Chilli Garlic and me

Vegetable Dalcha

Monday, 5th June, 2017
Dalcha – a Hyderabadi Indian stew made with mutton and lentils is an unique preparation and I absolutely loved having it on many occasions. But a more commoner’s version which is without the meat, which I stumbled upon in a wedding actually caught my fancy. So this is my recipe of Veg Dalcha where the meat is substituted with bottle gourd or lauki. The list of ingredients maybe long but hardly takes anytime to cook.


Toor dal or pigeon pea – 50 gms
Lauki or bottle gourd – 1 cup (cut into 1 inch long pieces)
Onion – 1 (cut into juliennes)
Tomato – 1 (cut into juliennes)
Garlic – 2 to 3 pods
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Dalcha masala powder – 1 tsp
Tamarind paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2 (optional)
Curry leaves – few sprigs
Mustard seeds – a pinch (for tempering)
Cardamom – 2 pods
Cinnamon – 1 stick
Star anise – 1
Cloves – 2 to 3
Dried Kashmiri red chillies - 2
Salt – as per taste
Sugar – a pinch
Oil – 2 tbsp.


1. Boil the toor dal and lauki or bottle gourd together in a pressure pan with a pinch of salt. Two whistles should be enough. You don’t want the dal or the vegetable to become a paste.
2. Once the dal and lauki is boiled take it off heat and add turmeric, red chilli powder and dalcha masala in it and let it rest.
3. In a kadai or pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds, half of the curry leaves and dry red chillies.
4. Now add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise to the oil and saute till they release their aroma.
5. Now add the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Saute for two minutes.
6. Next add the dal with lauki and stir and bring it to a boil.
7. Add the tamarind paste, green chillies, salt, sugar and the remaining curry leaves.
8. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and your Veg. dalcha is ready.

This is generally served with plain rice or jeera rice.

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