varan bhaat is an important dish which is made during ganesh chaturthi festival in maharashtra. there are many variations of making varan bhaat recipe. this recipe is a maharashtrian recipe of making varan bhaat which was shared by my friend.
for my international readers, varan bhaat would read as lentil-rice where varan stands for lentil curry or stew or dal and bhaat means steamed rice.
varan bhaat is served as naivedyam or bhog to lord ganesha along with vegetable dishes like batata (potato) bhaji or beans bhaji, snacks like alu vadi, potato pakora (batata bhajji) & sweets like puran poli, patholi, ladoos and modak. modak is one of the most favorite food of lord ganesh.
this recipe is very simple and easy to make. this is a tempered version of varan. my friend adds garlic in the tempering, but you can skip garlic. i already have a goan style varan bhaat recipe posted on the blog where coconut is added. so you can take your pick.
varan goes best with steamed rice topped with some ghee.
varan bhaat recipe below:
- 1 cup arhar or tuvar dal/pigeon pea lentils
- 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- salt as required
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ cumin seeds
- a pinch of asafeotida (optional)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped (optional)
- 1 green chili, slit
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- 1.5 tbsp ghee or 2 tbsp oil
- 1.5 cups rice
- 2.5 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking
- salt as required (optional)
- rinse the lentils well in water.
- pressure cook the lentils with tomatoes and turmeric powder for 7-8 whistles on medium to high flame.
- when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and mash the dal with a wired whisk or wooden spoon.
- add 1 cup water plus salt.
- keep to simmer on low flame till you get the desired consistency, which is neither thick nor thin.
- switch off and keep covered.
- heat oil or ghee in a pan.
- pop the mustard seeds first.
- then add the cumin and crackle them.
- add the asafoetida, curry leaves, garlic and green chilies.
- fry till the garlic gets light browned and the curry leaves become crisp.
- pour the whole tempering in the dal.
- cover and let the tempering flavors infuse with the dal for about 5-6 minutes.
- garnish varan bhaat with coriander leaves or stir in the coriander leaves.
- serve varan bhaat hot with steamed rice.
- rinse the rice till the water clears from the starch.
- soak the rice for 20-30 mins.
- drain and then pressure cook the rice with 2.5 to 3 cups water for 2-3 whistles.
- for separate grains just add 2.5 cups water and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
- for a more softer texture add 3 cups water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
- serve the bhaat or steamed rice with the varan.