Dalma - A Classic Oriya|Odia Special Recipe | Odia Cuisine - Lentils Cooked with Vegetables

Dalma is a traditional and classic lentil and vegetable dish from the state of Odisha, my Homeland. It is a simple preparation and is traditionally cooked in earthen pot ware or Matti Handi. Some people claim that it is close to Sambhar. However, the main difference lies in the absence of any onion and garlic because it is often offered to God as Prasad. 

Moreover, it is tempered with Ghee or Clarified butter instead of normal oil.

It is also one of the Chappan Bhog (56 food items) served to Lord Jagannath in the famous Puri Temple which is one of the 4 Dhams (pilgrim sites) in India, the other 3 being Badrinath, Dwarka & Rameshwaram. 

It is a very tasty dish whose flavour comes out best when prepared exactly the way I have mentioned below. Have you ever wondered why its is said : When God Wants to Eat, he comes to Odisha !!! Well, the answer lies in the recipe given below. However, instead of earthern potware, I ave prepared it in pressure cooker.

What You Need:

Toor Dal soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup pumpkin cut into medium size
1 cup brinjal or eggplant cut into medium size
1 cup potato peeled and cut
1 raw banana cut into medium size
1 radish peeled and cut
2 tomatoes cut into medium size
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
3 green chili and 1 inch ginger crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
3 to 4 dry red chili
Salt to taste
½ cup grated coconut
2 tbsp ghee
1 bowl coriander leaves chopped for garnishing
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 cardamom

Steps To Prepare:

  • Make sure all vegetables are cut into same size
  • Add Dal, vegetables, ½ liter of water, salt to taste, half the quantity of turmeric powder, half the quantity of red chili powder, half the quantity of grated coconut, grated green chili and crushed ginger , whole spices in a pressure cooker.
  • Cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Lower flame and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. 
  • Switch off the flame and let pressure cool down completely.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, remaining turmeric powder, red chili powder and dry red chilies to the pan.
  • Add remaining coconut to the tempering pan. Open the lid of pressure cooker, add the tempering and close it immediately.
  • Let it boil for 2 more minutes to allow the tempering to infuse completely into the cooked lentils.
  • Open lid, add coriander leaves and roasted cumin powder.
  • Serve with steamed rice and Tamato Khatta (Tomato Chutney in Oriya Style)