Varan is an excellent and delicious plain non-spicy or lightly spiced lentil soup from the Maharashtrian cuisine and is prepared with lentils, Indian spices and jaggery. Dal is an essential staple food of Maharashtrian food and is eaten daily. This dish can also be prepared with the split red gram dal or the moong dal instead of tur dal.
Varan is a popular Maharashtrian dal having a medium thick soup like consistency and is either served with rice, roti or chapatti. These are generally used to flavor the plain boiled rice with which it is taken to give it taste so servings are smaller. The basic recipe of Varan (Maharashtrian dal) is made from lentil with some seasoning which enhances the flavor and taste of dal. Varan with plain boiled rice or with roti is an fantastic comfort food, very simple and easy to cook.
The basic recipe of Varan calls for dal (any lentil), ghee and seasoning ingredients but few also add vegetables like onion, tomatoes, cut beans or carrot, peas etc to make it healthy, nutritious and more delicious and suit to your taste. The varan (Maharashtrian dal) in a traditional dish cooked in most of the Brahmin community households; especially the Deshastha Brahmins, said to be lacto vegetarians. The simple dishes for Deshastah and some other Marathi communities may be a simple tur or tuvar dal varan.
Foods from the Maharashtrian cuisine are excellent sources of proteins, vitamin B, iron and zinc, Lentil/ dals are a rich source of fiber and proteins. Generally jaggery, tamarind and kala masala (is a special blend of spices) is added in most of the vegetables and lentils which makes the foods piquant. Maharashtrians add a special freshly made Goda masala (spice mix) in most of their dishes to enhance the taste and flavor of the dish.
Varan is a very simple, easy to cook recipe that is tasty to eat and also low in calories. You can make this varan with just minimum ingredients. Maharashtrian (or Marathi) cuisine is cuisine made by Marathi people, those from the state of Maharashtra in India. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from being mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, dal (lentils), jowar, bajri, vegetables, and fruit form important components of Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include Puran poli, Modak, Batata wada and Kande-pohe.
For preparing this simple yet delicious Varan (Maharashtrian sweet and spicy dal), firstly boil the tur dal in the pressure cooker until soft and then mash the dal properly and keep aside.
Take a teaspoon of oil in a pan or kadai and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle add turmeric powder and asafetida and stir. Pour in the mashed dal into the pan or kadai adding some water for the desired consistency. Cook on high heat till you see bubbles on the top and then simmer for a minute. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with plain rice, roti or chapatti.
Tip: You can use moong dal instead of tur dal which also makes the dal tasty. Do not forget to garnish with lots of chopped coriander leaves. It tastes good.
Do try this delicious Maharashtrian dal, do click on the below link for detailed recipe:
A typical Maharashtrian lunch or dinner usually starts with Poli (chapati); accompanied by one or more bhaaji(s) (cooked vegetables) and a koshimbir (vegetable salad) along with some sides (usually pickles, Chutneys, or papad. This is usually followed by a second course of varan (lightly or unspiced Daal preparation), aamti (spicy Daal preparation) or rassa with rice. As with most of Indian cuisine however, each region and /or community has its own quirks, preferences and variations of the above general format.
Tur dal or Pigeon pea meal has a very high content of potassium, phosphorus, moderate content of calcium and magnesium and low content of iron, zinc, copper and manganese. They are good amount of Vitamin A, Niacin and small amount of thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
Pigeon Pea cures cough, poisoning effect, gas troubles, acidity, stomach pain and piles. It makes a balanced human food, quells swelling of internal organs and with water and it cures intoxicating effects. It is useful in the treatment of internal organ swelling. Some herbal practitioners/researchers are of the opinion that it diminishes the swelling of internal organs like stomach, liver, intestines etc. In case of wound or cancer of these organs it is helpful in reducing them.