Aam Dal or Masoor lentils with Green Mango

As the scorching summer is on its peak with the mercury soaring high, we should opt for lighter and healthier food to keep our body cool. Even the usual dals which we take every other day can be prepared slightly different to keep the appetite intact. In this recipe I share  such an example with the masoor dal or lentil gets prepared with green mango which is available plenty in summer. Green mangoes add a little sourness and its unmatchable flavour into the dal which tastes very different from the usual preparation. Certainly an appetite enhancer, aam dal is ideal for summer.

Aam Dal (Masoor lentils with green mango)

Aam Dal (Masoor lentils with green mango)

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Egg Tarka

Mung Dal/lentil is somehow a coveted side dish for Bengalis although having almost a regular presence on the platter. It can be prepared in different ways, few of which I have already shared with you. However, ideally those preparations are all without the Cheelka or green cover and known as Dhuli Mung Dal. To me the whole green mung dal is known as only Tarka dal since childhood, which my mother use to turn into a lip smacking dish with roti and salad. Today I am sharing with you the same recipe with little moderation, that is the addition of scrambled egg which makes it smashing. Purely vegetarians however can omit the egg and enjoy the delightful Tarka which is a typical north Indian Dhaba dish as well 🙂

Egg Tarka

Egg Tarka

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Palak Dal (Mung dal with Spinach)

Over one of my earlier posts, perhaps I have expressed my soft corner for Mung dal among all the lentils which also happens to be a personal favourite. We Bengalis prepare Mung Dal not going by any particular recipe but indulge in different methods. We often use different vegetables, sometime add coconut pieces, even add fish head to make it tastier. Even just the Mung dal with steamed rice and thinly sliced potato fry (Aloo Bhaja in Bengali) is my favourite since childhood.

In my earlier post, I shared with you the recipe of Mung dal with Cauliflower & Potato. Today’s recipe is all about Mung dal with another winter vegetable, Spinach. This recipe is also quite new for me but I liked it so very much that couldn’t resist to share with you. Enjoy 🙂

Mung dal with Spinach

Mung dal with Spinach

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Musur Chingrir Dom or Masoor Lentils with Prawn

Dal or Lentils is a quintessential part of Bengali menu. I used to see my grandmother put a bowl of lentils for boiling at the very beginning of her cooking almost everyday.  Among various lentils ‘Mung’ and ‘Masoor’ are the most common ones. Masoor dal is also well-known for its high protein content to the vegetarians.

In Bengali delicacies prawns are often used along with different vegetables. Today I bring masoor dal and prawns together to make the dal more flavourful and rich in taste. Unlike regular dal, it is rather a dry dish. If you get bored with your regular masoor dal recipe then you can try it out for a change. Hope you will like this. Enjoy. 🙂

Musur Chingrir Dom or Masoor Lentils with Prawn

Musur Chingrir Dom or Masoor Lentils with Prawn

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Masoor dal/lentils – 1½ cup
  2. Medium size prawn – 250 gm.
  3. Chopped onion (medium size) – 2
  4. Chopped ginger – 1 tbspoon
  5. Chopped garlic (big size) – 2-3 cloves
  6. Slit green chilli – 2
  7. Raisin – 1 tbspoon
  8. Cumin seed – 1 teaspoon
  9. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  10. Green cardamom – 3 pods
  11. Cloves – 3
  12. Bay leaf – 2
  13. Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  14. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  15. Salt and sugar to taste
  16. Ghee – 2 tbspoon
  17. Mustard oil – 2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Wash the lentils 2-3 times and let it soak in water for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile remove the shell, head and tail of the prawns, devein them and wash thoroughly. Smear salt and turmeric powder on prawns and keep it aside.

Heat the oil along with 1 tbspoon ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seed, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and bay leaf, saute for a while, then add chopped garlic, onion and ginger. Fry them till onion turns light brown.

Now add the soaked lentils (without water), prawns, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Give it a good stir, add little water if needed and cover the pan. Let it cook over low flame.

As the lentils and prawns get cooked and all the water dries out, add sugar, green chilli and raisins. Mix them well and cook for another couple of minutes.

Now sprinkle remaining ghee, mix well and put the gas off.

Serve with steamed rice or roti, paratha or puri.

Note :

  1. The quantity of garlic should be greater than that of ginger.
  2. In this recipe you can add tomato, peas or coriander leaves if you wish.
  3. Don’t use large amount of water while soaking the lentils. Because the vitamins and minerals can go away when you are draining the water. Try to use optimum quantity of water.

Mung Dal with Cauliflower & Potato

“Dal” or lentils plays an essential role in Bengali cuisine. Mung dal is most coveted among its counterparts and features almost daily in the Bengali food list. Mung dal itself carries a rich flavour which grow well if you add a pinch of ghee in it. However, here I share with you an interesting recipe of Mung dal which in combination with cauliflower and potato adds a new dimension. Stepping beyond the “Dal” territory, it takes the shape of a full fledged curry. You can innovate more up on my recipe by adding pea or even other vegetables you like to it. If you are really bored with usual age old Dal, it can be a refreshing change.

