Varan Phal: The Comfort Food Of Maharashtra
Image Credit: iStock, Varan Phal

If we look around the array of comfort foods in India, then it's quite evident that most of them have to do something with dal. From dal makhana of the North to Dalma of Odisha and the South Indian sambar, dal has some of the most delicious and loved Indian dishes to its credit. If we visit western India, we find that the Gujarati Dal Dhokli and the Maharashtrian Varan Phal are two more dal dishes that are the perfect definition of comfort food in these two states.

As we have already talked about Dal Dhokli in this article, it’s time for us to talk about the Maharashtrian comfort food- Varan Phal. Etymologically, ‘varan’ means dal and ‘phal’ means wheat dumplings. If we look closely, it is evident that Varan Phal is quite similar to the Gujarati Dal Dhokli. However, the only thing that sets both of them apart is the set of masalas that go into Varan Phal.

If we go around to look for its roots, it is believed that the dish is a Maharashtrian version of Dal Dhokli. So, the history of both the dishes is the same. The origin of Dal Dhokli (Maharashtrian Varan Phal) is attributed to the old cook of Prithviraj Chauhan who made this dish for queen Samyogita when she was craving something filling, healthy and delicious. The dish then rose to fame and transcended borders to reach the neighbouring state of Maharashtra where the locals added spices according to their preferences.

Varan Phal is made with boiled toor dal and wheat dumplings which are simmered in a generous amount of ghee. The dish is amped up to another level with the addition of goda masala, kokum and some other typical Indian spices.

Source: iStock

As winters are already here, we know that you are craving some comforting, warm and wholesome dishes to indulge in. Serve the dish with achar and papad on the side for a complete meal.