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Dalma: A Unique Vegetable Lentil Curry From Odisha


Dalma -a heavenly blend of lentils and green vegetables. The first time I heard of it, I was surprised that dal could be used in this form too. Thus far we had been sampling lentils as simple lentil curry or as dal makhni, which is widely popular in Punjab.

But dalma is different. It was never thought of in my mom's home in Punjab, but now dalma curry has become a regular there. 
dalma Odiya recipe

But when I got married to an Odiya, I got to taste this unique blend of vegetables and lentils. I fell in love with the simple recipe, which is bursting with flavors and is full of health.

I must say it is one of the best ways to hide lentils in this curry and serve it to your fussy eaters. Nobody can say it is dal only.
dalma lentil curry Odiya recipe
 Another reason to make this dalma Odiya recipe is its lavish use of green vegetables - the veggies that aren';t too popular in our homes - lauki (bottle gourd), pumpkin (kaddu), raw papaya, raw banana or plaintain. You may or may not add potato. Odiyas typically use vegetables that are available in plenty there. I could get my hands on only these veggies here. 
'
I have also shared another Odiya recipe "bhaja santula,"which is also a blend of green vegetables -

  • Raw papaya
  • Lauki (bottle gourd)
  • Plantain/green banana
  • Pumpkin
  • Potol/Parwal (Pointed gourd)
  • Ridge gourd/tori
Again, this santula bhaja is such a simple Odiya recipe, which is teeming with flavors and provides you a healthy blend of green vegetables. Enjoy it with dalma curry as a side dish or even sambar. I often make bhaja santula with simple dal or dalma.

odiya recipe of dalma lentil curry

healthy lentil curry from Odisha dalma



Often kids do not like to eat dal. Then there are a few vegetables that they run away from. So why not blend them all together and make DALMA - ODISHA's specialty? It's a real treat for your kids and enough to tempt your taste buds. 

I am sure you will love DALMA for its sheer taste and health benefits, since all the vegetables are boiled. Enjoy dalma with boiled/fried rice or chapati/naan.





What's so unique about dalma?

  • Healthy
  • Flavorful
  • Quick to prepare
  • Goes without any side dish
  • Is perfect to enjoy with rice or roti or even chakuli - another of Odisha's specialty - a kind of dosa with fermented rice and urad dal batter


The addition of roasted jeera powder, coriander powder, and red chilly powder at the end is all that you need to add the required flavor to the dalma curry.



Here's the dalma Odisha recipe:

Ingredients
Arhar daal - 1/2 cup
Beans, bottle gourd (lauki), raw papaya, plantain (raw banana) -1/4th cup each
Potato- 1
Tomato-1
Salt, turmeric 
1 bay leaf

How to prepare dalma

  • Soak arhar/tuvar dal for some time.
  • Cut all the vegetables into small pieces and wash.
  • Take a pressure cooker. Add dal along with all vegetables.
  • Drop one bay leaf as well.
  • Add one whole tomato (no need to cut it)
  • Add turmeric and little water enough to cover the vegetables. You do not want to flood the dal - add enough water that soaks all the ingredients.
  • Keep the cooker on a high flame for 4-5 whistles.



dalma
Tempering:
Cumin seeds (jeera)- 1tsp
Rai/black sarson- 1 tsp (mustard seeds)
Kashmir Red Chilly or degi mirch - 1
Oil-1 tbsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 tsp 
coriander powder- 1/2tsp
Red chilly powder- as per your spice preference

Take oil in a pan. 
When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, black sarson and red chilly. Let the spices splutter.
Drop the boiled tomato and mash it with a ladle.
Mix it well and let it roast.
Mash the dal a bit with a ladle.
Then add the dal-vegetable mix over the tempering. 
Mix and check for salt. Add all the masala powders/
Gently mix.
Cook & cover for 3-4 minutes.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves & serve hot with rice or roti.
You may add fresh coconut for a rich version of dalma. It tastes absolutely delicious with or without coconut. Do give this lip-smacking marriage of vegetables and lentils a try.

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