Monday, January 12, 2015

Mung Dal With Prawns

The days had been filled with nostalgia. I was so filled with complaints that I am now unable to enjoy the winters...but Cote d'ivoire this year has been so generous.Of course, it is not like the winter I used to have in India, but its more like the transition period, when we prepare ourselves for winter. The foggy mornings, the dry air, the dusty attire of the weather all reminding me of my good old Kolkata.

how to cook bengali style mug dal with prawns

We had an wonderful evening on the new year's eve. We went to the roof top of the building. My husband called some of his friends. We took all our snacks, foods and drinks there and passed the time with a good view of Abidjan. And when it was midnight, all the sky lit up with fire crackers. We climbed up to the top part of the roof, where the authorities had put all the satellites  for the t.v and we saw the whole Abidjan, celebrating the New year with beautiful fire crackers. We also saw the fire crackers lit by the Cote d'voire government above Abidjan's 3 bridges. The most beautiful firecrackers, depicting different colors, designs and different type....they were the most beautiful I have ever seen.

how to cook bengali style mug dal with prawns

W also started to get cauliflower in the market. And I made probably everything I could think of with cauliflower. I also wanted to make some cauliflower fritters, but I did not have any besan / gram flour in my kitchen. Then one day, when I was enjoying the morning sun from our balcony with a cup of cappuccino, I thought of making mung dal with cauliflower and prawns. I love cauliflower. I love its smell, its texture, its crunchiness, its short everything. Go ahead and give it a try...I am sure you will love it. This dal is for all those who loves cauliflower, and waits all the year to have them. Well...I don't know if any one out there is like this...but I definitely fall in this category.

Mung Dal With Prawns
Serves 4

how to cook bengali style mug dal with prawns


  • 1 cup of mung dal
  • 1 small cauliflower - cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp ginger - garlic paste
  • 1 cup of medium size prawns
  • 1 tsp panch phoron ( a mixture of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, methi / fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, kalo jeera / nigella seeds) / 1 tsp kalo jeera or nigella seeds
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 + 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 green chilies - silted
  • salt
  • 2 + 2 tbsp oil
  • Mix the cauliflower florets and the prawns with some salt and turmeric powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the cauliflower florets and prawns separately, until they turn golden. 
  • Put them in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Now in a kadai or saucepan heat the rest of the oil and add panch phoron / nigella seeds, bay leaves, silted green chilies and let them splutter.
  • Now add the ginger - garlic paste and sauté till the raw flavor is gone.
  • In the mean time wash the mung dal with water, till the water comes out clean.
  • Strain the water from the mung dal and put it in the kadai / sauce pan.
  • Give a quick and good stir and sauté for 2 minutes, or until the mung dal becomes a little golden from frying.
  • Now add 2 cups of water, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and put cover.
  • Cook until the dal is properly cooked. You can do this with a pressure cooker too. It will take much lesser time. Cook until it blows 5 whistles. Let the steam come out on its own and then open the lid.
  • Now add the fried cauliflower and prawns, and cook until the prawns and cauliflower is cooked thoroughly.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. 
  • Put off the flame and serve hot with steamed rice and fried crispy julienned potatoes.

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