Lentils are important part of any Indian meal. In Rajasthan especially, lentils are substantially considered as dietary staple and also make up to the signature state dish Dal Baati Churma. Though this exclusive state dish is the how lentils are prominently used in Rajasthan, it is, by no means, the only foodstuff prepared here. Rajasthani cuisine is way too rich to allow such a limitation to exist. Here are enlisted other lentil dishes that are closely associated with the spicy (and also not so spicy) cookery of Rajasthan.
- Rajasthani Mogar
As the name clarifies, this dish is special delicacy of the state and is enjoyed with flatbreads and Aamras (mango juice). Why aamras? Because the dish itself contains a special flavor of the fruit, a flavor that makes it different than all the other versions of Dal cooked on earth. To make a Rajasthani Mogar curry, moong dal (green gram) is kept soaking in water for few minutes, meanwhile, the spices and aromatics like cuin seeds, kadipatta, ginger, asafetida, chilies, turmeric powder, chili powder are sautéed in oil. Once that’s done, chopped raw mango is added to the sizzling mixture along with some salt. The whole thing is then pressure cooked with the lentils. Thus prepared Rajasthani Mogar is often enjoyed with rice and chapati.
- Panchmel Dal
The Panchmel dal is a rich affluence of five different kinds of lentils that are cooked in an aromatic mixture of hot Indian spices. The five lentils used in the dish are masoor (red lentil), urad (black gram), moong, chana (split chickpeas), and Arhar (split pigeon peas). All these lentils are thoroughly soaked in water for almost 4 to 5 hours. Afterwards, spices like fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and fennel seeds are dry roasted in a pan and are later grinded in a fine powder. Thus prepared ground masala is added with other common ingredients like chili powder, turmeric, salt, onions, garlic, yoghurt and tomatoes in an open vessel. All these stuff are finally cooked with the lentils on a simmering flame. A dollop of ghee (clarified butter) is usually added to give it a yet another tinge of richness.
- Dal ka seera
With all these spicy soups of lentils, you might start believing that the Rajasthani cuisine is indeed spicy. However, this final element of this list will deftly rectify this common fallacy. Dal ka seera or jhalwa is a mouth-watering sweet delicacy that is often enjoyed by the people of Rajasthan during winters. The dessert is made by soaking moong dal in water for 5 to 6 hours. The soaked lentils are then thoroughly washed to separate the skin. A fine paste is then made of these lentils by using little amount of water (if needed). The sweetening agent in this dessert will be sugar syrup enriched with milk. But before mixing the paste with the sugar syrup, the former is cooked in ghee. Only after the paste is nicely cooked the sugar syrup is added along with the aromatic like green cardamom and saffron. Garnished with dry fruits, this sweet smelling dessert is often served on festive occasions in Rajasthan.