Vatli Dal (वाटली डाळ)- A Maharashtrian Quick Lentils Meal

Maharashtrian Vatli or Watali Dal | Super hot Chana Dal Upma | Best recipe for through out the seasons
Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe pinit

Vatli Dal is a Maharashtrian quick meal prepared from ground lentils. Lentil used for this recipe is none other than one single dal which is chana or gram dal. Vatli Dal means ground dal or ground lentils.

All the ingredients used in this recipe are very simple and for sure available in your kitchen. I am unsure if people outside of Maharashtra are aware about this simple yet amazing recipe. If this traditional Maharashtrian Vatli Dal or Watli Dal is called with any different name in your native language, I would love to hear that. Please do let me know in the comments if you are aware about this quick recipe or have tasted it before.

This recipe is a super healthy protein rich food which you must try if you haven’t tried it before.

Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe

What’s best combination to serve with Vatli Dal?

Vatli Dal (or Chana Dal Upma, as some people call it) can be eaten alone and it tastes amazing. But, if you want it to be really accompanied with something then buttermilk is the best combination to served it with.

Since Vatli Dal or this chana Dal Upma is mild spicy, you can serve some sweet pickles with this recipe. My choice of pickles to accompany it with is always Sweet Lemon Pickle. You can check Lemon pickle recipe which I shared on FoodQuench’s YouTube channel. And if you don’t like sweet pickles then obviously you can choose spicy pickles too.

Also, you can squeeze lemon juice on top with some freshly grated coconut or dry desiccated coconut.

Though this Vatli Dal or Chana Dal Upma can be eaten without any other main course, this recipe can be a saviour when you run out of vegetables at home. Because this goes really well with gehu roti (wheat flour Indian flat bread) or chapati. But since dal is quite dry you can serve this dal with some chatpata salad and buttermilk.

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Best Time and Season?

I can eat this Chana Dal Upma throughout year any time because it’s best, healthy and simple. It would be difficult for me to mention certain best time to eat this ground (vatli) chana dal upma. I can give you some ideas, so you can choose best time accordingly.

First of all this chana dal upma recipe is at it’s best when it’s super hot. So, winter or rainy days are best to have it. However, it’s soft and smooth yet quite dry (like poha) compared to traditional Sooji Upma.

And if you want this Vatli Dal with buttermilk as I suggested earlier, then this recipe can be enjoyed in summers too.

This Maharashtrian Vatli Dal recipe is really perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner because it makes you really full and you don’t need any additional meals to be prepared. However, if you like, you can serve some salads with this recipe and surely you won’t need anything else.

Prefer to watch videos? You can watch Vatli Dal recipe on FoodQuench’s YouTube Channel too.

Visit FoodQuench’s blogs if you are looking for many more such healthy and less oil recipes for breakfast.

4.5 from 1 vote

Vatli Dal (वाटली डाळ)- A Maharashtrian Quick Lentils Meal

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 20 mins
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Vatli Dal (Watali Dal) is a Maharashtrian quick meal prepared from ground lentils chana or gram dal. Vatli Dal means ground dal or lentils and it also called as Chana Dal Upma.

Ingredients for Quick Chana Dal Upma or Vatli Dal

Cooking method for Vatli (watli) Dal

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  1. Wash chana (gram) dal for 3 to 4 times until water is clear. Then soak it or for 3 to 4 hours. After Dal is soaked for enough hours it will get double in size. 

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
    In summers, dal gets soaked in less time compared to winters.
  2. Only important work in this simple recipe is to grind this soaked chana dal and thats the major task. But, be careful while you grind this dal as we don't want dal to be very fine or smooth but coarse.

    Few important things

    • Grind dal in batches and not entirely in same batch.
    • Also, make sure you drain excess water from dal before adding it to grinder jar. 
    • And grind dal to a coarse texture, which you can do by pulse grind method.
    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  3. Last important thing is add 1tbsp milk before you grind dal. This makes dal to become very soft when cooked. 

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  4. Coarse textured ground dal is perfect for this recipe. Grinding all dal hardly takes 2 to 3 minutes.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  5. Heat a vessel (kadhai) and add oil to it.

    • When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle perfectly.
    • Later add finely chopped chillis.
    • Then turmeric powder, asafoetida and curry leaves. 
    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
    You can adjust quantity of chilli as per your preferred spiciness. Because we are adding red chilli powder also in this recipe.
  6. Once tadka or tempering is ready, time to add ground gram (chana) dal to it.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  7. Give it a good mix and add salt to it. 

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  8. Mix again after adding salt to it.

    Cover with lid and cook dal for 4 to 5 minutes on low to medium flame.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
    Dal will look sticky initially but don't worry, it will be perfectly fine later.
  9. After 5 minutes, give it a stir. It's important to stir it a few times or it may get burnt otherwise.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  10. Now add below ingredients and mix well.

    • Add red chilli powder and mix again.
    • Then sprinkle 3 to 4 tbsps of water, which helps dal to be soft and well steam cooked. 
    • Finally add ghee to it, and mix.

    Then cover and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  11. After 5 minutes, Dal is well cooked.

    Add finely chopped coriander to give it the best look. 

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
    Notice that the stickiness of Dal has gone.
  12. Take out this super simple yet healthy Vatli Dal or Chana Dal Upma to a serving plate. And enjoy it super hot.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
  13. Serve Vatli Dal with pickle of your choice and masala buttermilk. I will be sharing my styled Masala Buttermilk recipe soon. Stay tuned for new recipe posts.

    Enjoy this simple meal anytime.

    Maharashtrian Vatli Dal Recipe
Keywords: vatli dal recipe, watali dal, maharashrian vatli dal, marathi recipes, watli dal, वाटली डाळ, chana dal upma

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