October 22, 2021

Varan Bhaat | वरण भात - Maharashtrian Meal

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Varan Bhaat is a common and staple nutritious meal in most homes in Maharashtra.  This simple and traditional meal holds a very important place even during festive occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi,  Gudi Padwa , Sankrant and also wedding feast.  

 Varan Bhaat is a typical and soulful food which can be easily prepared without any fancy ingredients but from basic pantry supply . 

Varan in Marathi means Lentil curry and Bhaat is Rice ,so loosely it translates to Lentil curry Rice .  The Varan is prepared separately with very mild spices and served alongside steamed rice and a dollop of ghee . Varan bhaat is a perfect meal  for kids or elderly people as there is any spice added . 

Traditionally Thuvar Dhall viz Split Pigeon peas is used for preparing the varan but these days people use other lentils like Moong dhall,masoor dhall etc . I prefer to stick to the traditional way of making by using Arhar Dhall / Thuvar dal.

Varan(Lentil curry) ,Bhaath(Rice),Thoop(Ghee) ,Batata Bhaaji (Potato curry) and Loncha (pickle) is a preferred combo on a regular day . Today for lunch I prepared this wholesome meal and relished it with some fryums . I wanted to fry some puris as well but with some last min hurdle ,I took a shorter route and skipped making puris .

When being served on festive occasions, the meal spread is very elaborate with a few extra items being added to the menu. (Some of the typical menu items are given below) 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Complexity - Simple 
Serves - 3 to 4 

1 cup thuvar dhall /Arhar dal/ thuvaram paruppu
3 cups water 
1 small green chilli
Fresh curry leaves 
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
Turmeric powder
Salt as needed
Fresh corriander 
Pinch of asafoetida 


  • Wash the thuvr dhall 3 to 4 times . Add 3 cups of water ,turmeric powder and finely chopped green chilli ,salt and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles on medium flame .
  • Let the pressure release and then mash the cooked dhall with a whisk until it is mushy.
  • Prepare the tempering by heating the ghee in a pan and then splutter the jeera ,curry leaves and asafoetida.  Pour it over the cooked dhall. Mix and close the lid for 10 min for the flavors to infuse . Garnish with fresh corriander. 
  • Serve hot with rice ,ghee and pickle .

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  1. Priya toor dal also holds an important place in the Gujarati Cuisine. Generally it has to be made for festivals, weddings, or any important event we celebrate in our lives. Varan bhaat is comfort food. Your preparation is tempting me to make it right away.

  2. Any auspicious occasion is incomplete without this Varan bhat. So simple and nutritious dish .You r recipe is super tempting . Absolute comfort food for me anytime .

  3. This is a comfort meal for me. I believe Varan Bhat is one of the essentials in our Indian tradition. In our custom too, a simple dal and rice is served in the beginning during any auspicious ceremony along with payasam and other dishes.

  4. Tavi as it is called in Kannada is very important too especially for festive meals, wedding etc and it is comfort food that we love. I have not made it in ages so tomorrow it is Varan bhat in my place. :D

  5. The comfort of this basic recipe from the maharastrian cuisine is indescribable. Love it.


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