The Desert Festival and Dal Baati Churma

The Desert Festival is one of the major festivals celebrated in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (India). It falls in the month of January or February. This year the festival was held from 12th February to 14th February. The zest of the festival is to bring out rich culture and heritage of the beautiful state, Rajasthan. The major attractions of the fest are Rajasthani folk dance, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, camel dance, polo, camel race and other local performances. The dance and drama reflects heroism, romance and tragedy of the folk heroes. As any festival is incomplete without food, Rajasthani food is incomplete without the traditional dal baati churma, the perfect Indian food. Panchmel dal is the grams curry. Baatis are small, flaky, round breads that are baked over firewood. Churma is the traditional dessert of Rajasthani. Here is the sumptuous recipe to delight you.

Desert festival
Desert festival


For the Panchmel Dal:-

1/3 cup split Bengal gram,

1/3 cup pigeon peas gram,

1/3 cup split green gram,

1 tbsp split black lentils,

1 tbsp whole green gram,

3 tsp chilli powder,

1/4 tsp turmeric powder,

1 tsp coriander powder,

1/2 tsp hot spice,

3 cloves,

2 bay leaves,

1 tsp cumin seeds,

2 green chillies,

1 pinch of asafoetida,

2 tsp dried mango powder,

2 tsp tamarind pulp,

3 tbsp clarified butter,

salt to taste

For Baatis (10):-

1 cup whole wheat flour,

1/2 cup semolina,

2 tbsp Bengal gram flour,

8 tbsp milk,

4 tbsp melted clarified butter,

salt to taste

Dal Baati Churma
Dal Baati Churma

Preparation method:-

For the panchmel dal:-

1. Clean and wash the dals (grams and lentils) and add 4 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or till the dal is cooked.

2. In a bowl, combine the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, hot spice with 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Keep aside.

3. Heat the clarified butter in a pan and add the cloves, bay leaves, cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida.

4. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the prepared masala paste and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked dals, amchur, tamarind pulp and salt and simmer for 7 minutes.

5. Adjust the consistency of the dal before serving and if required by adding some boiled water.

 For the baatis:-

1. Mix all the ingredients and knead into a firm dough. Knead well for 7 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and shape each portion into an even sized round.

3. Flatten the rounds lightly using your thumb to make an indentation in the centre of the baati. Boil water in a broad vessel and drop the baatis in the boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes over a high flame.

4. When the baatis are done, drain and keep aside. Heat a gas tandoor (Indian oven) and put the baatis on the grill of the tandoor. Cook them on a medium flame for 25 minutes.

5. Cooking the baatis over a medium flame will ensure that the baatis are cooked on the insides also. Arrange the baatis on a serving plate, break each baati into two pieces and pour melted clarified butter on the baatis.

For Churma:-

2 cups whole wheat flour,

4 tablespoons semolina,

1 cup clarified butter,

3/4 cup powdered sugar,

1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder,

10 chopped cashew nuts,

10 chopped almonds,

10 chopped raisins

Milk as required

Preparation method:-

1. Mix flour and semolina in a bowl. Add half cup of melted clarified butter and mix well. Add milk as required and knead into a stiff dough.

2. Divide the dough into twelve lemon sized balls. Heat sufficient clarified butter in a wok and deep-fry the balls on medium heat, till they are well done.

3. Drain and place on an absorbent paper and cool. Coarsely grind the wheat balls in a mixer. Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder, cashew nuts, almonds and raisins and mix.

4. Serve churma with daal baati.

Tasty Churma
Tasty Churma

Enjoy the Desert Festival..

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