When it comes to vegetarian recipes, Bengalis have countless options to serve. Even though we are branded as the fish loving and fish eating class, there is not a single household who does not have a purely vegetarian dish to serve for each meal, and dal is one of the most important.
Masoor, moong, chola, urad and the numbers are unending, even the style you cook the same dal is different. When you need to serve it to guests, of course the plain and simple everyday dal takes a extravagant form like the macher matha diye moong dal. But, for the everyday chores the light yet flavourful dal is the choice.
As the rains pour down and wash the streets the search for something spicier than the ordinary masoor dal comes to play. And, what better than to have fried ilish with warm white rice and moog dal.
Hot Tips – when cooking any type of dal its better to add the salt when the dal is properly cooked, salt slows down the cooking process. If you are in a hurry, you can add the edible soda to cook the dal quickly.
Moog dal can also be roasted before boiling, it gives an added flavor and texture to the dal, but roasted moog dal is harder to digest than the non-roasted version.
Since I came to US, I had been travelling. All thanks to Kalyan and his job, I had visited 5 states in a span of 3 months. The latest was a visit to the city of dreams – New York City. It was a 8 day trip with work for K and travel for me, and I made the best use of the time. Travelled almost every part of the city from Harlem in upsate New York to the Liberty Island down South. Tasted the roadside pretzel (which I hated, sorry to say), chicken gyro, hot dogs and also the different cuisines in the much talked about restaurants of Manhattan.
Even though everything seemed so awesome and the food tasted so great, something was missing. I figured it out this afternoon after coming back home. The missing part was home cooked food – warm rice with moog dal andbegun bhaja (aubergine fries) andtilapia jhal. Whether its psychological or just that your taste buds are used to the food you have grown up with, nothing beats home cooked food.
Yellow lentil or moog dal is one of the many dals cooked in every Bengali household. To start with moong dal can be cooked either directly boiled and sautéed with your spice of choice or roasted, boiled and then sautéed with spices. The roasted version definitely tastes better, but those with digestion problem should leave that apart. You can cook mung dal using just cumin seeds, cumin powder and ginger paste or make it rich and spicy putting in some fried fish heads.
Macher Matha Diye Moog Dal
Indian, Side, Moog dal, Yellow lentil, Bengali fish recipe, Bengali dal
1 cup moog dal
2 ½ cups warm water
1 fish head, deep fried
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard oil
Salt to taste
Pour the unwashed lentils in a thick bottom sauce pan and roast till the lentil turns a light shade of brown. Take out of the flame and wash. Pour in the warm water and salt; boil till the dal is cooked. Add extra water if the dal tends to dry out.
Add the deep fried fish head to the dal
Heat a skillet, pour in the oil. Temper with whole cumin seeds. As the seeds starts sputtering add to the boiled dal. Add in the spices, ginger paste and cook for 5-7mins more