Marathi meals are made wholesome with a spread of bhaji (a vegetable preparation). Amti(daal), chutney, koshimbir( salad/raita) polya(roti) and bhaat(rice). Daal in our meals is where one gets the proteins from and at times an additional accompaniment like pithle, metkut , pudchutney, daangar provide the essential protein source.
Metkut is used by mixing in roasted pohe as a snack. At times, it is mixed with yogurt and tempered to make a quick chutney. Pudchutney which I learned from ajji, is used similarly either in pohe or as a chutney.
Daangar is another of the family of condiments which is relished in many Marathi families. It makes a great accompaniment with roti or a simple bhakri. This makes it nutritious as well as provides a great dimension to the simple meal.
This needs a simple mix of daals like chana daal, urad daal and rice. Lightly spiced with coriander and cumin seeds the ground mix of daals make an instant accompaniment if prepared in advanced and stored in an airtight container. It is the most easiest way to churn a condiment. Tang from the yogurt added to it provides the cooling element to the dish. Sugar and salt balance the taste very well.
For this one needs:
1 cup of chana daal
½ cup of urad daal
¼ cup of rice
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
In a pan, dry roast all the ingredients. When slightly cooled, grind them into a coarse powder.
To make the accompaniment:
½ cup of buttermilk
1 cup of thick yogurt
Oil for tempering
Red chillies a couple
Turmeric 1 tsp
Salt and sugar for the taste
Chopped onion 1
Chopped coriander for garnishing
In a bowl, mix the daangar mix with the buttermilk. Prepare the tempering with oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies. Add the tempering to the daangar mixed with buttermilk. Mix the chopped onion. Add yogurt, salt and sugar. Mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander.
Alternatively, tamarind pulp and jaggery is used instead of yogurt. But we love this version of Daangar in our meals. Pohyache daangar(made with roasted and ground flat rice) is also popular accompaniment. When the pantry is short of ingredients or the refrigerator screams out to be filled in, Daangar serves as a perfect respite.