dalma recipe

Dalma recipe | “An Authentic Odisha Lentil and Vegetable Dish”

Dalma is a popular dish in the Indian state of Odisha. It’s a tasty and filling dish made with lentils, veggies, and spices. Dalma is commonly referred to as a one-pot dish because it combines protein and veggies in one dish. It’s typically paired with steaming rice or roti (Indian bread).

Dalma isn’t just a dish; it’s a cultural emblem of Odisha. Its history dates back to ancient times when it was prepared as an offering to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri. This divine connection has elevated Dalma to a sacred status in Odisha’s culinary traditions.

dalma recipe


  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, beans, etc.), chopped
  • 1 small eggplant (brinjal), chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Rinse the toor dal (split pigeon peas) thoroughly and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. Drain the water before cooking.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal along with 3 cups of water, chopped vegetables, chopped eggplant, tomato, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for about 4-5 whistles or until the dal and vegetables are soft and well-cooked.
  3. Once the pressure is released, gently mash the dal and vegetables with a spoon or a masher until it reaches a smooth consistency. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil or ghee in a large pan or kadhai over medium heat.
  5. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies. Let them splutter and release their aroma.
  6. Add grated ginger and minced garlic. Sauté for a minute until they turn golden brown.
  7. Pour the cooked dal and vegetable mixture into the pan. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
  8. If the Dalma seems too thick, add some water to adjust the consistency. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  9. Check the seasoning and adjust salt and spices according to your taste. You can add red chili powder if you prefer a spicier Dalma.
  10. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  11. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.


  • You can choose vegetables based on your preference and seasonal availability.
  • Soaking the toor dal for about 30 minutes before cooking can help in easy and faster cooking. It also helps in softening the dal, resulting in a smoother texture.
  • The tempering (tadka) of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies, ginger, and garlic is an essential step in Dalma
  • You can also garnish with some freshly grated coconut for added texture and taste.

Serving suggestion:

Dalma with a generous portion of steamed basmati rice

serve Dalma with jeera rice, which is rice flavored with cumin seeds. The aromatic jeera rice pairs well with the flavors of Dalma, creating a delightful combination.


Q1: Can I use other lentils instead of toor dal?

A1: While toor dal is traditionally used in Dalma, you can experiment with other lentils like moong dal (split yellow mung beans) or masoor dal (red lentils) if you prefer. .

Q2: Can I make Dalma without a pressure cooker?

A2: Yes, you can make Dalma without a pressure cooker. Simply cook the dal and vegetables in a regular pot with enough water until they are tender and well-cooked. It may take a little longer compared to using a pressure cooker, but the end result will be equally delicious.

Q3: Can I add other spices or seasonings to Dalma?

A3: Absolutely! While the basic Dalma recipe includes turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt, you can add other spices or seasonings to enhance the flavor. Common additions include cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, or even a pinch of asafoetida (hing). 

Q6: Can I customize the vegetables used in Dalma?

A6: Yes, you can customize the choice of vegetables in Dalma based on your preference and availability. Apart from the commonly used vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, brinjal, and beans.


In conclusion, Dalma is not just a dish; it’s a cultural masterpiece that reflects the rich heritage of Odisha. Its blend of ingredients, preparation techniques, and the history behind it make Dalma a must-try for anyone seeking a true culinary adventure. So, the next time you’re looking to savor something truly unique, delve into the world of Dalma and experience the magic of Odisha on your plate.

dalma recipe


Calories 65kcal
Fat 4g
Carbohydrates 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium 67mg

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