Maharashtrian Varan

Maharashtrian Varan served with steamed rice, ghee and metkut is an absolute comfort food.

Varan, a Maharashtrian food preparation  is made from tuvar dal. Tuvar dal is cooked and seasoned with turmeric powder, salt and jaggery. No other spices are added to this dal. Varan served with steamed rice with a dollop of ghee (popularly known as Varan Bhaat)  is a simple soul satisfying food.  I love to sprinkle metkut on my Varan Bhaat . Varan Bhaat with ghee and metkut is what I wanted today after a week of Diwali indulgences. I have used masoor dal to make Varan, though traditionally tuvar dal is used. Here goes the recipe:


1 cup split red or yellow lentils (masoor dal or tuvar dal)
¾ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a small piece of jaggery (gud)
Salt as per taste (namak)



  • Wash and soak the dal in water for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  • Drain the water and transfer the dal to a pressure cooker.
  • Add 2 to 2 ½ cups of water. The water level should be 1 to 1.5  inch above the level of the dal. 
  • Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 3 to 4 whistles.
  • After the pressure has released entirely, open the lid of the cooker.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt and jaggery to the cooked dal.
  • Mix well using a spoon or a whisk.
  • Cook the dal again for around 5 minutes so that the turmeric powder and jaggery blends well with the dal.
  • Serve varan with steamed rice.

Serving Ideas

  1. Serve Varan with steamed rice with a dollop of warm ghee.
  2. Serve it with steamed rice with ghee and squeeze half a lemon over it.
  3. Serve it with steamed rice with a dollop of warm ghee and a teaspoon of metkut sprinked on it.
  4. Served Varan Bhaat with pickle and papad.


Recipe Video


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