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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dalma: Oriya Cuisine

blog event RCI Regional Cuisine of India Oriya Cuisine recipe vegetarain dalma easy recipe
The only Oriyan dish I learnt to make (and that too am not sure is very authentic) is this Dalma. What attracted me to this dish was its simplicity, nutritive value, but most of all the combination of spices.

The spices here are standard in most Indian kitchen, but, the combination was new to me - I had never combined cumin and fennel until I saw it in this dish.

And, after making this a few times over the years, I started dry roasting the Pancha Phoron spices (Cumin, Mustard, Fennel, Fenugreek, Nigella sativa) in larger batches and grinding them to fine powder and using them to spice many dals and curries and even use as rub on chicken and turkey.

Also, instead of just regular cumin seeds, I use a mix of cumin and black cumin (kala jeera/ shahi jeera) seeds which is a good carminative, and complements the dals well - as dals do tend to cause gas if one is not used to it:-)

The recommended ratio of pancha phoron as tempering and garnish is 4:4:2:2:1. But to make the spice powder, I use equal measures of cumin (jeera), black cumin (kala jeera), mustard (brown or black) and fennel(saunf), half a measure of nigella (kalonji) seeds, quarter measure of fenugreek (methi) seeds, and leave out the chilli seeds as I can add chilli powder and adjust to taste as desired when cooking...

1 cup each of diced green plantain, pumpkin or squash, potatoes
1 cup toor dal
½ cup chana dal
2 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp dry roasted and ground ground cumin seeds (i use a combination of black cumin + regular cumin seeds)
Tempering: 1 Tbsp canola oil (or ghee), 2 Tbsp Pancha Phoron spices


Cook the dal in a saucepan; meanwhile, also cook the vegetables in another saucepan with a pinch of salt

When the dal and vegetables are mostly cooked, combine them and add the spices - turmeric, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and adjust salt to taste and let it simmer gently

Tempering: In a small pan, heat the oil and add the Pancha Phoron spices, allow the mustard seeds to pop and the rest of the ingredients to crackle and brown, but not burn

Add the tempering to the dal, sprinkle the dry roasted cumin powder and serve warm with hot rice and ghee. (It is probably wonderful with hot rotis as well...)

And this is my post for the RCI: Regional Cuisine of India event started by Lakshmi at Veggie Cuisine, with RCI:Orissa hosted this month by Swapna at Swad

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  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger musical said…

    Lovely Dalma recipe, Sheela. This is my first time on your blog, and iknow i was missing out on something good :).

  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger Saju said…

    Ymmmmmmmmmm. looks delcious. I found your blog, looking for Orisa recipies for Swapna's, RCI.

  • At 6:33 AM, Blogger arundhati said…

    Hey dear thanks for ur Dalma receipe, u r quite true regarding its nutrious value, so simple n delicious food for all of us which we truly need in this busy world.
    keep it up!

  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    ::musical: Thanks! you are too kind :)

    ::Saju: Thanks for finding me via RCI, very glad you left a note!

    ::arundati: Thanks!


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