Varan is very healthy and filling. Traditionally, varan was made in a pressure cooker. I don't own a pressure cooker, and as a working woman the slow cooker suits my lifestyle much better.
Varan can be eaten with rice, quinoa, or any type of Indian bread, such as paratha, roti, naan, etc.
ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 cup toor daal (non-oily)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Pinch of baking soda
- 1 tsp jaggery (can add more to taste)
- 1 tsp salt (can add more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter) (optional)
- Pinch of cumin seeds (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (optional)
- 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of cilantro (or parsley)
- Soak toor daal in room temperature water overnight.
- Cook toor daal, water, and baking soda in a slow cooker for 6 hours on low heat.
- Remove 85% of the water from the slow cooker.
- Use a blender to blend 75% of the toor daal, leaving some of the lentils whole.
- Add jaggery, turmeric, and salt.
- To make the fodni, heat the ghee, cumin seeds, and garlic until it stops crackling or the garlic starts browning.
- Add fodni to the varan and stir.
- Before serving, squeeze lemon juice into the varan and garnish with cilantro (or parsley) leaves.