As I type this, Copenhagen is draped in a thick blanket of white and snow falls gently on the remains of the weekend. It has been an interesting weekend I must say: there were more sleds out than cars
The munchkin and her dad were out sledding and I was too lazy and cold to join them. It was also one of those rare Sundays when we had woken up early and hence I had time to plan lunch at leisure and not much else to do 😉
The frosty weather put me in the mood for an elaborate meal, cooked over a few hours; a meal that was just perfect for a cold winter’s day…
My mind rambled through the options and came to linger on this meal I had a while ago. It was at this newly opened concept restaurant, serving food from the Indian state of Rajasthan, the land of royalty. I have written more about Rajasthani cuisine in my post on Gatte ki Sabzi.
Anyway, this whole restaurant is set up like a Rajasthani village fair. It is decorated with handicrafts and gorgeous mirror work cushions cover the rustic seats. There are live puppet shows and folk singers playing traditional instruments.
And the food of course, is to die for! It’s a buffet style setup with different stalls serving snacks, spiced buttermilk, freshly squeezed sugarcane juice (oh how I miss it!) and a beautiful selection of traditional Rajasthani vegetarian fare.
It was there that I first tasted this heavenly dish called Dal Baati Churma. The three worlds reflect the three delectable elements of the dish. It is spicy, sweet, tangy, rich and with so many different textures: the velvety smoothness of the dal, the crunch from the churma, the bati which starts out a bit tough but yields to the dal…
Dal, the deceptively simple but wonderful Indian Lentil stew is the first element of this gorgeous dish. This version is made with five kinds of lentils and a zingy seasoning. And it is absolutely delicious. The munchkin ate a couple of bowlfuls of the dal, before the other parts were ready and she was one happy slightly-frosty-from-sledding bunny!
The second element is the Baati, unleavened bread made from whole wheat flour with hints of cumin, carom and fennel. The interesting bit is that it is made with a minimum amount of water, which makes a lot of sense considering that most of Rajasthan is a vast desert and water is a precious commodity. They are traditionally cooked over hot coals and served dunked in ghee. I baked them in the oven and brushed them with ghee 😀 Ahem! The crosses on them help them cook faster (and makes them look pretty!)
The third element, the crowning glory is the Churma: a crumble made from baked whole wheat dough which is then mixed with jaggery or sugar, ghee and coarsely ground nuts. It is fantastic to eat on its own. In fact, the churma is also used to make Churma laddoo and they are ridiculously good!
And this is how you eat it. Ladle the thick dal into a deep bowl. Break the bati into pieces and dunk them in the dal. Top with a big spoonful of the churma. Drizzle with ghee. Grab that spoon and don’t stop until it is all GONE! Which will take about a minute. Trust me 😀
I am sharing this deliciousness at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with this week’s co-hosts, Elaine@Foodbod and Julie@Hostess at Heart, to Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, and Friday Favorites!
If you liked this post, please do share with your family and friends using the Social Share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!
You can also follow me on:
- 1 & ½ cup Whole Wheat flour
- 1⁄4 cup Semolina
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground Carom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground Fennel
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt (or as per taste)
- 1 tablespoon Yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Ghee, melted
- Approx. ¼ cup Water
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1⁄4 Cup Semolina
- 1⁄4 Cup Ghee, melted (for the dough)
- Approx. 2 tablespoons Milk
- 1⁄4 Cup roughly powdered Nuts (use a mix of almond, pistachio & cashewnuts)
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
- 1⁄4 Cup Sugar, powdered
- 2 tablespoons Ghee, melted (for mixing into the churma)
- 2 tablespoons Ghee or Cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 3 dried Red Chillies
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Green Chilli paste
- 1 sprig Curry Leaves
- 1 Large Tomato, chopped
- 1 heaped cup Mixed Lentils, washed and soaked in water (a mix of moong dal, chana dal, tur dal, masoor dal and urad dal; you can also just use 1 single type of dal instead)
- 2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
- Chopped Cilantro
- A few teaspoons Ghee
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the wheat flour, semolina, the ground spices and salt to taste. Stir in the ghee and yogurt and mix well into crumbs. Slowly add water and knead the crumbs well into a firm dough. Cover the dough and set it aside for about 30 minutes.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the wheat flour, semolina and ghee into crumbs. Slowly add the milk and knead the crumbs well to make a stiff dough. Cover the dough and set it aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee or oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the dry red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, onion, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, salt, and curry leaves.
- Cook till the onions turn translucent. Then add the chopped tomato and soaked mixed dal with the water and garam masala.
- Mix until well incorporated and cover the cooker with the lid. Cook the dal for about 4 whistles.
- Once done, set it aside and let the pressure inside the cooker come down. Once the pressure is down, open the lid add lemon juice and mix well.
- Make lemon sized balls of the baati dough. Knead each ball well till it is smooth and supple.
- Make a deep cross in each baati without cutting all the way through.
- Place the baati on a baking sheet and repeat till all the dough is formed into baati.
- Line them up about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Divide the dough for the churma into two equal parts.
- Place one half of the dough on a rolling board and using a rolling pin, roll it out into a thin flat bread or roti.
- Set these roti alongside the bati on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Place the tray in the preheated oven at 180 C, for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Halfway through the baking time, turn the rotis and bati over once to ensure even baking.
- Once done, remove the rotis and set them aside on a plate to cool them down.
- Remove the baked bati onto a serving tray and brush them with melted ghee.
- Once the rotis have cooled down, break them into small pieces and place them in a food processor.
- Buzz them into a grainy crumb to make the churma.
- Transfer it into a mixing bowl and add the roughly powdered cashew, pistachio and almonds, the cardamom powder and sugar. Mix well. Stir in the ghee and mix until well incorporated.
- In a deep bowl, add a few ladlefuls of the dal. Break a couple of the batis and add to the dal. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the churma. Drizzle with ghee and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve hot!