Winter perfect lentil stew, Dalma from Odisha

Dalma the lentil stew
As the weather cools down and the lentil stews seem more comforting.even with this variety is still a keyword. The vegetable enriched Dalma from Odisha is the one I am trying out this time. This Sunday lunch was not only a hearty one but on bestowed with a number of vegetables.

Dalma influence

I have first had Dalma with my former short-term cook Kailas to whom it was his home cuisine. He always made it for us on the days when he missed home (I guess). We loved the comforting feeling of the recipe on the wet and cold Bangalore days. Though I enjoyed it, I hardly wrote down how he did the same. So never had a recipe to repeat it years later. 
The second factor that prompted me to try this recipe was my parents account of travel towards Puri. The sacred Jagannath temple at Puri has always served Dalma as a sacred offering. The Mahaprasad is an elaborate and dedicated service at the temple. The offering to the god is later served to the devotees who visit. This vegetarian fare is not only elaborate but has strict constraints with respect to the way it is prepared and served. One of the recipes that are served on a daily basis is this lentil rich Dalma. My mother described the dish to perfection that it was enough to create a lasting want for the same.

This time around

This recipe was influenced by the secret ingredients, from the Shhh cooking secretly group where Sujata Shukla gave me- Lentils and mustard. It is fun playing around with these as they are quite versatile in the Indian cuisine. Towards the lentils, I narrowed down to pigeon pea(tur dal)  which I have used in this recipe. Sujata Shukla is an inspiration as a blogger. Her recipes are often inspired by extensive reading and a huge collection of cookbooks she preserves. Another side of her recipes is easy to put together recipes which suit a busy homemaker like me. Above all these, Sujata is a valuable blogger buddy and a person who takes a genuine interest in the share of knowledge. Don’t miss to check out and follow her blog.
Check out her recipe for a perfect accompaniment with the Dalma recipe below. Both the recipes are essential to the Mahaprasad served to Lord Jagannath.
Since I did not have an original recipe I could completely rely on and wanted to reign in as much authenticity as possible I requested the help of Sasmita. An enthusiastic Odisha blogger she was so happy to share her knowledge of the recipes.
The recipe I have formed is devoid of garlic and onion. The addition of these in the recipe is totally personal. I kept it away so I can feel the flavour closest to what my parents would have enjoyed during their trip.
here are a couple more lentil based ones from Indian cuisine
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Dalma the lentil stew

Dalma from Odisha

Winter perfect lentil stew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish, sidedish, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Odisha, One pot, Pressure cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 6 people
Calories 126 kcal


lentil cooking

  • 1/2 cup tur dal
  • 3 cups drinking water

vegetables needed

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin diced
  • 1/4 cup raw banana diced
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 medium drumstick
  • 1 cup drinking water
  • 1 large Tomato

for tempering

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Nigella seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 medium dry red chillies
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut

for the masala

  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger root grated
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder


  • Wash and soak the tur dal for 20 minutes and then pressure cook the same till soft and pulpy. Release the pressure naturally and mash the dal ready to go.
  • Wash and dice the pumpkin, the potato, the tomato and the raw banana. Keep them separate.
  • Cut the drumsticks as an inch and a half long pieces.
  • In a large pan add the oil and the ingredients for tempering except for the coconut
  • Add in the coconut once the ingredients have started to splutter and roast it for a couple of minutes till aromatic.
  • You can remove this and set it aside to add in later, but I continued.
  • Add the tomatoes, the bay leaf, the ginger, roasted cumin powder and turmeric powder.
  • Saute for a couple of minutes till pulpy and then add the cut vegetables.
  • Add a cup of water, salt to taste and bring it to cook the vegetables
  • Add the cooked tur dal and continue till the dal is well incorporated. check the salt levels and it ready.
  • Serve with a steaming hot plate of rice.


Calories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 49mgPotassium: 388mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Sujata Shukla
4 years ago

Is this a coincidence or what! Both of us selecting dishes that paired beautifully with each other, your Dalma and my Vegetable Besara, both being essential parts of the Mahaprasad at the Puri Lord Jagannath Temple! The roasted coconut in your recipe sounds temptingly fragrant and I can’t wait to try out the Dalma for myself.

the girl next door
4 years ago

I love Dalma, and so does my family. Such a simple dish this is, yet so comforting, hearty and nutritious, not to forget delicious. Like you, I happen to have an Odia help at home, who often makes Dalma. I’m yet to learn this from him, though.

Poonam Bachhav
4 years ago

My family instantly fell in love with this dalma when I made it for the first time. This dalma is such a wholesome and flavorful dish. Love your presentation here.

Priya Satheesh
4 years ago

Such a comfort and nutritious recipe.Personally I feel that no side dish is required for this recipe as the dish contains lots of veggies. Loved your style and looks tempting.

4 years ago

I like the use of different vegetables here along with the dal. It’s like all the nutrients packed in one. Looks very tempting.

Shobha Keshwani
4 years ago

Dalma tastes yummy .. I like any and every kind of dal preparation.

4 years ago

With so many dalma recipes I am tempted to try soon. Looks so delicious and flavorful with roasted masala and coconut. We all love lentils and I am sure this one will be enjoyed by everyone.

4 years ago

Dalma sounds very interesting and it looks very delicious. This is such a easy, nutritious and healthy dish. Beautiful presentation.
4 years ago

Dalma looks very delicious, it reminds me Maha Prasad of Jaganath temple. It’s taste and flavors are very unique nd divine. Lovely pic with veggies floating on Dalma.

4 years ago

one of my favourite types of dal..i can eat it as it is or with rice…a staple in our house

Sujata Roy
4 years ago

I love dalma. And you made it so perfectly. Looks super tempting. All the dishes of mahaprasad taste divine. Lovely share.

Mayuri Patel
4 years ago

Lovely the plating of dalma. I’ve made dalma several times and love it. Not only is it healthy and not too spicy but its so easy to make. It gives the opportunity use different vegetables all in one.

sasmita sahoo
4 years ago

Ahaaa Thanks much for preparing this. This is one of our most comfort side dish. You have prepared so well here

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