An assortment of vegetables cooked in arhar daal(toor daal) tempered with paanch phoron and shredded coconut, dalma is delicious and wholesome. It is a speciality of the state of Orissa.

While I was pursuing my Ph. D. in Pune, I had many friends from Orissa. Our hostel mess was run by the students in turns. And when my Oriya friends had a turn to run the mess, Dalma was a must. It was then that I was introduced to Dalma. But now, Dalma becomes a part of our spread often. Besides, arhar dal is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and fiber and also suffices our daily requirements of iron and calcium. Additionally, arhar daal is an incredible source of folic acids which is essential for fetal growth and prevents the birth defects of the new-born.

Different regions and sometimes different house-holds of Orissa have their own way of preparing Dalma. In some cases, onion and garlic is also added in the preparation. But what I bring you here, is the sattvik, no onion and no garlic preparation of Dalma.


Course: Main Course                          

Cuisine: Bengali (Indian)

Preparation time: 10 minutes              

Cook time: 45 minutes 

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups of Arhar dal (Split Toor Dal)
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 Carrot, cubed
  • 1 cup pumpkin, chopped
  • ½ cup of beans, chopped
  • 1 cup of colocasia root or arbi chopped
  • 1½ cup eggplant, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green papaya, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of Paan Phoron
  • A pinch of asafoetida(hing)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coconut grated
  •  2-3 thinly shaved coconut slices
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , a small bunch, finely chopped 


  1. Chop all the vegetables and keep them ready.  Wash the daal properly and keep them aside.
  2. Take 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker. To the water, add salt and turmeric powder and add the washed daal to the pressure cooker.
  3. To the daal now, add the carrots, pumpkin, potato, green papaya and pressure cook for about a whistle.
  4. After about a whistle, open the pressure cooker and add all the remaining vegetables along with the green chilies, tomato and red chili powder.
  5. Now, close the lid and pressure cook the daal till everything is completely cooked
  6. Now, add the grated coconut to the daal and let it simmer for couple of minutes and keep the daal aside. the daal is now ready for tempering.
  7. In a pan, heat the ghee on medium heat and add the red chilies, panch phoron, coconut slices and the asafoetida.
  8. As the aroma of the spices fill the air, add the tempering to the cooked daal and give the daal a hearty mix.
  9. Let the daal simmer for a couple of minutes and turn off the flame.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve the Dalma with steamed rice or any polao.

Recipe Notes

  • You can add any vegetable of your choice to the Dalma.

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