Varan or Dal

Varan or Waran is a staple of Maharashtrian or Goan cuisine. It is served hot on rice with a dollop of pure ghee, along with veggies or kapa as side dish. It is a good comfort food, just like khichadi, as it is not spiced and usually given to kids or an ailing person. It also always makes an appearance in the menu during Hindu festivals and pujas as it is ‘saatvik’ in nature. As per Hinduism, only saatvik food can be offered to God as naivedya. Saatvik foods are ones which are vegetarian and freshly prepared with local, natural and seasonal produce without the use of ingredients like garlic and onions as these ingredients are said to induce negativity.

Level Easy


1 cup cooked tuvar/arhar dal

1/4 cup grated fresh coconut

2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds

1 tsp asafoetida or hing

1 tsp turmeric powder or haldi


Pure ghee


  1. First rinse the dal well and cook it with water in a pressure cooker or on stove top till well cooked.
  2. In a grinder, take freshly grated coconut, add turmeric powder, salt, asafoetida and cumin seeds.
  3. Grind along with water to a smooth paste.
  4. In a wok, heat pure ghee. Add the cooked dal and coconut paste.
  5. Mix well. Add more water if required to get pouring consistency.
  6. Allow it to boil.
  7. Switch off the gas and serve hot with steamed rice and kapa or veggie.