Palidha – Dal Chawal

Dinner tonight is an authentic bohri style rice-oriented dish. Like south-indian or north-indian, we bohri’s dont have a full blown extensive cuisine on its own. But there are quite a few things that are cooked differently and have these oscure names 🙂 which make them special.

Palidha looks similar to daal and is cooked using daal-water but not the boiled toor-daal per se, as the regular daal is cooked. It can be cooked using either drumsticks or doodhi (bottle gourd). Both go perfectly well. Dal Chawal is a layered sort of rice preparation (like we use layering in biryani). Dal Chawal Palidha is as popular as regular Dal Rice among bohris.

So here’s how it goes. I got it from my mommy!


1 cup Toor Dal
1 mid-size bottle gourd – peeled and insides scooped out.
1 cup Rice
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2-3 green chillies – slit vertically
2 tsp cumin seeds
Half an onion
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ghee
2 tsp wheat flour
1 tsp lemon juice
Coriander for garnishing


1. Set up two separate pots. Wash and place the dal in one. Add salt and turmeric powder. Place the bottle gourd vertically cut long pieces into the same pot. Do not make very small pieces of the gourd right now. Once it is cooked, we can cut it later. So in the same water, both dal and doodhi can cook at the same time. Start with high heat and let it come to a boil. After the first boil, leave it on medium heat until the dal and doodhi begin to soften. We are not going to blend the dal into a smooth soup, so dont let the dal completely soften. It should be just about cooked. One of the reasons, why we dont use a pressure cooker here.

2. In the second pot, cook the rice in excess of water. Add salt. So as to layer, we want to keep each grain of rice separate. So once the water boils and the rice is just about to soften, drain the water away. This way rice will not soften too much.

3. Once dal and doodhi soften, separate the dal, doodhi and the dal water out. The dal water and doodhi will be used to make Palidha. The dal and rice will be layered.

4. Tempering for dal: In a small tadka pan, put some oil. Once its hot, add half of  the green chillies, 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and 1 tsp of garam masala. Once the tadka is ready, pour it on the separated out dal.

5. Remove half of the cooked rice from the rice pot. Place a layer of the tempered dal from (4). Cover it with the rest of the removed rice. Put the ghee on top and leave it on low flame for 5 mins. The garam masala from the dal will seep into the rice and flavor it without coloring it.

6. Now to prepare the palidha. Put oil in a saucepan or a pot. Add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add chopped onions. Once they are soft, add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and the rest of the cut chillies. Add cumin-coriander powder, red-chilli powder, pinch of turmeric. Add the dal water now. At this point, it will be watery.

7. In a small cup prepare a paste of wheat flour in water, so that there are no lumps. At this to the dal water. This will thicken the consistency of the palidha.

8. Cut the doodhi into smaller pieces and add it to the palidha. Bring it to a boil. Taste and add salt (since we already added salt when we were cooking the dal and doodhi).

9. You can add a tsp of lemon juice if you like and garnish with coriander.

10. Serve hot!

This is also my entry into the Think Spice event “Think Spice – Think Turmeric“. Its being hosted by Sudeshna this time. This is the first time I am putting something I have cooked for others to see. I am sooo excited. Here is a link to Sunita’s blog.


~ by kharasmithaas on November 21, 2009.

One Response to “Palidha – Dal Chawal”

  1. […] Palidha Dal Chawal – Fazela Vohra of Kharas Mithas […]

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