Dal Baati choorma

Born and brought up in Indore, dal baati and choorma (or baafle) are a staple. Add to that, it’s my husband’s favorite dish in whole wide world (he has lived in 5 countries and still).

Dal baati choorma
Dal Baati Choorma

Baati

Choorma laddoos

There are 2 variations to the dumplings – baati and baafle.  Baati is directly baked in the oven, whereas baafle are first boiled in water, cooled, and then baked in the oven. There’s a slight difference in taste because the baafle are cooked even before they are put in oven, and hence are softer and flakier.

Traditionally, the baati are baked over kande (cow dung cakes) and they are much tastier than baked in an oven. Staying in metros without any access to them (believe me, we have tried) made us turn to alternatives. My mom gifted us a Wonderchef Gas Oven Tandoor specifically for making dal baati (well the gift is not for me but for their beloved son-in-law). It gives well-baked baatis with crisp skin, just perfect to be eaten right out of oven!

Wonderchef Gas Oven Tandoor                     (Source: Google)

Ingredients

Dal

1 cup tur dal (traditionally made with mix of tur, urad, moong dal, but we usually make only with tur)
2 tbsp ghee
a pinch of hing
1 large onion chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp dhaniya powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 medium green chillis chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste/chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

Baati/Baafle

2 cups aata (whole wheat flour)
1 cup rawa (sooji/semolina)
2 tbsp ghee/oil
1 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds, give an aroma and nice taste)
2 tbsp curd
salt to taste

Choorma
1 cup aata
2 tbsp ghee
a pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp ghee for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
some dry fruits like badam, kaju cut into slivers

Method – for making dal

1. Pressure cook dal for about 3 whistles with 2 cups of water with a pinch of haldi powder and pinch of salt.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan, add hing and jeera. Once they crackle, add green chillis, onions, ginger-garlic paste and fry.
3. Once the onions are brown and translucent, add the tomatoes, salt, haldi powder, red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, garam masala and cook till oil separates.
4. Mash the cooked dal a little and add to the pan. Add some water and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add half of the chopped coriander in the dal, use the rest for garnishing while serving.

Method – for making baatis (without boiling)

1. Mix all ingredients and knead into a dough with water. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and leave for 10-15 min.
2. Meanwhile, put the tandoor on the gas and pre-heat on medium-high flame.
3. Take some oil in hand and knead the dough soft. Divide the dough into equal medium size portions and make them into round balls.
4. Bake the baatis onto the pre-heated oven on low-medium flame – this is to ensure the baati are cooked properly before they start getting the brown exterior. this would take about 8-10 minutes.
5. In a separate bowl, melt some ghee. Once the baatis are cooked, lightly crack them by pressing them in your palms, and dunk them in the ghee for a minute and take them out on a plate.

Method – for making baafle (with boiling)
1. Mix all ingredients and knead into a dough with water. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and leave for 10-15 min.
2. Take some oil in hand and knead the dough soft. Divide the dough into equal medium size portions and make them into round balls.
3. Put the tandoor on the gas and pre-heat on medium-high flame.
4. Take a big sauce pan, half fill it with water, put half a tsp of turmeric powder, and put the balls in the pan to cook. They’ll take about 8-10 min to cook, once they are cooked, they get light and start floating on top of the pan. Take them out, and let the water dry off.
5. Bake the baatis onto the pre-heated oven on low-medium flame – this is to ensure the baati are cooked properly before they start getting the brown exterior. this would take about 8-10 minutes.
6. In a separate bowl, melt some ghee. Once the baatis are cooked, lightly crack them by pressing them in your palms, and dunk them in the ghee for a minute and take them out on a plate.

Choorma –

1. Mix the aata, salt and ghee and knead into a dough with water. Divide the dough into small lemon-sized balls.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the balls on medium flame till golden brown.
3. Crush them using a grinder, take care not to grind them finely, leave them coarse. Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix them well. Add the dry fruits. Choorma is ready.

Serving Suggestions

Crush the baatis and Arrange them on a plate. Serve with dal and some ghee if you like. The usual accompaniments are – raw cut onions or maybe a salad, green chutney, boiled potato subzi.

Serve with love.

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