This is a picture of Dal Baati. I (Anooj) am a Desi American and this is a pretty common meal not only in my United States family’s household, but also in my family’s houses across India. I wish I could say that was a picture from my household but in these geographically separate times, subjecting myself to drooling at google images had to do. Before I get to the recipe, there are a couple of things I want to point out about this that are unique to where it is from (India). If I was to say what this meal is in English terms, it very blandly comes out as lentil soup with dough balls, but it is truly a delicious meal. So thing one to point out is that the making of lentil soup (Dal) involves cooking the lentils separately from the spices and mixing them together at the very end. The mix of spices (usually some mighty combo of cumin, fennel, red pepper, salt, black pepper, paprika, mustard seed, turmeric, and coriander) sits in sizzling oil until it cooks together into one cohesive mix that then marinates into itself to create pretty explosive flavor. Thing two, is the use of ghee, or clarified butter, which is very specific to South Asia and more specifically India. The Baati (baked balls of delicious dough) are usually dipped in ghee before being baked, or before being dipped into the Dal. Another typical way of eating this is to break up the Baati and then pour Dal over it. ANOTHER typical way of eating this is to replace ghee with powdered sugar. Alright, now I just want to go home and eat. In any case, here is the recipe in terms of explicit recipe, though within my family, it has much more of a cultural recipe of hospitality, culture, and celebration.
Ingredients for Baati:
1. (1) Tea spoon of salt.
2. (2-3) Table spoon of Oil.
3. (As needed:1-1.5 cup) Warm milk
4. (As needed: 2-3 cups) Regular Unbleached wheat flour
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl to make dough.Add milk as required to have fairly solid (not liquid or too hard to roll)dough that cab be rolled easily. Knead until smooth.
Break dough into small pieces (to be able to make about 2-2.5″ balls) and make balls (use butter in hands to make it smooth) Flatten the balls slightly.
Pre-heat Owen to 350 degrees. Place an aluminum foil on the rack and smear it lightly with butter.
Place flattened balls on the foil. Bake for about 30-45 minutes. Turns the balls after each 10-15 minutes until both sides get light brown.
Remove from oven and squeeze slightly to break from the top. Warm Ghee (clarified butter) in a small pan and dip each Bati in butter. Pour a small amount of Ghee on the broken part of the top for it to soak.
Instructions for Dal:
1.Wash Toor dal and soak it in the water for 1/2-1 hour.
2. Boil water in a pan and add salt.
3. Drop washed dal in to hot water and let it cook until soft and close to being paste.
4. When cooked, add water if needed to liquefy.
5. Warm Oil or Ghee in a small bowl. Once heated, drop Cumin seeds (drop few seeds first to see if they start cooking and oil is hot enough). Don’t heat to the point where it starts burning. Drop small amount (pinch) of Aesofitida (Hingh) and then cumin seeds followed by red pepper, turmeric powder (pinch) green pepper. Let it cook for a minute.
6. Drop heated oil (ghee) with other ingredients in to the Dal and stir and let is warm for few minutes. Add coriander leaves on the top.