Pakistan – Masar Chawal


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by Dahiza Umar

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH

This is a very delicious and mouthwatering dish of Pakistani cuisine. Brown lentils served with rice, salad, and pickle. This dish is very famous and cooked usually in Pakistani kitchens. This is assumed to be the lightest and easily digestible dish because of using very few spices. Usually, Pakistani dishes have the addition of a huge amount of different spices that sometimes cause heart burning and uncomfortable digestion. This dish is more like a pulse soup with a few herbs and spices for flavors. It is served with boiled rice or jeera rice that means fried rice. This dish is incomplete without salad and pickle. Mango pickle and mixed vegetable salad make this dish even tastier. The crunch of fresh vegetables and sourness of pickle makes this dish very delicious. Sometimes fried green chilies are also served with this dish.

In Urdu, this dish is also known as DAAL chawal. Daal is this legume soup and Chawal means rice. But when a specified pulse like this brown pulse is used, this is called MASAR. Masar is the brown lentils used in this dish. As it is known that Pakistani food is very spicy and has the addition of a lot of spices. Sometimes, different spices are added to this dish and make it like a spicy lentil curry. But the authentic Masar is cooked simple and mild.

It is eaten at lunchtime and also at dinner. It is also served with bread like Paratha for breakfast and roti. There are many pulses dishes cooked by the same method but the main pulse used is different. This is a very simple and delicious dish. This seems to be eaten for low calories if you are not using oil or some butter in making it. Among all the other pulses either whole pulse and split pulses, these are the best lentils to be eaten and loved by all most all Pakistani. It is served either with rice or bread or paratha. The taste is just amazing.

The complimentary items like salads, pickles, and yogurt sauces make it even more delicious and take it to the next level. I am a crazy fan of this dish because of its simplicity and the taste is fabulous. In the end, some delicious seasonings known to be as TARKA is added on the top having some roasted garlic, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and butter to make it delicious.

NAMING OF THE DISH

This is not only one dish, this is like a whole meal. Because it is a pulse soup, curry served with rice and some other items. This is a proper menu of dinner. So this dish has a few elements and names are according to the main ingredient used in it.

  • MASAR is the urdu name for Brown Pulses. So Masar soup or Masar curry is named just as Masar. This is simple the name of dish is actually the name of the main ingredient.
  • CHAWAL is Urdu name for Rice. This is just simple boiled rice without addition of any spices and herbs so this is known as Chawal.

With any pulse, the simple rice is usually cooked like Boiled rice or Just Zeera rice. Masar chawal is the whole meal platter of pulses soup, chawal means rice.

There are different types of pulses cooked in Pakistan with different names but all the pulses have the same cooking procedure.

DAAL CHANNA (Split chickpea lentil)

There is a dal known as Split chickpea pulses. This is a split pulse of chickpea. This is the pulse that is cooked like any other pulses cooked with the same cooking method. But it has different versions because it is cooked by adding chicken, mutton, and even beef. This is also cooked like chicken curry with chickpea lentils.

This pulse has the following dishes and some other specified characteristics.

  • Split chickpea lentil is cooked by adding any meat sold in Pakistan like chicken, beef and mutton
  • This is cooked like a gravy with chicken.
  • It is also cooked by simple procedure of boiling and few seasonings.
  • Dhabba style channa dal is very famous is Pakistan.
  • There are cutlets, cooked by using this pulse and chicken into granular form.
  • It is served with rice and roti with same complimentary items like pickle and salad.

MASOOR DAAL (red lentils)

This daal is not cooked alone, it is mixed with any other pulses for the texture. Red pulses are usually mixed with yellow pulses in the ratio of 1:2. The combination of this mixture in one dish is very unique and delicious.

  • There is a dish known as DAAL CHAAWAL, which means this yellow and red daal with rice.
  • There is very special vegetarian soup cooked by using this pulses.
  • Some dishes are also cooked by mixing pulses with vegetables and meat.
  • The consistency of this pulse os thin as compared to other dishes of using other pulses.

DAAL MASH (Skinned black gram split)

This pulse is very different from other pulses. The cooking procedure, cooking time, and usage of ingredients are different while making this pulse. This is the split pulse of the black gram. This is cooked with using of different spices, and vegetables like onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes.

  • This split pulse is cooked by chicken curry method of cooking.
  • There are different salads served with like like onion rings, cucumber, etc.
  • This pulse is only served with roti or bread.
  • No rice is served with this dish.
  • This pulse is cooked very dry so yogurt sauce is necessary to serve with it.

PULSES CULTIVATED IN PAKISTAN

There is a huge variety of daal and pulse in split formed are sold here in Pakistan :

  • Red pulses
  • Yellow pulses
  • Black beans
  • Azuki beans
  • Green grams
  • Split chickpea pulses
  • Brown grams
  • Black skinned pulses
  • Black split pulses
  • White grams
  • Black grams

ORIGIN OF THE DISH

This dish is from the INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. This is the same procedure of cooking as Indian and Bengali cuisine. Our three regions share a great number of dishes together like the same cuisine. At the time of the subcontinent, the cultures and almost all the vegetarian dishes are cooked by using the same ingredients and same cooking methods. It is difficult to say that this dish is specified to the one cuisine. This dish is included in the national cuisines of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

The Place of Origin of this dish is the Indian Subcontinent.

