This Varan Phal Recipe Is True Comfort Food When You Need It

Posted: April 20, 2016

Chalukya, also called Varan Phal, or Dal Dhokli. Treat yourself to this easy to make with everyday ingredients, piping hot healthy meal of Indian pasta in a pot. 

Tired and famished after a demanding day at work? Or kids clamoring for a tasty meal during the vacations?

On such days, once you’re back home, you cannot even fathom what to cook or whether to cook at all! The quickest and easiest thing would be to treat yourself to a take away, have ready meals or instant snacks.




When you could do with something healthy, tasty and not so elaborate to cook; wouldn’t it be great to have easy to make recipes handy?

My grandmother so often made an authentic Indian dish called Chakulya (in Marathi) which is not just delicious but wholesome and so  simple to make. It needs ingredients that are commonly available at home, so does not even need any special effort.

I just found out that it is almost similar in making to the famed Gujarati dish- Dal Dhokli. It is also called Varan Phal by some or even called the Indian Pasta!

 

 

Varan phal preparation method:

The varan/dal and

The rolled out and cut rotis/ chapattis

Preparation time– 30 min

Cooking time – About 15 min

Serves–  2

Ingredients:

For the varan/ dal

Toor dal- 1 katori/ bowl

Garlic pods 5-6

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

A pinch of Asafoetida(hing)

1 tsp red chilly powder

2 dried red chillies

¼ tsp turmeric powder

Salt for taste

Finely chopped coriander leaves( a handful)

Oil-4 tsp

Ghee- 1 tbsp(or as required)

For the chakulya / varan phal dough:

Wheat flour- 1 small bowl

Oil- 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

First, knead the dough and keep it aside.

Second, wash and pressure cook the toor dal/ lentils with water. Once the lentils are cooked, keep them aside as well.

Now, take a wok (kadhai) and pour the oil in it. Once the oil has heated, add the garlic (chopped), sauté for a minute (until light brown), then add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Put a pinch of asafoetida,1 tsp red chilly powder, 2 dried red chilies and sauté again for a minute. Then add the cooked toor dal, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder,  2 cups water and salt. You can adjust the flavor as per your taste. Let it simmer on low heat.

While this aromatic dal mixture cooks, roll out the rotis/ chapattis(1-2) and cut them either into mini squares or diamond shapes (whichever shape you prefer).

As kids, we loved making the little rotis using the karanji( a sweet delicacy) cutter .

Back to the recipe-

Add the little cut rotis, one at a time into the dal . Keep stirring and separating the pieces so that they do not stick together or to the bottom of the pan. Once you are done adding, let the rotis pieces cook for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with  finely chopped coriander and serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

The dal is an excellent source of protein especially for vegetarians.  The best part about this recipe is that you don’t need any accompaniment (like rice) to go with it.  It can be had by itself as the roti pieces are filling enough. If you like, you can have it with papad/ pickle or even squeeze some lime juice over it.

As children, we shared this lip-smacking, meal with our friends outdoors-sitting on a groundsheet under a starry night. We savored it until the last drop.

Check out this video for a slight variation of the varan phal recipe.

Whenever I need some hot, comfort food, this dish is one of my favorite. So, the next you are hungry and  don’t know what to have, go ahead, try making this one. Enjoy it just as much as I do!

Image source: youtube.

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