Monday, March 14, 2016

Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd

Ma just said today that the temperature is slowly increasing now in Kolkata. March is already here and this means Poila Boisakh is just round the corner. My maternal uncle has jewelry shop in Kolkata and therefore Poila Boisakh is celebrated in their home rather in a big fat way. This is the day when every jewelry shopkeeper opens their new audit copy for that respective year, which in Bengali we call “Halkhata”. On this particular day people go to their family jeweler to open their account with a little money, which will be debited later as per their jewelry order in that year. Every shop owner gives away sweets and a calendar of Bengali year, which commences from that particular day, to each of his customers. My uncle’s shop is no different from all these rituals.

bengali style dal Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

As a kid we used to go to the shop from the morning. Stayed all day long there eating sweets and sipping soft drinks and helping everyone by forwarding the boxes of sweets and calendars. When we got tired we sat on the shop with our uncle while he wrote the names of the customers who deposited money in a red hardcover copy. Lunch on that day used to be purely authentic Bengali and it was served on a large banana leaf. At first salt and lime wedges were given with fluffy Basmati rice, curly fried thin potato strips with peanuts and curry leaves and mung dal with fish heads. Then came some other fries, which were followed by Macher Kalia and Mutton Kasha. In the end there used to be chutney, payesh, crispy wafers and a big bowl of chilled mishit doi. I still can’t forget the taste of these dishes...and each of them used to be home cooked by my aunt and grandmother.

Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Temper the oil with dry red chillies, panch foron and hing / asafoetida.
bengali style Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add the boiled bottle gourd.
easy and simple Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add the boiled mung / moog dal and water.
bengali lentils recipe Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add salt, sugar, and simmer till the desired consistency is achieved.
how to cook Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Finally add dry roasted ground cumin and put off the flame.
On this auspicious day, Macher Matha Die Moog Dal or Yellow Mung dal with fish head used to be huge hit. Mami cooked them with the finest, richest and oiliest fish head in the market. And when that thing went into with roasted mung dal and after all that mish - mash...the dal used to be instantly mouth watering. But since I have already shared the recipe of that dal...I thought today must be the recipe of rather simple dal which is very poupular during the summer days. A sweet, light and healthy option.

bengali recipe and preparation Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

Lau dal is another variation of the dal / lentils category where the bottle gourd is cooked with yellow split lentils with minimum spices. This dal is rather sweeter than any other dal you can find...as the bottle gourd taste better with some sweetness in it. Some people cook this dal with whole garam masalas...but I like this simple variation more, which my mother used cook for us in every summer. Watery dal with medium chunks of lau / bottle gourd in it. But I like to grate them...and in that way the bottle gourd / lau gets blended with the mung / moog dal well.

Lau Dal – Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd
Serves 2-3

how to cook Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
2 small sweet bottle gourd / 1 medium sweet bottle gourd
1 cup of mung dal
1 tsp panch foron / Bengali five spices
2 dry red chillies
A pinch of hing / asafoetida
1 tsp ground dry roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt & 2 tsp sugar

Method:
Dry roast the mung / moog dal in a flat pan until you start to to have its nutty smell. Be careful to not to burn them. Stop when the mung / moog dal starts to turn a little brownish.
Peel and grate the lau / sweet bottle gourd. Wash them well and discard the seeds (if any).
Put the lau / sweet bottle gourd in a saucepan with some salt and water. Boil them until the bottle gourd is cooked through. Then keep them aside. Do not drain the water.
Put the mung dal and grated lau / sweet bottle gourd in a pressure cooker with 2 and ½ cups of water, salt and 2 tsp oil.
Cook the dal on pressure until the cooker blows 4-5 whistles. Keep the cooker aside till all the steam vents out.
In a kadai heat the rest of the oil and temper it with dry red chillies, hing / asafoetida and panch foron / Bengali five spices.
Sauté them for 2 minutes and then add the boiled lauki / sweet bottle gourd and boiled mung dal / yellow split lentils. Also add in the kept aside boiled water of the lau /sweet bottle gourd. If required add in some more water to keep the consistency right. We need 2-2 and ½ cups of water to keep the right consistency of the dal right.
Add salt, sugar and stir them well.
Simmer on low flame till the dal reaches your desirable consistency.
Once the dal reaches its desirable consistency add the dry roasted ground cumin seeds.
Stir well and put off the flame.

Serve well with potato curry and plain Basmati rice.

1 comment:

  1. Adding lots of grated fresh coconut and little cilantro will enhance the taste itself. nevertheless, its an authentic bengali curry and tastes yumm.

    ReplyDelete