‘Varan’ (Special Lentil Curry)

Varan is a simple and quick Goan staple of dal and rice that is typically made during festivals and other special occasions. It is a chief component of the traditional offering to God known as “Naivedya.” While it is common for some to add a tempering of curry leaves to this, the typical Goan preparation is simple, without any tempering, allowing the delicious, comforting flavors of the lentils to shine through.

‘Varan’ (Special Lentil Curry)

‘Varan’ (Special Lentil Curry)

Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: Veg SambarCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/4 cup Toor Dal

  • 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup Fresh coconut, finely grated

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)

  • Salt, to taste

  • Ingredients for seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons Ghee

  • 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)


  • Pressure cook the toor dal and green chilies together along with 1 cup water until you hear a couple of whistles. After a couple of whistles, turn the heat to low and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally, as the dal will continue to cook in the pressure.
  • In the meanwhile, make a smooth saucy mixture by grinding the coconut, turmeric powder and cumin seeds along with water in a blender. Add this to the cooked dal and whisk it well together. The consistency of varan curry must be medium thick (neither too thick or too thine) add salt to taste and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Heat ghee in a small tadka pan, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida and allow it to crackle for a few seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Pour this seasoning into the dal and serve the varan along with hot steamed rice.


  • Some people add curry leaves while tempering. This is optional.

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