'Phaanu’ is a unique and wholesome Pahari dish originating from the hilly regions of India, particularly Uttarakhand. This nutritious dish is a type of lentil curry that showcases a variety of legumes and is known for its distinct preparation method. To prepare Phaanu, a mixture of lentils such as green gram (moong dal), black gram (urad dal), and pigeon pea (arhar/toor dal) is used. The lentils are soaked and then coarsely ground. The ground lentils are then fermented for several hours, which adds a distinct tanginess to the dish.
The fermented lentil mixture is cooked with a blend of spices such as cumin, turmeric, and asafoetida. The dish is often tempered with ghee (clarified butter) infused with spices, which adds richness and flavor. Phaanu is not only known for its unique taste but also for its health benefits. The fermentation process enhances the nutritional value of the lentils and aids in digestion. It’s often served with steamed rice or local flatbreads like 'Baadi.’ Phaanu is a culinary gem that reflects the ingenuity of Pahari cooking. Its preparation method, combining lentils and fermentation, showcases the region’s culinary diversity and skill. This dish is not only enjoyed for its flavor but also valued for its nutritional and cultural significance.