Dal Bati | A Famous Rajasthani Food.
The name ‘Dal bati’ was originally derived from Hindi language. It is popular in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Especially in Braj, Nimar and Malwa regions, Dal bati is the staple food that is served the purpose of meals. Apart from Rajasthan,
in other parts of India, Dal bati is available as a street food and is quite popular among the Marwari speaking natives, though other people also enjoy eating it. Most of the times, it is taken as a snack item in other parts of India apart from Rajasthan. In Rajsthan, it is used as a staple meal.
Spicy and Crunchy Dal.
It is an Indian dish comprising dal (lentils) and bati (hard wheat round balls). After taking Dal bati, generally churma (a mix of crushed bati, rava and sugar) is served for eating.
Deep fried crunchy batis along with spicy dal and sweet churma is an awesome experience for the food lovers who taste it for the first time. Travellers go to Chokhi Dhani to taste it and they usually say – “coming to Rajasthan and not tasting dal bati churma is a crime!”
Different Kinds of Lentils.
Dal is basically prepared by using five types of lentils – tuvaar dal, chana dal (prepared by removing skin of split chickpea), mung dal, moth dal, urar dal. All these five pulses or lentils are cooked together after being soaked in water for a few hours to soften. A small amount of vegetable oil is heated in a frying pan and then the seasoning rai jeera (mustard and fennel seeds) is added into the hot oil.
Then mashed green chilli, garlic and some spices including hing (asafoetida), red chilli, haldi (turmeric powder), chopped coriander leaves, ginger are added. There are two different dal versions – one is sweet and the other is sour . Both can be made as the eater’s per choice. Finally, the boiled dal is added and cooked.
Dal Bati Making.
Bati is a hard bread made up of wheat powder commonly known as aata. Wheat powder is mashed with little bit of salt, dahi (liquid form of yogurt) and water. Tennis ball sized round balls of this mixture are put it in well heated traditional oven. When the bati becomes a bit of golden brown colour, it is stuffed with ghee (clarified butter) inside and served hot.
Adding ghee makes bati a pure delicacy as it melts within mouth just after taken. This food item dal bati is usually served along with crushed rava ladoo (a mix of crushed bati, rava cooked in ghee and sugar – this is called ‘churma’), rice, pudina chaatni, kari (green mango) chutney, green salad with excess of onion and fresh buttermilk (chass).
Dal Bati History.
Food etymology says a lot about dal bati’s origin in India. History reveals Ibn Batuta mentioned of sun baked wheat chunks at the time of Magadha Empire, during which time grains like wheat, jowar, bajra and other millets were common and a part of the meal. This little wheat balls made of unsalted wheat, ghee and camel milk was first mentioned during the time of Bappa Rawal – the founder of the kingdom of Mewar in Rajasthan.
Bati was the Guhilot Dynasty’s official war time meal. It is said that soldiers would break the dough into chunks and leave it buried under thin layers of sand to bake under the sun. So when they returned, they could find perfectly baked batis to eat. Churma came as a later addition as civilization gradually set in.
Anthropologists believe that dal bati was enjoyed with ghee, buttermilk or curd made of camel or goat milk by the upper caste royal people of Mewar. Folklore says that it was during one of the war marches when a cook accidentally poured sugarcane juice into the bati when the churma was found.
In some parts of India, especially in Northern region, another version of dal bati is used which is known as ‘Dal Bafla’. Here the normal bati is boiled before baking it in bati oven. So, here bati gets replaced by the ‘bafla’ – a softer version of it.
In Bihar, a similar food named ‘Litti Chokha’ is available which is made in somewhat similar way by which dal bati is made. The only difference is litti chokha is served with spicy chutney, whereas dal bati is served with sweet churma.