat of the sun used to turn them into baked chunks. Then they used to dig out those perfectly baked baatis, lathered them with ghee and consumed them along with some curd or buttermilk obtained from goat or camel milk. The elements of Panchmeel Dal and Churma were added later when the civilization set in.
The combination of Panchmel Dal and Baati gained popularity with the settlement of Gupta Dynasty in Mewar. Panchmeel Dal was a royal delicacy for the Guptas which was prepared with 5 nutritional lentils namely Moong Dal, Chana Dal, Toor Dal, Masoor Dal, and Urad Dal. These lentils were cooked with a tadka of cumin, cloves, and other spices and then served with Baatis.
As far as the churma is considered, it was invented by a sheer chance when a chef from Gehlot clan of Mewar accidentally poured sugarcane juice on the baatis. It made people realize that the sweet water softened the baatis and homemakers started using the same method to keep the baatis fresh for their husbands. This sweetened baatis when crushed, evolved into churma.
Whoever may have been the source of Dal Baati Churma, the underlying fact is that the Kingdom of Mewar is responsible for coming up with the idea of the unique combination of dry baatis with spicy dal and crumby churma. Gradually with time, several variations were made in the dish so as to add their own flavour to the delicacy.
After several variations including saag and Kadhi, the dish ultimately reached to the Mughal chefs who came up with two iterations of Baati- Kheech and Bafla. While Kheech is a traditional porridge made of Bajra (pearl millet), Bafla is boiled before baking.
Today Dal Baati Churma is popular as one of the signature Rajasthani delicacies, served with love in most of the parts of the state. It’s not just delicious in taste but also filled with the goodness of nutritious lentils and desi ghee.
If you are wondering where you can have the best Dal Baati Churma in Jaipur, there are several restaurants in the Pink City to satiate your craving for the Rajasthani delicacy, including eateries like: