Bhatt ki Dal is a simple yet nutritious curry from the beautiful hills of Uttarakhand. It is a traditional recipe from Kumaon region made with Bhatt or Black Soybean.
Husband and I consider it a blessing to have our posting in the 'Land of Gods' aka 'Devbhoomi'- Uttarakhand for the last three years. We were in the Garhwal region before and are now in Kumaon.
Garhwal Vs Kumaon
Uttarakhand can be broadly classified into Garhwal and Kumaon sectors. While the prominent Hindu pilgrimage destinations like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath lie in Garhwal, Kumaon region is all decked up with places like Nainital, Almora, Haldwani, Ranikhet, Pithoragarh, and Dharchula.
While the food is outright delicious, the Garhwali and Kumaoni cuisine are different from each other. The Paharis (or Pahadi are those who live in the lower ranges of Himalayas) believe in easy to prepare recipes. Due to the extreme weather conditions, the Kumaoni cuisine focuses on ingredients that are high in energy and recipes that are simple but nutritious.
My maid is a super sweet girl. When she got me Bhatt ki Dal, I was clueless. I didn't know how to use it, Argh! Forget the usage! I didn't even know what it was. I'm sure many of you haven't heard of it either and is quite spaced out about the food of Kumaon which hosts some unique and impressive herbs, spices and ingredients.
And that's exactly why I thought I should do my bit in bringing the taste of Uttarakhand to you all.
Yup. You needn't be a gourmet traveler to experience the endless delicacies that Uttarakhand has to offer. Follow this space for the distinct flavor of the Pahaari cuisine.
Bhatt ki Dal Vs Bhatt ki Churdkani
Bhatt ki dal is the organic black soybeans which are cultivated here, in the high rises of Uttarakhand. Using this humble ingredient, different foods are prepared, where Bhatt ki Dal and Bhatt ki Chudkani/Churdkani are the two most iconic dishes from Kumaoni cuisine.
The difference between the Dal and Chudkani (pronounced as Churkani) lies in the process of preparation. In Churdkani, the lentil is first fried in oil while in Dal, you soak it overnight and temper once cooked. Also, the Churdkani is watery, unlike Dal which is thick in texture.
Dals are like staple diet in Kumaoni cuisine. Usually, the lentils are soaked overnight before cooking. Cooking is mainly done in iron pans or Lohe ki kadai. The taste and composition of the food are enhanced when you cook in iron pans. You would need very less oil, it can withstand high temperature and you needn't worry about breaking it as it is heavy.
Ghee is used for tempering as it helps in digestion of these coarse and fibrous grains. You can always use oil instead of ghee.
Benefits of Black Soybean
Known for its high protein and fiber content, black soybeans or Bhatt ki dal also has excellent health benefits, including managing diabetes, strengthening bones, lowering blood pressure, healthy digestion and weight loss. It is also a great source of Vitamin E and amino acids which helps in keeping the skin healthy, build muscle and maintain the health of your hair. Studies also show that consuming black soybeans improves the chances of pregnancy.
How to Prepare Bhatt ki Dal?
|Soak Bhatt ki Dal for a few hours or overnight. You can find the water turn black by now.|
|Grind to a paste using little or no water.|
|In a pan, add ghee/oil, asafoetida and splutter cumin seeds. Saute chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.|
|Add onion and its time for masalas. Add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and saute for a few minutes.|
|Stir in few tablespoons of wheat flour and cook till it turns light brown.|
|Add the ground dal and mix well. Pour about three cups of water, mix and simmer until the curry thickens.|
Temper cumin seeds in ghee and then remove from fire. Serve hot with rice.
Bhatt ki Dal Recipe:Print
In my opinion, Bhatt ki dal tastes more or less like the green gram dal or curry. Served best with rice, it is rich and filling. Kumaonis are not fond of tomatoes in their food. While teaching me this recipe, my maid made sure that I omitted tomatoes. You can, however, add one finely chopped tomato after cooking the onions.
You can get Bhatt ki Dal from Amazon.
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