Rajasthani delight: The famous Dal-Baati ( Baked whole-wheat dough balls, served with spicy lentils and accompaniments)

Rajasthan is one of India’s largest states and is located on the western side of the country. Renowned for its spicy curries, Rajasthan’s cuisine is as rich, colourful and diverse as its people and traditions. .

Rajasthani food is incomplete without the mention of the famed Dal-Baati. It is Rajasthan’s most savoured, complete signature dish. Flaky, baked dough balls called ‘baati’ served with a hot spicy dal (lentil soup), this traditional dish is best served with a variety of chutneys, gatte ki sabzi and lemony onions. Plenty of ghee too goes into making this Rajasthani delight. Traditionally bati is cooked over charcoal, but nowdays almost everyone uses ovens.

Eventhough Dal-baati is a staple of Rajasthan, it is so commonly cooked and loved in my home state of Madhya-Pradesh, that many people mistake its state of origin to be the latter. M.p has its own version of dal-baati and I learnt how to make mine from my sister’s mother-in-law. She belongs to a village n M.p and has many such traditional recipes to share.

Instead of the conventional gatte ki sabzi and garlic chutney, this version has spicy, tempered potatoes and coriander-mint chutney instead. Also, I use toor dal instead of the usual panchmel dal. This is one of my most treasured recipes now and I love cooking it as well as eating it.

Dal-baati with all its accompaniments is a pretty heavy meal in altogether. That is why I would strongly recommend making it for lunch and not for dinner! I only make dal-baati on weekend afternoons for brunch. As it takes a bit of time to prepare all its different elements, I wake up early on a Saturday or a Sunday, so that everything is ready by the time hubby wakes up. Another tip- skip your breakfast on the day you plan to have dal-baati. We always like being starvingly hungry before having dal-baati. It works best that way 😉

I have shared the coriander-mint chutney in a separate post on my blog some days ago and that’s why I am not writing it all here again! Here’s the link for it-

https://afoodiehousewife.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/tangy-green-coriander-mint-chutney/

So, give this recipe a go and enjoy!!

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Ingredients:

For the baati:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup fine semolina

2 tbsn yogurt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee

1/2 tsp ajwain or carom seeds

For Dal:

1 cup toor dal

1 onion, chopped

1 big tomato, grated

1 clove garlic

1 tsp fresh, grated ginger

1 green chilly

1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds

1 bayleaf

2 cloves

1 small piece of cinnamon stick

2 green cardamoms

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp red chilly powder

2-2.5 cups of water

2 tbsp oil+ 2 tsp ghee

a pressure cooker

Salt to taste

Some fresh, chopped coriander to garnish

For the ‘sookhe aloo’ or spicy potatoes:

2 cups boiled & peeled potatoes

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsn oil

1 tsp red chilly powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp mango powder or amchoor

A pinch of garam masala

Salt to taste

Some fresh, chopped coriander to garnish

Method:

For the dal:

-Rinse and wash the lentils well, changing water at least a couple of times.

-In a pressure cooker, add dal with 2.5 cups of water, salt, turmeric, grated tomato, and ginger. Cook on medium high.

-After one whistle on high, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about seven to eight minutes. Turn off the heat; wait until all the steam has escaped before opening the cooker.

-Dal should be soft and mushy and its consistency should be pourable and thick. If needed add hot water. Toor dal will always thicken over time.

-Next, make the tempering for the dal. Heat oil plus ghee in a pan. Once it gets hot, add asafoetida. After a couple of seconds, add cumin seeds. They should crackle immediately.   Stir for a few seconds.

-Throw in the bay-leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Stir for 3-4 seconds.

-Add garlic and green chilly. Stir for a few seconds.

-Next, add your chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent and pink.

-Finally add your red chilly powder and stir the mixture for a few more seconds.

-Add the boiled dal to your tempering. Mix it well and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes. Garnish with fresh and chopped coriander leaves. Your dal for dal-baati is ready!

For the potatoes or ‘sookhe aloo’:

-Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.

-Add asafoetida and mustard seeds to the oil. After seeds crackle,  add green chilies and curry leaves. Stir for few seconds.

-Add potatoes and mash them with your spatula (or with your hand while you are putting them in the pan). Mix. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes. All the potatoes should be coated with tempering.

– Add the spices next. Red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, mango powder, garam masala and salt. Stir for few seconds.

-Lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.

-Turn off the heat and add fresh coriander. Mix it well. Spice potatoes or sookhe-aloo are ready to go with dal baati.

For the baati:

-Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

-In a mixing bowl. Take your flour and ghee. With both hands, mix both the things well, till you get a bread-crumb like consistency. When you take a fistful of this mixture in your hand, it should hold a shape. This process takes around 7-8 mins. Cover and set aside for about 10 minutes.

-Next, add semolina, yogurt, baking powder, salt and carom seeds to this mix. Taking a small quantity of water, little by little, make a firm dough. It need not be smooth. Crack in dough balls later will help the baatis cook them all the way through on the inside.

-Divide the dough into equal parts and roll them into balls.

-Arrange the baatis over a grill rack in a baking tray with space between them and place the pan on middle oven rack. Bake on convection mode at 190 degree celsius in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. After that, turn them all over one by one and bake for another 30 minutes until baatis seem cooked all over. Break one and check. If the inside is still raw, you will be able to smell and taste it. Keep cooking in oven till they seem done.

-Take the baatis out from the oven and keep to cool.

-Simultaneously, take 2 tablespoons of melted ghee in a bowl. If its in semi-solid form, microwave it for a few seconds till it turns absolutely liquid.

-One by one, take baatis and dip in the ghee. Hold them over the ghee bowl with tongs to let the excess ghee drip away. Keep in a serving bowl. If you want to avoid this step due to health reasons, you can certainly do so but I won’t recommend it. Dipping in ghee is what gives baatis their ultimate taste and color.

-Baatis are now ready to serve and so is your complete meal!

How to eat:

Dal-baati is not a dish you can eat with knives and forks. In India, it is customary to eat it with hands! However, you can assemble it in a plate this way and then, proceed to eat it with a spoon….

In a dinner plate, crumble your baatis into a fine powder. You can also leave it into big pieces if you do not like to eat it in a very fine form. Cover it with piping hot dal all over. Next, sprinkle generous amount of spicy potatoes and green chutney on top of this mixture. Mix and enjoy with lemony onions. Mmmmmm……..

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. These Baati Balls I first had in a Rajasthani Dhaba and was astonished to eat them. They are unlike our chapatis and rotis made though from the same stuff and but very tasty.
    Keep it up and rolling.
    Shiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love them too! Thanx Shiva! 🙂

      Like

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