Dalcha is a lentil based curry cooked traditionally with mutton and is a hyderabadi specialty. I have seen an oriya version too and both of them taste awesome. You can choose from the mutton dalcha if you prefer non vegetarian meals, but both versions of dalcha are equally tasty.
Here I am giving a recipe of vegetarian dalcha which is a very good way to include some not so tasty vegetables into your meal. Yes I have used guar (cluster beans) and brinjals for this dalcha as these are the veggies my husband is not very pleased with. Also as most of my recipes, it is a simple and quick one and saves your time because you don't need any side dish with it.....
to prepare dalcha...
(2-3 large servings...)
prepare a masala paste which is the actual taste maker ( this masala has to be made fresh and can be kept in the freezer for further use)......you need to grind together...half a star anise, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 tsp of black pepper corns, 2 whole red chillies, 4 cloves of garlic and half an inch piece of ginger...make a coarse paste using little water and keep aside.
apart from this you need
you can use any vegetables available but don't replace the tomatoes and potatoes.
a cup of chopped guar fali (cluster beans)
one medium sized brinjal cubed
one big red tomato cubed
2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
3 tbsp of red lentil (masoor daal) washed and soaked for 10 minutes
1 tbsp of mustard oil ( you can use you choice of oil)
asafoetida 2 pinches
fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
to proceed....heat oil in a pressure cooker...throw in the asafoetida and fenugreek seeds and as soon as they splutter, dunk in the cubed potatoes.....after just a minute add the masala paste and stir to fry the masala n potatoes together.....after a couple of minutes add the beans....stir for 2 more minutes and the dunk in the brinjals and tomatoes....toss to mix ...add salt and turmeric powder ........now add the washed and soaked daal to the cooker .......pour 3 cups of water................cover the lid and cook til 2 whistles........open the lid when pressure releases and serve hot with plain boiled rice.............
if you want it to be a bit sour, add little amchoor powder or tamarind paste to your taste..........it's absolutely yummy and you forget that you are eating those most hated veggies.........the flavors of cumin and star anise make this dalcha very very flavorsome ........you will repeat this one recipe i am sure......though the pics are not very tempting but you can trust me on the taste......it is super healthy.............
I like it with plain boiled rice and nothing on the side but A wanted some sabzi, so I served it with a quick kele ki bhujia ...which is a simple stirfry made with sliced plantains (with skin) .....
To make this kele ki bhujia....you need to heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil in a kadhai, temper with a few fenugreek seeds( gives a very aromatic flavor to this stirfry) , dunk in the sliced plantains.....fry till golden brown.....then add a tbsp or more of garlic and green chilly paste, salt to taste and a bit of turmeric powder........with a splash of water.........cover and cook till water is absorbed and a tempting bhujia is ready...takes about 8 minutes if using 2 plantains........this is not a low cal sabzi so keep a tab......presence of the skin makes sure it is nutritious n plantain is not a very high cal veggie but it uses more oil to fry....
I like the dalcha in the form of a soup too and always use the leftover as a one bowl meal for myself.
You can always add a little boiled pearl barley to it and make it a more filling meal if you wish. I wouldn't mind some boiled eggs with this meal too.