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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dal Bafla

Dal Bafla is a wonderful dish that is similar to Dal Baati. The very first time I ate it was in Indore at my Aunt's house. The baflas were cooked in a traditional kiln and served submerged in a bowl of ghee with piping hot dal. Absolutely delicious! I ate this over 15 years ago, but still remember the experience vividly. At that time I didn't realize that Dal Bafla and Dal Baati were two individual dishes. I have heard both names often over the years, but only knew how to make Dal Baati so far.

To make baatis, I usually add baking soda and yogurt to soften them up a little. If you skip that then they turn out really hard. The best part about the bafla is that it is soft from inside and crisp from outside, so it is very easy to eat it. It is soft because it is boiled first and then baked.

It was just recently that I came across the recipe on a food group. I had to try it out immediately to see what the differences between the baati and bafla are. The dal I made along with this was also different than what I make for baatis. Once  you have bafla or baati ready, you can use any dal preparation with it.  I have included the dal recipe that I made along with the bafla as well. It is a very delicious preparation that you can also use with rice or rotis.

I am sure you will love this variation once you eat it.

For Bafla
3 cups of wheat flour (used the same flour that I use for chapatis)
½ cup semolina/rava
½ cup oil
salt to taste (approx. 1 tsp in the dough and 1 tsp to add in the water)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp oil

For Dal
2 cups cooked chana dal
¼ cup cooked tur dal
1.5 onions, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
5-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
pinch of hing
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish

For the bafla
Mix together the semolina, flour and salt till the ingredients are well mixed. Then added oil and rub it into the flour. Add water, a little at a time till it comes together as a dough. Knead it a little. It is on the drier and hard side. Let it rest for 10-15 mins. (The dough was very hard and tended to crack when rolling the baflas. I think I could have added another tablespoon of water to have smoother baflas.)
Take about a fistful of dough and make round balls and then press slightly to flatten them a little.

In a deep pot, added water, turmeric, oil and salt and let it come to a rolling boil. Then add the dough balls to this water. They will sink. Stir them around occasionally as they cook, till they become lighter and float a little. Cook on medium heat. It takes about 10-15 mins.
To eat, crush the baflas in a bowl, add ghee to these and then pour dal over the baflas. Enjoy hot!

Keep a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F while the baflas cook in water. Remove baflas, dry them with a cloth and put it on the hot pizza stone and let them cook for about 20-25 mins, turning them over a couple of times till they are crisp on the outside. Retain the water that the baflas have been cooked in to use in the dal.

Once baked, remove them from the oven and keep warm in a casserole till ready to heat. The traditional way is to immerse the warm bafla in ghee after creating a little crack in it so that the ghee is able to permeate the bafla. I didn’t do this as I wanted to control the amount of ghee that was in each serving.

For the dal
Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard and cumin seeds. Then add the hing, and curry leaves. Then add onions, ginger and garlic. Cook the onions well and then add the chopped tomatoes. Once these are cooked, add the cumin, coriander and chili powders and mix well. Then add the cooked tur and chana dals. Mix well, then add salt and the water saved from cooking the baflas till the desired consistency of the dal is achieved. Boil this till well cooked. Garnish with cilantro.

If you don't have a pizza stone, use a baking sheet to bake these. If you don't want the yellowish tinge to the bafla, don't add the turmeric to the boiling water.


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