Batkar or simply the Chhattisgarhi masoor dal kadhi is yet another curd curry from Chhattisgarh. We Chhattisgarhis love our rice and curd based curries. Polishing off loads of rice with ghee and these curries is the ideal food we would prefer to any other gourmet meal.
Batkar is made of whole masoor and curd. It is technically a kadhi with masoor as its base. It has a strong smoky flavor of garlic and dry red chilies with a tempering of methi seeds. One of the most prominent kadhi dishes from Chhattisgarh, batkar is sure to capture your heart as a buttery comfort soup!
When I think of batkar, I remember all those lazy afternoons, either during holidays or after school that my BFF and I spent together at my home. Both of us were lanky kids. We had grown tall for our age but were not really plump by the Indian standards. This gave our mom’s an ever prevailing excuse to feed us more and more. My BFF was particularly picky about food, not in the sense of variety but in the sense of quantity. She was a real birdy when it came to eating. One chapatti and she would be done. We both would make excuses not to eat dal. We would be happy eating ghee rice then eating dal-rice. Maa was, however, relentless and would sit with us on the dining table until we’ve had enough food – that was considered enough as per her satisfaction not ours! But there were few days when she didn’t have to supervise us while we ate. Few of those days were when she made masoor batkar! Batkar was one dish that my BFF and I both enjoyed and would eat till we had finished every drop of batkar. And the good news was – we would not have to eat dal, as batkar already had masoor dal, but didn’t taste like it!
Batkar, when paired with rice can be called the ultimate comfort food for us Chhattisgarhis in any given weather. On a warm summer afternoon when the scorching heat is unbearable, there is nothing like pouring cups and cups of cold batkar into the rice and slurping the yummy liquid off the bowl. While for a cold winter night add hot batkar to rice and enjoy a yummy, soupy meal – add a dollop of pure ghee to it! 😉
So let’s get started!
Cook the pre-soaked masoor with tomatoes and a tea spoon of salt in a pressure cooker. Put off the flame after one whistle.
The pre-soaked masoor gets cooked quickly and will get too mashed if cooked any longer. Many people soak masoor for lesser time and cook it in pressure cooker for longer. I’ve tried both the methods and am more comfortable pre-soaking the masoor for longer. Pre-soaking properly ensures that the masoor won’t be under-cooked. Nothing is worse than having batkar with under-cooked masoor.
Prepare the curd to be added to the batkar. Add curd, besan (chick-pea flour), red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to this mixture. Remember, that you have added a bit of salt to the masoor while cooking it and hence, adjust the salt accordingly. Now, mix all these ingredients together so it has no lumps. Add a glass of water to this mixture and stir well.
For tempering, heat oil in a pan and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the garlic and dry red chilies and sauté for a while.
Add the cooked masoor and tomato and cover the pan immediately. Remember that this dish needs to have that smoky flavor of garlic and dry red chilies and hence, covering the pan immediately after adding the masoor is important. After about two minute remove the lid and add the curd mixture. Stir well and let cook for five minutes
Add a tea spoon of sugar or jaggerry and let the kadhi cook for about five minutes.
Transfer in serving bowl and add fresh coriander leaves at the end.
This Chhattisgarhi kadhi is pretty versatile! You can it is hot or cold with rice or chapattis or just by itself as a soup!
PS: You can add curry leaves to the tempering if you want a proper kadhi touch to it. However, its best without it, as adding curry leaves takes away the garlic flavor to a great extent. So ditch the curry leaves, especially if you want to have it as a soup.
Preparation time: 25 minutes (including the pressure cooking time but excluding soaking time!)
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- Masoor or red lentil (whole) – 1 cup (Soaked for 6 hours)
- Curd – 1 cup
- Besan – 1 tbsp
- Tumeric – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Dry red Chillies – 1 tsp
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Tomatoes – 1
- Corriander – small bunch
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar or Jaggery – 1 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Cook the pre-soaked masoor with tomatoes and a tea spoon of salt in a pressure cooker. Put off the flame after one whistle. Keep aside.
- In a bowl, add curd, besan (chick-pea flour), red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Add a glass of water to this mixture and stir well. Keep aside.
- For tempering, heat oil in a pan and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the garlic and dry red chilies and sauté for a while.
- Add the cooked masoor and tomato and cover the pan immediately. After about two minute remove the lid and add the curd mixture. Stir well and let cook for five minutes.
- Add a tea spoon of sugar or jaggerry and let cook for about five more minutes.
- Add fresh coriander leaves and serve.
I would love to hear from you if you liked this recipe or have suggestions, questions, comments or feedback.