Among all those amazing dried products that one can make during hot Indian summer days making use of the strong sunshine, dal ki badiyan are the ones I really love.
Badiyan are tiny sun dried lentil nuggets, which are nutritious and an excellent substitute for meat in curries. Many varieties of badiyan are available ready made in stores. But nothing compares to these homemade variation that I am addicted to since childhood.
Dal ki Badiyan ~ Sun Dried Lentil Nuggets
Split and skinned green gram/Moong ki Dal – 500 gms
Hari Pyaz/Spring greens, finely chopped – 3 cups (only the greens, not the white)
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt and Red chilli powder – to taste
1. Soak the dal for 2 hours in fresh cool water. Later, drain and wash the dal in several changes of water. Once washed and drained, puree the dal in blender adding just enough water to aid in the process. (Note: Do not add too much water, or else the badiyan will not form properly)
2. In a mixing bowl, add the pureed dal, chopped spring greens, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix thoroughly.
3. Drop blobs of the prepared mixture on a clean and dry tray or a rimmed baking sheet using your hands or a spoon. Leave the tray in the sun during daytime and bring the tray indoors when dark. On the first night, gently scrape the partially dried badiyan and invert them so that the next day the bottoms also get nicely dried up in the sun. It usually takes 3-5 days under hot sun for the badiyan to completely get dried.
4. When completely dried, transfer the badiyan to an air tight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Be careful and keep away from moisture.
5. Always shallow fry a few needed badiyan in some oil until the color changes to golden brown just before consumption. Do not burn them or else their taste will worsen. Consume the crunchy shallow fried badiyan on the side to your meals, or add the shallow fried badiyan to any of your favorite curries or soups and cook for just a few minutes.
Dal Ki Badiyan Pictorial
Blobs of the mixture on tray, ready to be sun dried
Badiyan – Sun drying
Shallow fried Badiyan, ready for consumption
Preparing Dal ki Badiyan in Oven:
If you live in areas where sunlight is scarce and plays hide and seek with you, you can even prepare badiyan in the oven. Just lightly spray or brush the tray with a little bit of cooking oil, then drop the batter on the tray as shown above and place the tray in the oven pre-heated at the lowest setting. Let it bake for around 2-3 hours. Shake the tray after every hour. Keep a close eye and as you observe they are completely dried up, remove and let them cool on a rack. Once completely cool, transfer to air tight containers and store until needed. Shallow fry a few needed the badiyan in a little oil and enjoy when fancied.