.Dalma is synonymous with Odia cuisine. Even some restaurants which specialize in serving Odia food are named just 'Dalma'. It is a wholesome dish which combines the goodness of green vegetable with the nutritional value of the pulses (dal). It also spares a busy homemaker the trouble of preparing two or more dishes separately out of dal and vegetables. Dalma finds an upper hand on three counts: 1. Easy to cook 2. Time saver and 3. Health friendly. In the tastes front also it's great.
100gm pigeon pea /arhar dal (harada dali)
50gm raw papaya (kancha amrutabhanda)
50gm striped pear gourd / parwal (potala)
50gm potato (alu)
1 big onion (piaja)
3-5 dry chili (sukhila lanka)
½ teaspoon mustard (sorisha)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
2 bay leaves (teja patra)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
3-teaspoon of any refined cooking oil (refain tela)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds powder (jeera gunda)
½ tea spoon chili powder (lanka gunda)
salt to taste (luna)
Wash the vegetables thoroughly. Cut them into small pieces. Put the vegetables, arhar dal, salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and 3 to 4 cups of water in a Pressure Cooker and boil on medium flame. After one whistle switch off the gas. A little later as the pressure of the cooker is released, open the lid. Now heat 3 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Add jeera, mustard, bay leaves, chopped onions and 3-4 dry chilies. Fry till they turn golden brown. Now add all this to the boiled dal and vegetables of the pressure cooker and stir well. Add jeera powder and chili powder. Close the lid and heat further for 2 minutes. Your dalma is ready. Tastes best when served hot. May be served with rice or chapati also.
VARIATIONS: What's mentioned above is a simple recipe of Dalma. You may further make variations of the same by adding / replacing the vegetables with pumpkin, brinjal, plantain, and yam etc. A little scrubbed coconut may also be added. Using desi ghee (gua gheea) instead of refined oil lends subtle flavour to dalma. If you feel that the arhar dal is not getting boiled properly it may be soaked in water for about 30 minutes before putting the same in pressure cooker. Also find another variety of dalma elsewhere on this website, where moong dal is used instead of arhar dal.
You may also see a video of the recipe at the following link.