Osaman and Lachko Dal -A traditional Gujarati dish

Yesterday, on my way to the baker’s, I decided to drop in at my friend’s place to return a book I had borrowed the previous week. The aroma of a dish being just seasoned, hit my sense of smell much before I reached the doors of her home. As she welcomed me in, the spicy aroma wafted through me. We got talking on the latest happening topics as usual but then my mind was on –what was cooking?

As though she read my thoughts, my friend offered me a taste of the traditional Gujarati dish ‘Osaman’. I enjoyed it so much, that she was happy to share the recipe with me. Osaman is a clear soup, prepared with lentil as its main ingredient. This dish is a Gujarati equivalent of the ‘rasam’ from South India.

The eating habits of the Gujarati’s, focus more on easily digestive foods, they classify food as ‘light ‘or ‘heavy’. Osaman is easy to digest and is considered as a ‘light food’. Traditionally it is served with lachko dal and rice.

Ingredients for Osaman

  • 1 cup tur dal
  • ¼ cup jaggery
  • Tamarind -size of a small lime (juice)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 cloves
  • A small piece of cinnamon
  • A small piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 4 green chillies (chopped)
  • A few curry leaves
  • A few sprigs of coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Lachko Dal

  • 1 cup tur dal
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red chillies
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste 

For Osaman and Lachko Dal : Pressure cook 2 cups of  tur dal(1 cup of Osaman ingredient and 1 cup of Lachko Dal ingredient) with 2 ½ cups of water and ½ tsp turmeric.

Method for Osaman:

  • Drain off the water from the dal into another vessel.
  • Add salt, jaggery to taste and tamarind juice to the water, drained off from the dal.
  • Allow to simmer on a low fire for few minutes.
  • Add green chillies and ginger.
  • Heat a little oil, add cloves, cinnamon and curry leaves. Fry well and temper curry with this.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Method for Lachko Dal

  • With a wooden spoon, mash the cooked tur dal (the 2 cups of dal that was cooked).
  • Add tomato, green chillies and coriander leaves.
  • Add salt to taste and a cup of water.
  • Allow to simmer on a low fire.
  • In another pan, heat ghee add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped ginger, garlic and chillies.
  • When chillies are crisp, remove from fire and add to dal.

Serve the traditional Gujarati dish Osaman with Lachko Dal and rice.

Preparation Time: ½ hour
Cook Time: ½ hour

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Serves: 4

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