Patoli is a classic Andhra dish which can be considered as a dry lentil crumble, and is something akin to Usili that the Tamilians make. Made with soaked and ground chana dal paste, it is protein-rich and filling.
I first posted this recipe in 2013 and since then have discovered that it is made in various parts of India under different names. Patoli is very similar to the Vatli Dal from Maharashtra and Bharda Palya from Karnataka.
In my home, we eat mix a generous amount of Patoli in steamed rice topped with a generous dollop of ghee or some sesame oil. We eat small balls of this mixed rice (mudda in Telugu) with Vankaya Perugu Pachadi, Magai Perugu Pachadi, or Teepi Magai Pachadi as a dipping sauce. Majjiga Pulusu (Andhra Kadhi) and Mukkala Pulusu (Andhra Mixed Vegetable Stew) also make for great side-dishes for enjoying Patoli.
Patoli 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. In this recipe, I have showcased the classic version of this protein-rich dish, but you can also make variations such as Menthi Kura Patholi | Methichi Vatli Dal with fenugreek leaves or Mammidikaya Patoli | Kairichi Vatli Dal with raw mangoes.
Recipe for Andhra Patoli | Bharda Palya | Vatli Dal | Kadalai Paruppu Usili
Patoli | Vatli Dal | Bharda Palya
- 1/2 Cup Chana Dal
- 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 2-3 Red Chillies
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- Salt to Taste
- 3 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Red Chillies
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Udad Dal
- 1 tsp Chana Dal
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Asafoetida/Hing
- Wash and soak the chana dal in 2 cups water for 2 hours.
- Drain all the water from the chana dal.
- Grind the chana dal with 2-3 red chillies, turmeric, and salt to a coarse paste. Add a little water, if required.
- In a large kadai, heat the oil.
- Add mustard seeds and wait till the splutter.
- Add the cumin seeds, udad dal and chana dal.
- Stir-fry till the dals turn light golden brown.
- Add the split red chillies, curry leaves, and asafoetida.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped onions and stir-fry till they are transparent.
- Add the ground chana dal paste and mix well.
- Stir-fry till the chana dal pastes dries out and starts to form a crumble.
- Turn off the heat.
- Serve Patoli with warm rice topped with ghee or sesame oil.
How to Make Andhra Patoli | Bharda Palya | Vatli Dal
- Making the Chana Dal Paste
- Wash the chana dal well and soak it in 2 cups water for a minimum of 2 hours. The chanadal should swell up properly and break when pressed.
- When the dal is soaked, drain the water completely.
- Add the chana dal, 2-3 red chillies, turmeric, and salt to a grinding jar.
- Grind to a coarse paste using the minimum amount of water.
- Cooking the Patoli
- In a heavy-bottomed kadai or wok, heat the oil.
- Add rai and wait till it crackles.
- Add the udad dal and chana dal.
- Fry till the dals are light brown.
- Add the split red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
- Stir-fry for ~10 seconds.
- Add the chopped onion and stir-fry till the onion is transparent and properly cooked.
- Add the chana dal paste.
- Cook while stirring occasionally till the chana dal paste is cooked and dries out a bit. Be careful not to over cook it because then the Patoli will become very dry and powdery.
- 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.