Ask an Odia about his comfort food and we bet you’ll hear the name of Dalma. Made with lentils and vegetables, Dalma is literally omnipresent in Odisha. Be it Odia households or fine-dining restaurants, Dalma is found everywhere. Originated in the kitchens of the Savaras (tribal community), Dalma has evolved with time and has different versions according to taste preferences. However, there are two types of Dalmas served in Puri- Badia Dalma and Habisa Dalma respectively. The latter is prepared mainly in the month of Kartik whereas the former is prepared every day inside the temple premises as a part of the Mahaprasad served to the deities. Try this Badia Dalma recipe at home to savour the flavours of Mahaprasad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 7-8 cubes of yam
  • ¼ cup pumpkin, cubes
  • 2 raw bananas cut into cubes
  • 2 brinjals cut into cubes
  • 1 radish
  • ¼ cup arum
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • ¼ pointed gourd cubes
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp ginger-green chillies paste 
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • ½ grated coconut 
  • 2 tbsp cumin 
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt, according to taste

METHOD

  1. Soak the dal for an hour before cooking, soak the vegetables in salt water for some time and keep them aside. 
  2. Dry roast a tablespoon of cumin seeds and two red chillies. Grind them to a fine powder. 
  3. Take 2 cups of water in a kadhai, add the dal, ginger-chilli paste, salt, and turmeric powder. Cover and cook till the dal is half-cooked. 
  4. Now, add all the soaked vegetables and cook the mixture till the vegetables are tender. 
  5. In another pan, heat some ghee, add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, and red chilli, and let the seeds splutter. Add a pinch of asafoetida and turn off the heat. 
  6. Add the tadka and the spice powder to the boiled dal and vegetables and cook for a minute to infuse the flavours.  
  7. Finish by adding the grated coconut and garnish with some coriander leaves. 

Regionally, dalma is eaten with rice. You can have it with rice, roti, poori or parathas. If you are craving comfort food after a hectic day at work, use this recipe to make dalma, serve it with some rice or roti and voila!