I discovered Bharda (coarsely ground Chana Dal) when I learnt to make Khamang Dhokle. Since then I have been trying to locate different ways to use Bharda as it is a great way to add protein to a largely vegetarian diet. Then I came across this wonderful recipe for Bharda Bhat and made it a couple of weeks ago.
Bharda Bhat is a specialty of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and is essentially a one-pot meal made from mixing cooked spiced bengal gram flour with rice. The dish is spicy, filling and makes for a great meal.
As I write this post I am reflecting on the similarities of cuisines across India. In Andhra, we make a variety of dishes with soaked and ground chana dal. The result is pretty much the same as Vidarbha cooking with Bharda.
Do also try my recipe for Nagpuri Gola Bhat.
Coming back to Bharda Bhat, the dish gets done in about 40 minutes and was an excellent reprieve from cooking on a hot summer evening.
How to Make Bharda Bhat | A Specialty of Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra
This is the recipe for a delicious one-pot meal called Bharda Bhat from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Coarsely ground chana dal flour is the main ingredient of this spicy dish and that is what makes it protein-rich as well.
- 3/4 Cup Rice
- 2/3 Cup Chana Dal
- 1.5 Cups Boiling Water
- 2 tsp Ginger Paste
- 8-10 Curry Leaves
- 4 Green Chillies, Chopped
- 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1-2 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 3-4 tbsp Oil
- Salt to Taste
Grind the chana dal to a coarse powder. Set aside.
Cook the rice in 1.25 cups of water and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Use a little less water than usual as the rice grains should be separate after cooking.
Set aside to cool.
Bring 1.5 cups of water to boil and let it simmer.
In a large kadhai, heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add green chillies, curry leaves, red chilli powder, and 1 tsp turmeric; and mix well.
Add the bharda and fry for about 5 minutes.
Slowly add the boiling water while mixing continuously to ensure there are no lumps.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add ginger paste and mix well.
Cover and cook till the water dries out a bit. Mix at regular intervals.
When the Bharda cooks well and starts to form a ball, add the rice and mix well.
Turn off the heat.
Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Serve Bharda Bhat with Dahi and Chinchecha Saar (Maharashtrian Tamarind Stew).
Step-by-Step Recipe for Bharda Bhat from Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra
- Getting Things Ready
- Cook the rice in 1.25 cups of water and 1/2 tsp turmeric till completely cooked. We use a little less water than usual to cook the rice to ensure that the rice grains separate easily after cooking.
- Grind the chana dal to a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Just before you start to make the Bharda Bhat, boil 1.5 cups water and let it simmer.
- Cooking the Bharda Bhat
- In a large kadhai or wok, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and after they crackle, add the cumin seeds.
- Fry till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
- Add chopped green chillies, curry leaves, red chilli powder, and 1 tsp turmeric powder; and mix well.
- Now add the bharda and fry for about 5 minutes till the raw aroma disappears.
- Gradually add the hot water and mix well ensure there are no lumps.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes over medium flame.
- When the bharda is 1/2 cooked, add the ginger paste and mix well.
- Cover and cook again till the water dries out a bit and the bharda comes together as a ball. Ensure that you check on and mix the bharda at regular intervals.
- When the Bharda cooks well and starts to form a ball, add the rice.
- Mix well till the bharda and rice are well-incorporated.
- Turn off the heat.
- Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve Bharda Bhat with Dahi and/or Chinchecha Saar (Maharashtrian Tamarind Stew).