Launji and Dal

I love gujarati and rajasthani food. I remember going to a hotel more of a boarding and lodging place where outsiders can come to eat lunch and dinner in hyderabad that serves this excellent gujarati,rajasthani and marwadi food. The thalis are to die for..and the best part is unlimited food. The ambiance is so homey and the server is a man who is there for 20+ years easy...serves you so lovingly that you land up overeating but loving every minute of it. The food there has both garlic and non-garlic version..which was perfect for us as amma and appa do not take garlic and my sis and me basically inhale it! I remember the first time we went there..we actually went in and came out...coz we could not believe the place. It was waay down to earth...pretty shabby and full of the boarders..who i must say say were attired in lungis and banyans...my sis was in her teens and my parents were a little wary on that..i was still a kid, actually pretty happy to see people sitting in their vests and lungis and amused by it ;). Then a family friend told us not to be put-off by the appearance but perhaps try out lunch?? and i will tell you we have never looked back! Now of-course it is very popular and tho crummy in appearance outside, it does not matter...but 20 yrs back, it was not the same story. Even now when i go to hyd, i make it a point to eat at-least 3-4 times there....coz it is really like ghar-ka-khana.

Now if anyone has read that loong story....and i must say thank-you...this lamba chauda post was that i was craving the food from there and so i went and pulled out the Tarla Dalal's Rajasthani Cookbook and made the dal banjari,bajra roti and shimla-mirch ki launji. It was really good...but of-course there was nobody who said..nahi nahi..aap aur lijeye na, bahut kam kha rahen hai..aur sabji lijiye.....those were the days :(

The recipes are from the book with my modifications in qty, so adjust to urs.


Shimla-Mirch ki launji

Bell Pepper - 1 cup (i used trio colors..wanted to use up the stock on hand)
Nigella Seeds (kalonji)- 1/2 tsp.
Fennel Seeds (saunf) - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Dhania Powder - 1 tsp.
Amchur - 1/2 tsp.
Sugar - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.
Salt to taste.


1. In a pan heat the oil and add the fennel and nigella seeds.

2. Add the bell peppers,salt,chilli powder,dhania powder,turmeric powder and 1/2 cup of water and simmer till the peppers are cooked.

3. Stir in the amchur,sugar and cook till the sugar dissolves.

4.Cool this and bottle it. Stays in the fridge easily for 2-3 weeks.

Dal Banjari

This is a thick dal, but my version is watery as Jeeves pretends to choke and clutches his throat and does some drama when there is just a dry curry or the dal is too thick....i know...he thinks he is sooo funny!!!


Black Urad Dal - 1 cup
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup
Haldi -1/4 tsp.
Onions - 1 diced
Cloves,Red Chilli - 2
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Ginger-Green Chilly-Garlic Paste - 2 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.


1. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric for 4-5 whistles, till they are soft and well combined.

2. In a kadai, add the oil and ghee and fry the cloves,cinnamon and whole red chilli and onions, till browned.

3. Add the ginger-green chilli-garlic paste,red chilli powder and salt and mix well.

4. Add the pressure cooked dal and let it simmer for 5 -7 minutes.

5. Serve the dal hot, or it tends to get thick as it stands.


For launji - you can just use the green ones too..the recipe actually calls for the green one.

For dal - you can garnish the dal with cilantro leaves and ginger julinned...i was out of both :(

Both the above tasted absolutely great with bajra roti.


Kribha said...

That's true. Some places may not look that good but the food is totally unbelievable. I'm always a big fan of roadside dishes. Launji looks pretty colorful and dal banjari is a new dish to me. Looks so comforting. Thanks for sharing these nice recipes.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Nice one rajitha.......Nice narration too...that one on Jeeves...bechara :-))
Will try it out....its new to me :-)

Laavanya said...

Both dishes look lovely... There's this place in madurai, similar to what you described that serves Gujarathi/Rajasthani food.. No fancy menu.. just thalis with soft rotis. Was reminded of that as I read your first para...

Padma said...

Dal launji looks so soothingly good and loved the color too. Also red pepper sabji looks great

Anonymous said...

i have that book and haven't amde a single thing from it. thanks for the recommendations. i will try these.

Raaga said...

I too love gujju and rajasthani food... have both of Tarla Dalal's books and cook from them often.

Fun read and beautiful launji :-)

where in Hyd is this place? Near Koti?

Red Chillies said...

Wow Rajitha, totally new ideas with daal and bell pepper. I have never used kalonji seeds in my cooking and all this without onion. Cool!

Madhu said...

Both the diahes looks delicious Rajitha,nigella seeds are nice addition and I have never cooked with black urad dal,but i have some at home.thanks will try your recipe sometimes.


Shimla mirch ki launji looks colourful and I like adding amchur powder...its flavour and taste..
dal banjari with black urad and channa dal should be a healthy one..
Thanx for sharing the recipe,Rajitha..:))

Apple said...

Yumm...both the dishes look lovely n colorful...

ANI said...

Very yummy Dhal recipe.. should try.. and thanks for the story..

sra said...

I believe that Gujju food tastes better in somewhat downmarket, crowded places rather than clean, scrubbed, interiors. Come to think of it, I haven't come across many of the latter kind serving Gujju/Rajasthani cuisine.

Nupur said...

I've never tried making any Rajasthani food...both of these look awesome! Especially that colorful subzi.

Asha said...

Love both recipes, very unique and delicious!:))

Richa said...

hey, launji looks very good, hv not made it in a long time! my bell pepper plants are still going strong due to the warm weather, will use them :)

Rohini's kitchen said...