This dish is popular in different regions of the world

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Ghanna
  • Iran
  • India, etc.

PUNJABI CUISINE

This dish is cooked all over Pakistan but it is the specific origin of Punjabi cuisine. Because the use of butter at the end of this dish to serve with butter and cream makes it rich in flavors. In Punjabi cuisine, the use of spices and oil is a must but this dish has minimal use of spices but in the end, this dish is topped with butter and cream to have a Punjabi taste.

The use of spices is very minimal like salt, pepper, and some cumin seeds. But the addition of butter and topping of cream is making the dish rich with the flavor of butter and cream.

STREET FOOD OF PAKISTAN

This dish served as DAAL CHAWAL as the street food. A plate of rice, topped with this pulse and side with pickle is served by the roadside hawkers. This dish is not served in the restaurant but is easily available on the roadside Dhaba.

VARIETIES OF DAAL (pulses) DISHES IN PAKISTAN

DAAL GOSHT

Daal gosht is the dish that is cooked by adding SPLIT CHICKPEA PULSES and mixed with mutton or beef gravy. The gravy of mutton or beef is cooked like the normal usual gravy with lots of spices, vegetables for masala like onion, garlic, and ginger, green chilies, yogurt is also added for some texture and sourness. This pulse is boiled to soft and tender and then mixed with the gravy of mutton or beef. This is also cooked by adding chicken gravy.

This is a very tasty dish for having both the taste together as the meat gravy and pulses. This is amazingly delicious and compared to the Haleem because some condiments like haleem are added over the plate for amazing flavors and taste. If the pulses are mixed like a mixture or paste it looks exactly like a haleem plate when the green chilies, fried onions, mint leaves, and coriander are topped up over the plate.

It can be cooked by adding meat varieties like

  • Beef Daal gosht
  • Mutton daal gosht
  • Chicken daal gosht
  • Desi murgh daal gosht

DAAL FRY

It is known as daal fry because the daal is boiled to its full tenderness and softness. Then a mixture that is known to be masala is prepared with some onions, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander leaves, and spices like salt, pepper, turmeric, and cumin seeds. This mixture is prepared like full masala is prepared. The addition of butter is more than any other masala prepared.

Then cooked daal is added into the masala and fried on high flames. This is known to be daal fry. Because the masala of onions, tomatoes and butter are prepared and fry cooked daal in it make it daal fry.

There is some further daal fry according to the use of spices and cooking skills.

  • Dhaaba style daal fry
  • Mash daal fry
  • Sukhi daal fry
  • Makhani daal fry

DAAL MAKHANI

Daal makhani is cooked by using brown lentils with the addition of cream, butter, and cheese. This is supposed to be the best daal ever cooked and eaten in India, Pakistan, In India, the use of Paneer that is cottage cheese is common but here, this use is not common. The addition of cottage cheese in daal cooked with butter and cream makes it very delicious.

Daal makhani with lots of butter and cream. This is a very tasty dish and served with butter naan or butter rice. Everything is buttery and creamy for this dish.

KHATTI DAAL

Khatti means sour and Daal means lentils. This daal is sour because the ingredients are added to this dish to make it sour and tangy. Lemon juice, tamarind, and mango powder are added in making this dish. The consistency of the dish is very thin and liquid. This is served as a soup or eaten with rice. This is a dish from Sindh Province.

Souring ingredients to the dish :

  • Mango powder
  • Tamarind
  • Lemon juice

SERVED WITH BREADS

This is a dish served with bread :

  • Sada roti
  • Laccha paratha
  • Sada Naan
  • Roghani roti
  • Butter Naan
  • Roghani Naan
  • Garlic Naan

SERVED WITH RICE

  • Fried rice
  • Boiled rice
  • Zeera rice
  • Tarka rice

COMPLEMENTARY SALAD

  • Kachumbar salad
  • Fried Green chilies
  • Cucumber slices
  • Tomatoes slices
  • Onion rings

COMPLEMENTARY SAUCES

  • Green chili chutney
  • Plain yogurt
  • Mint chutney
  • Mint sauce
  • Zeera yogurt

COMPLEMENTARY PICKLE

  • Mango pickle
  • Lemon pickle
  • Mixed vegetable pickle

TIME REQUIRED

  • Preparation time : 10 minutes
  • cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time : 30 minutes

NUTRITIONAL ASPECTS

  • Calories : 70
  • protein : 9 grams
  • carbohydrates : 10 grams
  • Fat : 4 grams

INGREDIENTS FOR DAAL

  • Brown lentils : 2 cups
  • Yellow pulses : 1/2 cup
  • Salt : 1 tbsp
  • Red pepper : 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder : 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder : 2 tbsp

TARKA

  • Butter : 1/2 cup
  • Oil : 1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves : 10
  • Green chilies : 10
  • Curry leaves : 4

COOKING METHOD

  • Add 4 glass of water in a cooking wok and add pulses with the spices in it to make it boil.
  • Boil the lentils for 20 to 30 minutes until the pulses is soft and tender.
  • When pulses are softened, prepare the tarka.
  • Add butter and oil in the pan and garlic chopped cloves in it until they browned.
  • Now add curry leaves and green chilies at the end and add into the boiled pulses.
  • This is ready to serve with rice, pickle and salad.

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