We are almost halfway through #30daysofdaal. It is a grueling pace because I am doing everything in real time – shopping, cooking, photography, and writing. But I am enjoying the challenge and I hope you have tried out at least one of these recipes.
One of the reasons I am doing this dal marathon is to introduce readers to regional Indian recipes, recipes that may not be very well known. I am also trying to make the recipes quick and easy so that they are ready without too much fuss using everyday ingredients. But some of these have a basic ingredient that forms the essence of the dish and is hard to replace. In the case of this Kolhapuri Daal, it is the kanda lasoon or onion garlic masala. More about this later.
Why Kolhapuri Daal? Frankly, I am not sure there is even such a thing. But this daal recipe is based on the flavor profile of Kolhapuri food, and also Maratha food. Maratha is a community in the state of Maharashtra, and is part of the Marathi or Maharashtrian people as a whole. These people love to eat fiery food. Kolhapuri Misal is a well known street food which will have your sinuses running in seconds.
Garlic and dry coconut is used abundantly in this region, and these flavors form the base of my daal. When we were driving to Goa a few years ago, we stopped at a hotel in Kolhapur. The food there was hot like you wouldn’t believe. One of the staples in this region, the Sangli-Kolhapur region, is the kanda-lasoon masala or lasoon tikhat as some call it. This is a spice mix which is a labor of love. It is made up of dry red chillies, fried onion, garlic, coconut, and a few spices. This forms a basic spice or seasoning mix which is added to almost every vegetable or meat dish that is cooked in this region.
Needless to say, it is hot, spicy and pungent with strong garlic flavors.
I picked up a batch of Kanda-Lasoon masala at the Bhimthadi Jatra which is an annual cultural fair. Small scale industries from villages all over the state set up shop here, and it is a great place to load up on rustic spices. The spice mix I got this year turned out to be very different from earlier. But that is the beauty of it because almost every family has its own style and recipe for making this spice blend.
This Kolhapuri or Maratha style daal will liven up your senses and chase away that cold. You can control the heat by varying the amount of the mix added. I am adding garlic and coconut separately too so that I can have a lot of these lovely flavors without adding too much heat from the kanda-lasoon or onion-garlic spice mix.
Daal Kolhapuri – Maratha Style Daal Recipe
- 1 cup toor daal cooked
- 5-6 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened dry coconut flakes
- 1-2 tsp kanda lasoon masala
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp jaggery or brown sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch of hing or Asafoetida
- 1-2 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Coarsely pound garlic in a mortar and pestle or crush it.
- Heat oil in a wok or kadai.
- Add mustard seeds and hing and let it pop.
- Add the dry coconut flakes and garlic and stir until aromatic. It will burn easily so be careful in this step.
- Now add the cooked daal.
- Add the onion-garlic spice mix.
- Add water to adjust consisetency and bring to a boil.
- Season with salt if needed. Some spice mixes already have salt.
- Add the jaggery or brown sugar.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors combine.
- Serve hot with rice or roti as part of an Indian meal.
- *A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice is a must to tone down the heat and brighten the flavors.
Daal Kolhapuri is just another way to enjoy the fiery flavors of Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
If you are traveling to India and can get your hands on this spice mix, be sure to stock up on it.