Both recipes looks awesome!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Bell pepper is delicious!:)) I remember tasting the urad dal dish in a restaurant in Jaipur! It was so hot! We definitely need to adjust the spices to suit our taste!:)) Nice pictures too! I thought you too will post something for the saffron event rajitha!:))

Namratha said...

That was a very nice recollection of your memories dear..vests and lungis...I can imagine your amusement...hahahaha!! All the dishes look great and I think I will try them, I like Rajasthani food too but have never tried making it.

remya.sash said...

these dishes are new to me....i like northindian dishes,but havent tried any kinda dishes....dishes looks lovely....daal n bell pepper...grt!!!

Shweta said...

This is really interesting! I am writing a post about some home-made daal-baati and I was going to write about this place in Indore where they served thalis! It sounds so much like the place you are talking about. I shouldn't have read this post before finishing mine! :)) Will update you when I post.
Btw, both daal and launji look yummy!!

Sivani said...

Hi Rajitha,

Thanks for stopping by my blog; I'm so glad I followed the link and found yours. The food looks scrumptious, and I will have to add you to my blogroll so I can visit frequently!

TBC said...

Rajasthani cuisine is something I haven't tried yet, I think. The lunji looks so colorful. Must have tasted great too:-)

Sig said...

Yeah, it is sometimes the small dhabas who have the most mouthwatering food... I've never really had Rajasthani food, is anyone hosting an RCI? :)

Priya said...

delicious post, i am now tempted to make some gujarati preperation ...its been quite some time that i made one... :)

Happy cook said...

Both of them looks good

Sia said...

u have tempted me enough rajitha... i had a marwadi friend who would bring yummiest food w/o onion and garlic...
and ur hubby is really funny;)

Sandeepa said...

Yes that would have put me off too :) I need the ambience but if food is good I just pack, get it home and eat it :D

I have a Rajasthani friend, but she doesn't make typical Rajasthani food, mostly North Indian, should pester her for some.

That Dal looks yummy and the sabzi too

Rajitha said...

kribha - i get pretty mad when we go to fancy places adn the food is crappy...but never had a bad experience in a crappy joint..hmm

sirisha - arre..not him bechara..say rajitha is bechari ;)

laavanya - in madurai..not bad eh!

padama - thnks :)

click- i like that book..i keep looking and wanting to make more....i have also made the besani aloo..yumm

raaga- it is in r.p road sec'bad...near jain temple....if u ever go to hyd, do go there..i will give u the correct directions :)

red chillies- i have started to love kalonji...adds a different dimention to a dish

madhu - it is yumm...i have never tried black urad before this recipe too

raks - i love amchur..tangy stuff

apple - thnks :)

ani- do try it...

sra - ha ha..it is true..i think because it is fairly simple to make but takes high marks on flavor. I thik the only place i am aware is in Mumbai..a place in wadala that serves good gujju food

nupur - do try making rajasthani food..it is yumm

asha - thanks, i had fun making this..something different :)

richa - boy..what a nice way to rub it in..i am coming over to ur home for some peppers :(

rohini - thnks :)

latha - well..the saffron entry is coming..i think people will think i am such a loser ;)

namratha - i know..it still cracks me up..the way we went in and dashed out!!

remya - do try it..i love N.I food too..

shweta - waiting for ur post hon..dal baati..yummmers

sivani - ah! always a pleasure

tbc- do try it out girl..it is a different way of using the spices.

sig - love dhaba food and the super casual environment...

priya - the cooler weather makes me crave dal and phulkas, gujju food has a lot of dal

happy cook - thnks

sia - same here..actually a gujju friend whose lunch-box would be finished in the small break...yummy food...and jeeves funny!...please u are too kind....

Suganya said...

So the bell pepper subji I make has a name? Wow! :D

sunita said...

I simply adore Rajasthani food...the love began very early on when two of my classmates at school, both Rajasthanis, would treat us with goodies they brought for lunch...their moms usually sent in an extra helping :)...and of course, never judge a book by it's cover :)...your dish looks lovely.

Mona said...

Hi Rajitha :-) Street food and the local food of Hyderabad is my fav ! I havent however tried Rajasthani food ever ! But i'll, tat capsicum curry looks tempting :-) and i love Kalaunji in my dishes..


Rajitha said...

suganya- ah! glad to help out dearie..

sunita - i think we get intoduced to a variety of food in our school days..i think that is soo cool about growing up in india..

mona - i love hyd and the road-side food too..try gujju and rajasthani food...it is yumm

Seena said...

Now I can see your photos..was little worried about it, now ok!
I love to try out food from different places, if all the ingredients are easily available. Living here, and the place is famous for restaurants, we would try food from different places..
definitely will ask for this next time..thank u..

Sivani said...

Oh Rajitha,

You saved my skin last night when I had to think on very short notice what to feed my family. We tried the Dhal Banjari and it turned out fabulously. I've just blogged about it, giving you due credit :-)

BTW, did you live in Hyderabad? My husband said on his last visit (we have a place in Sec'bad) that he actually went to the restaurant you mentioned. Food was very good he said, but the people were just like you said :-)

Rajitha said...

seena- sure..i love trying food from diff places of india as all of them are spectacular

sivani - glad to be of help girl :)..yep..i lived in sec'bad for 16 yrs...i know, that place has not changed a bit..u must go there the next time u visit sec'bad :)

Kumudha said...

I had no clue what to do with black urad dal, which I once purchased to make dal makhani.

Thanks for the wonderful traditional recipes!

Hima said...

That is such a colorful dish. Looks great.

Lissie said...

beautiful pictures! both the recipes sound delicious.

Linda said...

Hi Rajitha, the bell peppers look great, and that dal -- that's got my mouth watering right now! Would love a bowl of that for a late supper. I'm going to try that out, thanks! :)