Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dalcha - Mutton cooked with lentils

 Dalcha is a stew made with goat meat / mutton with dal and vegetables. It is a side dish served with biryani or pilaff. Mom makes dalcha only with mutton bones. However I prefer dalcha with soft mutton pieces along with bones. Brinjal , bottle gourd and raw mangoes are the vegetables we add in dalcha. You can try with your favourite veggies too.
One of the delicacies I always wanted to learn from my mom and I am glad that I now have the recipe on my cooking diary. Do try dalcha when you are making mutton biryani next time.



To Pressure cook

  • 250 Grams Mutton cut into medium sized pieces
  • 250 Grams Mutton bones ( Bones add nice flavor to the dish, don't skip bones. Traditionally dalcha is made only with mutton bones. However I like it with half the quanity mutton bones plus half mutton pieces)
  • 1/2 Cup Toor Dal
  • 5 Tablespoons Chana Dal
  • 1 Green Chilli Slit
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegetable oil ( oil will prevent dal from spilling out of the pressure cooker. I always add oil when I pressure cook dal)
  • 3 Cups of water to cook dal and meat

For the Gravy

  • 4 Brinjals / baby eggplants chopped into large pieces
  • 1 Small bottle gourd chopped into large pieces
  • 5 small raw mango pieces
  • 1 Medium sized tomato chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 Cup water
  • Salt to taste

To Temper

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 Medium sized onion chopped finely


1. Add all the ingredients listed under 'To pressure cook' in a large pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water and pressure cook on medium flame for 12  whistles. Do not rush through this step, cook only on medium or low flame. Otherwise mutton will be hard and chewy

2. In a large pan add all the ingredients except 'raw mangoes' listed under 'For the gravy' along with 1 cup of water. Season with salt and cook for 5 minutes until the brinjals and bottle guard are half way cooked through
3. Add previously pressure cooked dal with mutton pieces into the pan and cook it along with brinjal and bottle gourd for 10 minutes on medium flame
4. Add raw mango pieces and simmer for 3 minutes
5. In a separate pan, temper ingredients listed under 'To temper' in hot oil and add the tempering to the dalcha that has been simmering
6. Give everything a nice stir. Check for seasoning and adjust. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves
7. Dalcha is ready to be served


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