A quintessential Rajasthani dish, dal baati churma is revered for its simplicity as much as for its delicious taste.

Baati (little dough balls made of wheat flour, ghee and milk) is believed to have originated during the time of Bappa Rawal, the founder of the kingdom of Mewar.

Rajput soldiers would break the dough into chunks and leave them buried under thin layers of sand to bake under the sun.

On their return from the battlefield, they would dig out the perfectly baked baatis that were then slathered with ghee and consumed with curd.

When traders from the Gupta Empire settled in Mewar, the combination of dal and baati became popular.

Churma, on the other hand, is believed to have been invented when a cook of Mewar’s Guhilot clan accidentally poured sugarcane juice into some baatis.

This, the women realised, made the baatis softer.

And finally, with Akbar’s queen Rani Jodha Bai, dal baati churma reached the Mughal court.

The royal chefs created their own versions of the dish, giving rise to bafla and kheech.

A softer variation of the baati, bafla is a baati that is boiled before being baked, while kheech is a kind of traditional porridge made from whole wheat.