goan style varan bhaat with coconut

This Goan varan bhaat is an important dish that is made during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the regions of goa and konkan. A vegan dish.

In english, varan bhaat would read as lentil-rice where Varan stands for Lentil curry or stew and bhaat means Steamed rice. this recipe is different from the Maharashtrian Varan recipe and has fresh coconut added to it with minimal spices.

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varan bhaat recipe for ganesh chaturthi, varan baat with coconut.

I make this Goan varan bhaat with coconut often. I had made this recipe some weeks ago and hence the pics do not have a festive feel to them. The post was lying in the drafts and I thought it is a good occasion to write this post.

The dal is served in the Naivedyam or bhog we offer to Lord ganesha along with the other veggies dishes & sweets. This is satvik dal with no onion and garlic added to it. 

On other occasions, you can have the dal with some steamed rice. Goes well with some ghee on top. This is one delicious recipe and you must try it.

varan bhaat recipe

Wishing all my readers who celebrate a happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

Few more dal recipes for you!

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Goan Varan Bhaat

5 from 1 vote
A lentil preparation made with tuvar dal (arhar dal), coconut, some spices and herbs. This Goan style varan bhaat is best served with steamed rice.
varan bhaat recipe, goan style varan bhaat recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:25 mins
Course:main course
Servings (change the number to scale):3 to 4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • ½ cup moong dal (split and skinned mung lentil)
  • ½ cup arhar dal (spilt and skinned pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2 to 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
  • add 1 or 1.5 cup more water later (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves - optional
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cumin or cumin powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut - ground with little water
  • salt as required


  • Pick, rinse the lentils couple of times in water.
  • Pressure cook the lentils till they are soft.
  • Mash them with a spoon or ladle. Keep aside.
  • Grind the coconut with little water to a smooth paste.
  • Add coconut paste to the cooked lentils and mix well.
  • Then add cumin powder, turmeric powder & curry leaves and salt. mix again.
  • Add water to thin the dal if required.
  • Keep the dal on the stove and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  • Serve with steamed rice and some ghee.


  • Instead of combination of moong or arhar dal, you can also add 1 cup of arhar or moong dal instead.
  • You can also grind the coconut with cumin seeds and then add to the dal.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Goan Varan Bhaat
Amount Per Serving (4 g)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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25 comments/reviews

  1. Can you use channa dhal in place of moong dhal?

    • you can use chana dal. but for cooking chana dal, you will need to add some more water. to reduce the cooking time, soak the chana dal for 30 to 45 minutes in water and then cook.

  2. Hello,

    Just wanted to point out that Varan Bhath is typically Maharashtrian. It also consists only of toor dal, hing, turmeric & salt – nothing else!

    The recipe above looks more like delicious Konkani Dali thoi! In Konkani, rice is known as “sheath”. My mother is a typical Goan Konkani & my father is a pakka Maharshtrian. So the name of this recipe should be Dali thoi ani sheath (or just dali thoi). It is really not varan bhath 🙂

    Also, both dali thoy & varan are made only with toor dal! Dali thoi also has a tadka/phodni using coconut oil with mustard seeds, jeera, hing, curry leaves & green chilies.

    Hope this helps. You are doing good though, nice to see young people keeping up with the cooking!

    • thanks for the elaborate comment asavari. i am also a half goan and half south indian. we also call rice as “sheeth”
      what you say about the typical maharashtrian varan is right. actually my neighbors from konkan would make this dal for ganesh chaturthi and would call it varan bhaat. they would not call it dali thoi. i also know about dali thoi. i myself make dali thoi and varan many times. there is a similarity between both these dishes. yet some where i read, that the goan hindus do make this dal. not sure where i had read this.

  3. I meant recipes, I have tried some and they really came out well for my expectation.

  4. Hey your recipe timing and presentation both are just awesome.Its really amazing to have them as they easy to understand and follow and try. Thank you

    • thanks mansi. nice to know that you tried some of the blog’s recipes and they have turned out well.

  5. Hi Dassana. In South Africa we miss a lot of indian veg, but I will try this one out

    • do make the varan bhaat shyama. it is delicious.

  6. Dal with rice and ghee- absolutely up for it any time! Curry leaves and coconut in it sound like an addition I would love to try.

    • And hope you had a fun ganesh chaturthi!

  7. Hi Dassana,

    I am a bachelor hence your various recipes are really easy to make and a treat to savour at all times and even during festivals. Many many thanks and keep the good work. We all wish you to bring many more recipes on our dining table. Happy Ganesh Chathurthi.

    Umesh Mendon

    • thanks umesh for your lovely words. felt good and inspired 🙂

  8. For living in the middle of America in a rural area, I think I have done a pretty good job cultivating my Indian pantry! But fresh coconut continues to elude me. 🙁 Would either dried UNsweetened or canned coconut milk substitute here? Because it looks delicious!

    • dear laura, i appreciate the fact that you have done a good job of having an indian pantry. dry unsweetened coconut or coconut milk also substitutes well in this dal. do give it a try. when i do not have fresh coconut, i make the dal with dry coconut. just when grinding the dry coconut, grind the coconut with warm water.

  9. Ganesh chaturthi is today right? My neighbor is celebrating this weekend and we’re attending. Hope you have a nice celebration! I’ve never tried this but looks interesting and I’d love to taste it.

    • in india ganesh chaturthi was yesterday. do have a good time nami 🙂

  10. Hi Dassana,
    Varan bhaat is my favorite food. This is comfort food to me. Load it with ghee and have a nice batata bhaji along with it. Yum!!!
    After seeing your post, I plan to make this for lunch today.

    • it is mine too. i usually make the varan with some side veggie dish like tendli upkari or cabbage upkari. even with batata bhaji it tastes yum.

  11. Lovely! I liked how you add coconut to dal. Sounds delicious.

  12. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 🙂

    • happy ganesh chaturthi to you too kiran.

  13. Such simple and nourishing food..can eat it the whole year long!

  14. I am going to make prasad for Ganesh chaturthi..will definately add this:)

  15. yummy ..yumm