Pahadi Gahat Ki Dal Recipe is a horse gram lentil stew or curry which is of deep brown color. It is a wholesome, hearty, and healthy dal that has tons of health benefits as well. Serve gahat ki dal with steamed rice for a Kumaoni style lunch.
About Horse Gram (Gahat/Kulath)…
To many of you, the name at first sounds really weird – horse gram, the whole seeds of this bean are fed to cattle and I guess that explains the story behind this name.
Horse gram is also known as Gahat Dal or Kulath or Kulthi Dal. It is highly beneficial for removing kidney stones.
Like many other local ingredients in Uttarakhand, Gahat is also grown with many hardships in those lovely terrace farms.
The local farmers work hard for days and months for the ample harvest of this bean to enjoy a bowl full of nourishing pahadi gahat ki dal during the bad winter days.
During winters, their farms are nothing but the storehouse of dew and fog, the soil is damp and reluctant to bear any fruits of nature, the sun plays month-long hide and seek.
Pahadi Style Gahat Dal – Bhaat…
My mother who has spent a considerable part of school vacations in her paternal village – Paithani, has great affection for local produce.
During our growing up years every year one of her distant cousins before the first winter breeze use to send one bag full of Pahadi Gahat along with Pahadi Bhatt (black soybean) and Mandua flour. He never sent it a month earlier or later, always right on time.
Then she would glee in pride by looking at ancestral land produce and treasure all these condiments like a prized possession until next winter using wisely and occasionally in our daily Indian food recipes.
On a bright sunny winter, Sunday mood for Pahadi Gahat ki Dal and Bhaat (steamed rice) was all staged by the weather. In heavy traditional cast iron pot, daal was stewed with aromatic ginger, garlic and herbs chopped up in a haze, a spoonful of spices were thrown in and finally, some rice flour paste to thicken the curry.
Then began the trial of the patience of our growling and howling stomachs. The gahat dal is slow-cooked for quite some time for the flavors to develop and also to tease our senses with the alluring aroma of it.
And at last time for the sizzling melodrama of Indian kitchen – tadka (tempering), with a ladle full of ghee, cumin, and herbs.
One spoonful of it and it seems my hunger is been satiated, this uncomplicated taste of Gahat ki Dal always makes me realize how deeply attached I am to my Kumaoni roots.
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Pahadi Gahat/Kulath Ki Dal Recipe
- 1 Cup Gahat / Kulath / Horsegram
- 1 green chili chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
- 3 – 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tbsp rice flour mixed with ¼ Cup water to make paste
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp ghee
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp Jumbu a local herb, optional to add
- 1 tsp Gandherin a local herb, optional to add
- Clean, wash and soak dal in water for 1 hour.
- In a pressure cooker add dal with 4 Cup water, green chili, grated ginger, garlic, salt, red chili and turmeric powder. Give it a nice stir. Close the lid of pressure cooker ( buy it here) and place it’s weight on.
- Cook dal in pressure cooker over low heat until you hear 3 – 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the pressure cooker and check dal for doneness.
- Now in a heavy bottomed saucepan ( buy it here) transfer dal, add jumbo, gandherin if you are using along with rice paste. Stir nicely and let dal simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stirring ocassionally and gently mash dal once with back of the spoon to thicken it.
- This way dal is thickened and flavor of herbs are infused well in dal.
- For tempering the dal, heat ghee in a small tadka pan ( buy it here) add cumin seeds once they crackle add asafoetida, immediately add this tempering over the dal and mix nicely.
- Serve Pahadi Gauhat ki Dal with steamed rice.