Daal Baati Churma. Sometimes it's just called "Daal Baati". Its a staple dish from my home state of Rajasthan. A state which is mostly desert, a lot of its dishes are made from hardy lentils with very few vegetables. Wikipedia puts it eloquently when they say that "(Daal Baati Churma ) is prized there for its long shelf life and high nutritional content, as well as the minimal quantity of water required for its preparation."
So why have I picked this for the first post of my blog? I remembered a discussion I once had with a friend (fantastic blogger and co-marwari) who reminded me that what Daal Baati brings to us is not just taste and nostalgia for our roots. Every Marwari of our generation, who hasn't truly lived in Rajasthan has a story about this dish. It usually involved family get togethers, lots of cousins, picking the Baati out of the ghee and lots of finger licking.
I wasn't personally a big fan of it in my early years. But I remember going for a family function. I remember complaining about how I do not want to eat Daal Baati and stamping my feet. My Mother was just about to give me a verbal lashing about being a brat, when a kindly Uncle took my shoulder and told me he would teach me the right way of eating it.
As the name suggests, the dish consists of :
1) The Daal
2) The Baati
3) The Churma
There are a number of ways that people eat it. Most people do a dipping thing where they dip a piece of the Baati in the daal and then maybe dip it in the churma and then munch away. Thats boring. When you are 7, sitting on the floor in a room full of 15 kids you learn to eat daal baati the right way.
1) Smash open the Baatis with your hands. Break them into pieces on your plate.
(Caution: Baati is normally served hot and dipped in Ghee. The Uncle who fed me this dish had to put burn ointment on his fingers for the next few days. A shout out to him!!!!!)
2) Heap on the Churma. Be liberal.
3) Pour in the Daal.
(It absorbs a lot of the liquid, so you might want to get a little extra poured in.)
4) Mix it all together. (This is especially fun when done by hand)
5) A lot of people add powdered sugar, and (sinful considering how much ghee its made in) spoonfulls of ghee on top of this. For the sake of my heart I shall refrain (since its made often enough in my house) But if its your first time trying this, I recommend you add them. It adds to the richness of the flavours.
(P.S. This was not going to be my first post. Credit goes to The Purple Foodie for reminding me about Marwari Cuisine )