Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Goda Varan

 Such a colorful meal!
(Clockwise: Methkut, Beetroot Yogurt, Tomatochi Bhaaji,
Goda Varan on Rice, Ghadichi Poli and Papad)

When Cynthia, a reader of this blog asked me to make Goda Varan or plain dal which is a staple in Marathi homes, I was very sure that the picture would be boring and repetitive on this blog. Did I know that this Marathi Taat of an everyday simple meal would look to colorful, like Holi on a Thali! Never.

Until I pulled out the camera and focused on it to click what is supposed to be just another meal. Yet it is not, if you look at it carefully it a beautiful balanced meal so characteristic of Maharashtra. This one is what would be a typical Bramhani Taat. However even though this post is about Goda Varan one of the components of this Thali (in Marathi it is called Taat) you will be keen to know more about it I am sure.

Back to Goda Varan, the simplest dal mostly served at the begining of the meal to start up an appetite. Many a babies are fed on this and many Maharashtrians who can't bear chilies swear by it. This forms the protein component of the Taat. The Dal though involves no sweat yet is very flavorful, it does not even have any tadka or phodni involved. This is how a Goda Varan is made in the Bramhan homes that I have frequently eaten at. Depending on which part of Maharashtra this is made the only variation would be adding sweetness to it or not. I have always known it with a bit of sweetness in it.

When I have hyped so much on the simplicity, you would definitely like to add it to your repertoire won't you?


1 cup split pigeon peas/ tur dal
1/4 teaspoon strong asafoetida/ hing
1/4 teaspoon turmeric/ halad
1 teaspoon oil
1 inch piece of jaggery/ gul

In a small pressure cooker measure out the tur dal. Wash it clean with water. Add turmeric, oil, asafoetida and top up with water just to cover the dal enough.

Close the lid and keep on heat. Allow 4-5 whistles to cook dal till mushy. Switch off heat and let it cool. 

Open lid and beat up the dal while still hot to crumble it. I use a traditional Ravi to do it. Salt the dal and boil along with jaggery. You can thin it a bit with additional 1/2 cup of water.

The sweet smell is enough to get you hungry. Serve it hot over a mound of rice. A squeeze of lime, a dolop of curd and a drizzle of sajuk tup and you are in heaven!

Serves 4 if it is just a poli, bhaaji, varan, bhaat meal.


  1. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.
    We (in our family, household, extended family, etc.) never add oil or jaggery.

    1. P in some families they don't add even turmeric, difficult to generalize such recipes that are staples in our homes and family preferences rule.

  2. Good Morning dear Anjali,

    Loved it. U have no idea u brought back beautiful memories of this food when as kid I used to eat in the hands of Sonkar Aai (she was my neighbour and i fondly called her as aai).

    Love u and thank u so much.

    With love and good wishes as usual,


    1. It's night here are and am happy to hear from you, Cynthia. Glad this post it able to bring back those memories and thanks for sharing it here with me. Love to you too.

  3. Wat a comforting food, makes me drool.

  4. What a colourful simple homely spread. Just lookinga it makes me hungry! :) I love varan bhaat and its my #1 comfort food. My hubby likes it with a bit of jaggery and I like it without it :) everyone likes the taste of varan that they have grown up with and surprisingly even though it has such simple and few ingredients varan at every home tastes different.

    - Priti

    1. Yes Priti, every home has a distinctly different taste to the varan and I love that surprise factor every time I taste it anywhere other than my home :)


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