Dal, Palda, and Rice

Aah, the Himachali favourite. Ralli mili daal, palda, and rice. Slurp Slurp Slurp.

Ralli mili daal is a mixture of 2 dals, split urad and channa. Soaked overnight, cooked the next day until it is all soft and thick, and tempered with onion, garlic, jeera and the all-important desi ghee.

Palda is a simple sabji that is cooked with a little excess masala and oil, because right before serving we add curd to it. One can make this with potatoes, cauliflower, peas, carrots , whatever you like. I personally love it with potato and peas, or cauliflower. The taste of that slightly crispy, salt, turmeric, and oil infused sabji with the khatta curd. Yum yum yum.

For me, this combination is what rajma rice is to Punjabis, or maybe poha to Maharashtrians. A constant feature of our dining table, and ready in a jiffy.

My mom would make it for karva chauth, and diwali dinners every year, and boy, her pahaadi family never got sick of it. And never will.


Secret: we call it daal bhath palda at home (bhath is pronounced phuth). But you have to hear us say it to know how musical it really seems.

Try it. You will love it too.

Read on for the recipes:



For the dal:


  1. 1/2 cup chilka urad dal, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup channa dal, soaked overnight (You can mix the dals and soak them together)
  3. 1/2 an onion, finely diced
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  5. turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  6. red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp
  7. pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  8. 1 tsp coriander powder
  9. 1 tsp garam masala
  10. 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
  11. 1 tbsp ghee
  12. 2 green chillies, sliced
  13. 1 tsp jeera
  14. salt, to taste


  1. In a pressure cooker, boil the soaked dals with the turmeric, salt, hing, and ginger. I usually cook it for about 3 whistles on high heat, then lower the heat and let it cook for 10-15 minutes more, and turn off the gas
  2. In a small pan, heat the ghee, and add the jeera, onions, garlic, and green chilly
  3. Once the onions are browned, add the coriander powder, garam masala powder
  4. Add the tempered masala to the dal in the cooker
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste




For the palda


  1. 1/4 Cauliflower/2 Potatoes, chopped to small pieces, or peas, 1 cup
  2. 2 cups curd
  3. 1-1.5 tsp tumeric powder
  4. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  5. 1.5 tsp jeera
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  8. 2 tbsp mustard oil
  9. salt, a little more than usual (the curd will absorb the salt, so extra is needed)


  1. In a pan/kadhai, heat up the mustard oil until it starts to smoke up
  2. Add the jeera and all other dry powders (turmeric, chilli, coriander, garam masala, salt)
  3. Add the vegetable(s)
  4. Cook the vegetable(s) until soft
  5. Turn off the gas
  6. After about 5 minutes, add the curd and mix through.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste
  8. It is preferable to add the curd right before serving the food. In case preparing much before the actual meal time, heat up the dish, and then add the curd after turning off the gas.