Mung dal with Cauliflower & Potato

Mung dal with Cauliflower & Potato

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Moong dal/lentils – 1 cup
  2. Cauliflower – 10 – 12 medium pieces
  3. Potato – 10 – 12 medium pieces
  4. Tomato (medium size)  – ½
  5. Green chilli – 2
  6. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  7. Pinch of turmeric powder
  8. Cumin seeds – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Whole garam masala (See under the tab useful supplementaries)
  10. Bay leaf – 1 or 2
  11. Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon (optional)
  12. Salt & Sugar to taste
  13. Cooking oil (Preferably mustard oil)

Procedure :

Roast the lentil in a frying pan over low – medium heat without any oil. Be careful, it should not get burnt. Then wash it properly and boil either in a pressure cooker (2 whistle) or in a pan with 2 cups of water. Don’t overcook the lentil, it should be boiled as long as it holds its shape. Do not discard the water after boiling the lentils.

Roasted mung dal

Roasted mung dal

The cauliflower and potato pieces should not be very small as shown in the picture. Roughly chop the tomato and slice the green chillies into two halves.

Potato & Cauliflower pieces

Potato & Cauliflower pieces

Now heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, whole garam masala and bay leaf and saute them till get a nice aroma.

Put the cauliflower into it and fry for a 2-3 minutes. Then add potato and again fry both of them while adding salt and turmeric powder.

Add ginger paste, green chilli and chopped tomato when the cauliflower and potato are almost cooked. Again stir for few minutes so that the raw flavour of ginger and tomato goes away.

Now pour the boiled lentils with water into it, add salt and sugar as per your taste. Also add little amount of water if needed. Let it simmer on low – medium flame to mingle all the ingredients very well. Put the gas off when all the vegetables are completely cooked and the dal/lentil has the nice flavour of that. Sprinkle over the garam masala powder and cover it for few minutes. Serve with plain rice or roti.

Dal is ready to be served

Dal is ready to be served

Dhokar dalna or Lentil barfi curry

Lentils or dal goes down as a daily dish in Indian culinary. However to add variety into vegetarian curry choices, lentils particularly Chana dal can be used to make an interesting dish called “Dhokar dalna”. It is rich in taste and self-sufficient to be reckoned as a full fledged Bengali or Indian curry. It can compete with any other non veg dish. Today I am sharing with you the recipe that I have learnt from my mother.

Dhokar dalna or Lentil barfi curry

Dhokar dalna or Lentil barfi curry

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Cholar dal or Chana dal/lentils  – 2/3 of a cup
  2. Potato (large) – 1
  3. Green chilli – 2
  4. Tomato (large) – 1½
  5. Ginger – ½ inch
  6. Ginger paste – 1 tbspoon
  7. Cumin powder/paste – 1 tbspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  10. Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon (optional)
  11. Asafoetida or Hing (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  12. Carom seeds or Ajwain – 1 teaspoon
  13. Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  14. Whole garam masala (1 inch cinnamon stick, 3 cloves & 3 green cardamom)
  15. Bay leaf – 1
  16. Salt & sugar to taste
  17. Cooking oil

Procedure :

1.  Making of “Dhoka” or “Lentil barfi” :

Ingredients for Dhoka

Ingredients for Dhoka

Soak the chana dal overnight in sufficient amount of water. Then drain the water and blend the lentils with ginger, green chillies, salt and sugar to make a smooth paste. Add little amount of water while needed (don’t add much water as we need a thick paste).

Then sprinkle over the ajwain and mix well.

Lentil paste

Lentil paste

Now heat approx. 5 tbspoon of oil in a non-stick pan over medium flame. Add hing/asafoetida into it and then pour the lentil paste. Stir well and cook till the paste starts leaving the pan and gets a dough like texture. Then spread it over a plate, greased with oil, flat it out in  a ½ inch thick square and level the surface evenly. Now let it cool down to room temperature. When completely set, cut the block into squares or diamonds shapes as shown below. Now fry the diamond/square-shaped lentil pieces in sufficient amount of oil. Fry them on low to medium heat so that they get cooked from inside.

Fried Dhoka

Fried Dhoka

“Dhoka” or “Lentil Barfi” is ready to go into the gravy.

2.  Making of “Curry” or “Gravy” :

Cut the potato into small square pieces and also chop the tomatoes. Heat 2 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan. Add cumin seeds, whole garam masala and bey leaf, saute them for a while until get a nice aroma. Then add potato pieces into it and fry well. Add chopped tomatos, ginger paste, salt and turmeric powder when the potatoes are half fried. After mashing the tomatoes add cumin powder and chilli powder into it. Cook until oil comes out from the mixture and the raw smell of the species goes away (you can add little bit water if it starts to burn). Add water and sugar as per your requirement and cover with a lid. Add dhoka/lentil barfi into it when the potatoes are completely cooked. Cook for another few minutes or till the gravy thicken. Put the gas off, sprinkle garam masala powder over it and mix well. Keep it in covered condition for few minutes so that the aroma of garam masala powder can go well into the curry. Now you are ready to serve the dish.

Dhokar dalna ready to serve

Dhokar dalna ready to serve

Note :

  1. Don’t fry the lentil paste in oil for a long time and let it cool and set properly before cutting into pieces, otherwise the diamond/square-shaped lentil pieces will break while frying.
  2. Make the gravy in large portion because dhoka/lentil barfi has a tendency to soak the gravy easily.
  3. If you are using a solid and strong asafoetida instead of powder then add a little amount of it while making the paste of lentils. No nedd to add in the oil.
  4. If the procedure to make Dhoka or lentil barfi seems lenghty or complicated to you, then you can also use ready-made “dhoka mixture” available in the market. However, the homemade dhoka is far superior in taste and flavour in my opinion. 🙂