Patholi is a classic Andhra dish which can be considered as a dry koora or bhaji, and something akin to usili that the Tamilians make. It makes for a great a side dish to Majjiga Pulusu or Mukkala Pulusu. Another great way to eat Patholi is to mix a generous amount in steamed rice along with a generous dollop of ghee and eat it along with Vankaya Perugu Pachadi, Magai Perugu Pachadi or Teepi Magai Pachadi as a dipping sauce.
Patholi is essentially soaked chana dal ground to a coarse paste and then stir-fried with onions till it is dries out a bit. It is a great alternative for the day when you do not have vegetables at home. You can make simple Patholi as shown in this recipe or variations such as Menthi Kura Patholi with fenugreek leaves.
I recently discovered that this dish was called Vatli Dal by the Maharashtrians.
How to Make Patholi
- Chana Dal/Husked Bengal Gram – 1 Cup
- Onion – 1 Large
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Rai or Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Udad Dal or Husked Black Gram – 1 tsp
- Chana Dal or Husked Bengal Gram – 2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 2 or 3
- Haldi or Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
- Hing or Asafoetida – 2 Large Pinches
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – A Few
- Salt to Taste
- Soak the Chana Dal in 2.5 cups water for at least 4 hours.
- Drain the water completely from the Chana Dal.
- Grind the Chana Dal to a coarse paste along with salt, turmeric, and chilli powder.
- Chop the onion into 1/4″ pieces.
- In a heavy-bottomed kadai or wok, heat the oil.
- Add rai and wait till it splutters.
- Add the udad dal and fry till it is light brown.
- Add the split red chillies and fry for 5-7 seconds.
- Add the chopped onion.
- Fry till the onion is transparent and properly cooked.
- Add the curry leaves and hing.
- Fry for 5-7 seconds.
- Add the Chana Dal paste.
- Cook while stirring occasionally till the Chana Dal paste is cooked and mostly dry.
- Serve hot with rice and ghee.
- Use as little water as possible in the dal paste. This will help it cook faster and with lesser amount of oil.
- If your dal paste is watery, strain it through a cloth to get rid of as much water as possible.