The Badeel from Uttarakhand must be the North-Indian cousin to South-India’s Poricha Paruppu Urundai (which I wanted to make as part of the TamilNadu meal last weekend but couldn’t). For Badeel, we grind soaked masoor dal and cook it with onions, chillies and spice powders until a little dry, turn on to a plate, cut into diamond shapes and then fry to crispy, tasty perfection. Sounds like a lot of work, but isn’t really. I really liked Badeel. It’s a nice side with rice. It also makes for a filling nutritious snack that can be packed into kids’ tiffen boxes.
Uttarakhand is mostly covered by the Himalayas and has many ancient temples and pilgrimage centres – Badhrinath and Kedarnath among the most auspicious Hindu pilgrimage centres. Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh and Himalayan areas in 2000. The famous Him Corbett National park is in Uttarakhand. I remember reading Jim Corbett’s “Man eating tigers of Kumaon” as a kid. It made for a fascinating read.
Garhwali and Kumaoni are the two major communities in Uttarakhand. Their food comprises a lot of lentils, rice and vegetables. I’ve never tasted Badeel before. So I hope I’ve made as close a replica of the Badeel as they make in Uttarakhand. Close or not, it was tasty.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Masoor dal – 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 3 chopped fine
Onion – 1 large chopped fine
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – for shallow frying
1. Rinse and soak masoor dal for 2 hours or overnight if that’s convenient. Drain the water and grind the dal to a coarse, chunky paste without adding water or very very little if necessary.
2. Heat a pan, add 2 tbsp oil and when hot throw in the chopped onions and green chillies and sauté till the onions turn translucent. Then add the ginger garlic paste, ground dal, spice powders and salt. Mix well and fry till the dal mixture turns a little dry and leaves the sides of the pan (it shouldn’t get crumbly though). Turn the dal mixture on to an oiled plate, spread it with a flat spatula to a ½ inch thick layer and level it. Let cool.
3. Cut the cooled dal mixture into diamond shapes.
4. Heat the same pan and add oil for shallow frying. When hot drop in the diamond shapes and fry till golden brown all around. Serve hot.