Mitha Dali | Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri


a mildly sweet lentil based dish from the Chhapan Bhoga of Lord Jagannath, Puri

Lentil !

One of the world’s oldest cultivated legume is the Lentil. 

So Lentils, Pulses and Legumes all are different terms ?

yes, those are different.

  • Legumes include all types and forms of beans and peas that come from the Fabaceae botanical family. One can say, legumes are the umbrella family that all fresh beans, peas, pulses fall under this and include thousands of varieties grown across the world.
  • Pulses are the dried seeds (present within the pods) of legumes and come in a many different shapes and sizes. Some of most common pulses are beans (dried), chickpeas, lentils, peas (dried).
  • Lentils are a type of pulses like red lentils, yellow lentils, green lentils, brown lentils etc. Canada leads the world’s production of lentils, followed by India. Like other pulses, lentils add a high fiber and high protein element to many meals. Because of the size, lentils cook much more quickly than other pulses and do not have to be soaked before cooking.

Yellow Lentil / Split Pigeon Peas :

It is also known as Toovar dal / Tuvar Dal / Harada Dali (in odia) / Arhar Dal / Yellow Dal in various regions of Indian subcontinent. This lentil is flat on one side and has a mild, nutty flavor. It is used widely in Indian cooking, so one can find it as a common pantry ingredient in Indian households. This split lentil breaks down easily when cooked, making it as an ideal thickener for curries, soups and stews. As I already mentioned the name of this lentil varies by regions, so accordingly the recipes using this also varies. Today’s recipe is from Odia cuisine and that too a temple food using this yellow lentil as Mitha Dali or Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri.

What is the sweet dal then ?

From the name itself, one can guess the taste of the dal is sweet. Yes, that is correct. A mild sweetness is there in this Mitha Dali. It is one of the prasad from Chhapan Bhoga which is daily offered to Lord Jagannath.

Mahaprasad, the food offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri is named as Chhapan Bhoga. The word Chhapan means 56 and Bhoga means the food. Each day, 56 varieties of foods are prepared in different earthen pots in the temple premises and offered to Lord. The Mahaprasad is also categorized to two types. The first category is called the Sankuni which includes all kinds of rice, dal, vegetables, Kheer etc and the second category is called Sukhila which includes dry sweets. 

Mitha Dali falls under the Sankuni. The dal tastes slightly sweet and that sweetness is due to the addition of jaggery / madhuruchi (in odia). It is traditionally made in clay pot, but one can make in a deep pan or even using pressure cooker at home. 

The tempering part in this dal is quite unique. The raw cumin seeds are simply added to the dal after the dal is perfectly cooked.

Ingredients to make this sweet dal :

  • Toor dal – this lentil is the mandatory one to make this dal. It is recommended not to pick any other lentil for making the authentic mitha dali of chhapan bhog.

  • Jaggery – this ingredient is the factor for the sweetness in the dal. One can use regular sugar instead too.

  • Cumin seed – this is added directly to the cooked dal in raw form.

  • Ginger (crushed) – some crushed ginger are added along with jaggery.

  • Turmeric powder – it gives a nice color to the dal.

  • Asafoetida (hing) 

  • Ghee – ghee is used to get the authentic aroma in this mitha dali. Any vegetable oil can be opted. 

  • Salt – Rock salt is the authentic pick for mitha dali which is prepared in Jagannath temple, Puri. If not accessible then use the regular salt as per taste.

  • Water 

What is the making procedure ?

First the toor dal / arhar dal is washed and cleaned in regular water. In a deep pan / earthen pan the dal is taken along with water. Over medium heat, the dal is then allowed to boil. When there is a boil, the heat is lowered down and turmeric powder, salt are added. After some time when the dal seems to cooked perfectly,  add jaggery and crushed ginger. Meanwhile in a small bowl hing (asafoetida) is mixed with 1 tbsp of water. Then this hing water is added to the cooked dal.fter 1 minute, the heat is turned off. 

Few cumin seeds are sprinkled on top of the dal followed by pouring of some hot ghee. Finally the mitha dali is ready to serve.

Dietary note :

    ✔ no Onion no Garlic recipe
    ✔ Festive friendly
    ✔ Vegetarian side dish
    ✔ Can be vegan

    Serving suggestion :

    As there is no use of any onion and garlic, so this dal is perfect for festive time. Along with khechudi, mahura this dal pairs really well. I have enjoyed this sweet dal with some ada hengu khechudi, saga kharada, aloo chakata and cucumber slices. With simple steamed rice also it tastes great. Do make surely this Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri and enjoy during the festivals.


