© Lopamudra Sahu

In the Eastern part of India, in Odisha the dalma dish is the most popular one. Well dalma is a curry prepared using lentils and some vegetables and finally a tempering is added. There are many variations of this curry depending upon the use of onion-garlic, different varieties of dals and vegetables.

The version without onion-garlic is the preferred version in temples and during festivals. It is called as Habisha Dalma which is particularly prepared during the Kartik month of Hindu calendar in each and every household during that time.


for 2 servings, Total time: 30 min

  • 1⁄2 cup moong dal (yellow mung lentils)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds or panch phoron (I use panch phutan/phoron – It’s a whole spice blend, originating from the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent. All of the spices in panch phoron are seeds. Typically, panch phoron consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts)
  • 1⁄2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp peeled and finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green chili (deseed if you want)
  • 1 tbsp ghee/butter
  • 4-5 curry leaves or 1 bay leaf
  • 1⁄8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 3⁄4 to 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp spoon dried fenugreek leaves/coriander leaves


  1. First wash and drain the moong dal (Yellow mung lentils). Keep aside.
  2. Next in a pressure cooker heat ghee.
  3. Put in red chilies, bay leaves and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Then add cumin seeds and allow to crackle.
  5. After that, put the drained moong dal along with all the cut vegetables, crushed ginger, salt and 2-3 cup water.
  6. Mix everything using a spatula and cover the lid of the pressure cooker.
  7. Cook for 1-2 whistles or till all the vegetables are done well.
  8. Turn off heat.
  9. Allow the steam to escape automatically and till then keep the pressure cooker aside.
  10. Next sprinkle grated coconut and roasted cumin-red chilli powder and give a mix.
  11. Serve hot with rice topped with ghee.


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