Varn (Konkani Dal with Coconut)

January 19, 2015 Posted by

Varn (Konkani Dal with Coconut)Of all the different styles of cooking dal, Varn is my favorite. As coconut is a staple part of the Konkani diet, we end up adding it to our dal too. This is one of the most simple dishes to cook and for me its my comfort food.

In Mangalore, Varn is only made during mourning occasions but we have no such rules in North Karnataka where I come from.

This is the perfect comfort food for me and eating Varn with a spoonful of warm ghee and rice with some pickle makes my day. I am sure you will like it too. Very hard to go wrong with this recipe.

Here is my mom’s Varn Recipe.

Toor dal  – 1 Cup
Coconut – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Green Chilly – 1
Turmeric – a pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – a sprig for seasoning


  1. Pressure cook Toor dal with turmeric and 2.5 cups water for 2 whistles. Remove from the gas and keep aside
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. When hot, add Cumin seeds and chillies. When the cumin starts popping, remove it from heat and grind it with coconut  and little water to make a coarse paste.
  3. Add the paste to the cooked dal (mash the dal if needed) and bring it to boil. Adjust the salt and turn of the heat.
  4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a seasoning pan and when oil is hot, add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add curry leaves and let it splutter.
  5. Add this to the dal and cover with a lid so that the aroma from the seasoning is absorbed well.
  6. Serve hot with rice and add a dollop of ghee for extra flavor and richness.

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2 thoughts on “Varn (Konkani Dal with Coconut)”

  1. pallavi says:

    Amazing and authentic ! My cooking had changed over the years to include my Kerala influence – but I am now back to enjoying these original comfort recipes ! Thanks !

    1. 🙂 Thanks Pallavi tai. Do share some of your favorite Kerala recipes please

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