      The event related to this post :

      Monday is here again and thFoodie Monday Blog Hop team has decided the 267th theme as ‘Luscious Lentils which is suggested by Poonam. She is a kind hearted co-blogger and I love her all the authentic Maharashtrian dishes. Well she wants to make any sweet or savory dishes using any lentils. So here I have picked the yellow lentils and come up with this Mitha Dali or Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri for the theme contribution.
      Also dont forget to check Poonam’s Moong dal halwa.

      And, yes !!!

      If you like the recipe shared here and give a try at your place then do share in INSTAGRAM by tagging #firsttimercook. I would be so happy to see and surely share in my INSTA stories 😊😊

      Now let’s go through how to make “Mitha Dali / Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri” at home 👇

        : Recipe Card :

        Mitha Dali | Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri



        Prep time

        5 Min

        Cook time

        20 Min

        Total time

        25 Min


        Mitha Dali | Sweet Dal from Jagannath Dham, Puri

        a mildly sweet lentil based dish from the Chhapan Bhoga of Lord Jagannath, Puri.


        • Toor dal (arhar dal) 1 cup
        • Jaggery 2 tbsp
        • Cumin seed 1 tsp
        • Ginger (crushed) 1 inch
        • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
        • Asafoetida (hing) 1 pinch
        • Ghee 1 tbsp
        • Salt as per taste
        • Water 1.5 cup


        1. Wash and clean toor dal / arhar dal in regular water.
        2. Put the dal in a deep pan / earthen pan along with water.
        3. Turn on heat and allow to boil over medium heat.
        4. Lower the heat and add turmeric powder, salt.
        5. When the dal seems to cooked perfectly add jaggery, crushed ginger.
        6. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix hing (asafoetida) and 1 tbsp of water.
        7. Add this hing water to the cooked dal and cook for 1 minute more.
        8. Finally turn off heat.
        9. Sprinkle the cumin seeds on top of the dal and then pour hot ghee.
        10. Serve this mitha dali along with some khechudi, saga kharada, aloo chakta or any other no-onion-no-garlic meal !


        Ghee is used to get the authentic aroma in this mitha dali. Any vegetable oil can be opted. And like ghee, simply heat the oil and pour over the cooked dal.
        Rock salt is the authentic pick for mitha dali which is prepared in Jagannath temple, Puri. As I have not that, so used the regular salt.
        In this mitha dali, cumin seeds are directly added to the cooked dal without heating in the oil. So don’t change this step.

        Mitha dali, odia temple dal, sweet lentil dish, jaggery, split pigeon peas, tuvar dal, hing, ginger

        Vegetarian, side dish, Chhapan Bhoga, yellow lentil, sweet dal


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        1. Priya Vj

          Hearing about this meethi dhall for the first time. Liked the use of raw cumin on the dhall . I am sure it will taste heavenly and divine as it is part of 56 bhog

        2. Poonam Bachhav

          I love all the authentic Odia dishes you share with us. I have tried many of them and my family just loved them. This sweet dal is next on my to-do list. Sounds simple yet flavorful.

        3. Mayuri Patel

          Sometimes the most simplest of preparations are the most flavorful and when its offered to God, its even more flavorful. You've prepared a perfect meal with the mitha dali. Love the click where you're pouring the ghee into the dal.

        4. Priya Iyer

          I have heard about this sweet dal, but have never had a chance to try it out. Definitely going to try this out as k love the sweetish Gujarati dal too. 🙂 Your pic of the Dal is mesmerising.

        5. preethi'scuisine

          So glad to know about the story behind this delicacy. Sweet dal is so flavorful and delicious. Any prasad is delicious when offered with full devotion. Beautifully presented Sasmita.

        6. Vasusvegkitchen

          Such a divine recipe with stunning pics, I never forgot the taste of Jagannath temple food. Using raw cumin seeds and hing gives good aroma to dal, adding this to my do list Odisha collection.

        7. Sujata Roy

          I wish I could taste bhog prasad of Jagannath temple someday. Never heard about mitha dali. Sweet arhar dal with the flavour of hing ghee and jeera sounds delicious and aromatic. Also loved your click.

        8. Narmadha

          Good to know about the history of the dish and this looks absolutely scrumptious. With cumin seeds, hing, ghee, dal and jaggary this must be so delicious.

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