Varan Bhat: Traditional Lentil Stew and Rice

Varan Bhat Varan Bhat: Maharashtrian Varan Bhaat Recipe - Delicious Lentil Stew with Rice

Varan Bhat

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtrian

Course: Main Course

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Difficulty Level: Easy


For Varan (Lentil Stew):

  • ½ cup arhar dal (pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2 cups water (for pressure cooking lentils)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering Varan:

  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, slit
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil

For Bhaat (Steamed Rice):

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water (for pressure cooking rice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Also Read: Unni Appam


For Varan:

  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and add them to a 2-liter pressure cooker along with chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder.
  2. Pressure cook the lentils, tomatoes, and turmeric powder for 7 to 8 whistles on medium flame.
  3. Once the pressure settles, open the lid and mash the dal with a whisk or spoon. If necessary, adjust the thickness by adding water.
  4. Simmer on low flame until desired consistency is reached. Then, switch off the flame and keep covered.

For Tempering Varan:

  1. Heat ghee or oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle, followed by cumin seeds.
  3. Add asafoetida, curry leaves, and green chilies. Fry until curry leaves become crisp.
  4. Pour the tempering into the dal, cover, and let it infuse for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

For Bhaat:

  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. In a deep pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil with salt (optional).
  3. Remove the soaked rice and place it into the boiling water. Cover and simmer on low to medium-low flame until the water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
  4. Check occasionally and add more water if needed. Fluff the rice with a fork once cooked.

Also Read: Dal Bukhara


  • For extra flavor, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh grated coconut towards the end of the varan recipe.
  • You can also incorporate goda masala into the dal for added taste.
  • Optionally, add 2 to 3 slightly crushed garlic cloves during tempering for a different variation.
  • Adjust water quantity and pressure cooking time for rice based on desired texture.

Post a Comment