Mutton dalcha is a meat and lentil soup with vegetables originating from the states of Andhra and Orissa. A healthy recipe that cooks easily. Daals or lentil soups can be prepared in a countless ways and there are so many traditional recipes of Indian origin that even if you make a different one daily you would have enough recipes for the life time.
And then you have your favorites . Dalcha is one of my favorites and I have been making it for the unique taste it has and for the convenience involved in making it too . Interestingly , a vegetarian dalcha posted long time back on this blog has been an all time favorite of readers as far as the daily google hits suggest . That one gets a decent number of hits daily in spite of the fact that the pictures are awful . Reason enough to post the recipe of mutton dalcha with some better pictures .
You decide whether they are decent as my pictures are never styled , just the way it is served immediately after cooking most of the times .
I made this dalcha using some leftover mirchi gosht . Easy for me , but raw meat can be used with equal ease as the daal is going to be pressure cooked anyways . Most of us Indians cook the daals and the meats too in the pressure cooker for convenience . We love our spicy food and love cooking conveniently.
the vegetables: guar beans or cluster beans chopped 1 cup , small brinjals 3-4 nos. or cubed 1 cup , tomatoes chopped in cubes 3/4 cup , cubed potatoes 3/4 cup // other vegetables are as good but i use these vegetables most of the times as i like them with this spicing.
the masala paste: star anise 1 no. , 1.5 tsp of cumin seeds , 1.5 tsp of black peppercorns , 2 whole red chillies , 5 cloves or garlic and an inch piece of ginger .
for the daal: mutton 100 gm or 4 small pieces or more if required , red lentils 3 tbsp , turmeric powder 2 tsp , fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp , asafoetida powder a pinch, salt to taste.
Mustard oil for tempering.
Make a coarse paste of the masala ingredients.
Heat mustard oil in the pressure cooker pan and tip in the asafoetida powder , fenugreek seeds and wait till the fenugreek seeds get browned a bit .
mirchi gosht so started with potatoes and spice paste.
Otherwise just add the potatoes and the spice paste , toss well and let cook till the spices get fragrant . No need to brown the spices , add the beans and brinjal , toss well to coat.
Now add the chopped tomatoes , cooked leftover meat was added too as there is no need to cook the meat further.
Meat is already cooked in my version so the daal cooks in about 8-10 minutes after the first whistle blows up. Otherwise cook it for 15 minutes on pressure and 10 minutes in the stir fry stage.
This is how it looks after pressure cooking.
Mash the vegetables a bit and serve hot with plain boiled rice.
This does not make the daal a pretty picture , all mushed up vegetables and a few pieces of meat here and there . The real thing with this recipe is it's mild fragrance of the unique blend of spices used . I end up using the same vegetables for my dalcha most of the times as i like this particular blend really good. Try it my way if you are making a dalcha for the first time. Using some cubed yellow pumpkin also suits well and may be you like some cauliflower florets in it.
A conveniently cooked healthy meal . I have served it to some guests too occasionally and it has been liked by all. Although i make it a point to cook a nice side dish with it to enhance the look of the table at such times, the taste department is taken care of well by this dalcha.