Aamer Dal – Bengali Mango Dal Recipe


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ও শিব কবে হবে কাল, নিম দিয়ে ছেচকি আম দিয়ে ডাল

Kolkata has started observing the heat waves for this year. The temperature is going way above the 30°C. To beat the heat and keep the body cool having something bitter or sour is best. By definition though summer is a little away but the markets are flooded with raw mangoes. These sour tasting mangoes are a wonderful ingredient for varieties of Bengali recipes. Starting from the simple dal to chatni and even achar green mangoes are a favorite.



The green mango dal is a must have in most Bengali families during the summer time. Green mango has some very good health benefits too. The raw mango contains more Vitamin C than the half-ripe or ripe mangoes. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 and B2. To know more about the health benefits of raw mangoes have a look at this article “Eating Mango is Really Beneficial for Health”.

So, Beat the Heat with Raw Mango Daal (Bengali Mango Daal, aamer dal, mango dhal):

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 15min
Serves 4

Aamer Dal - Bengali Mango Daal

Aamer Dal - Bengali Mango Daal


  • Red Lentil (Masur dal): ½ cup
  • Split Husked Mung Bean (Mung/Moog dal): ½ cup
  • Raw Mango (Kancha aam): 1
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds (Sarse dana): 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix the two lentils together and boil with 2 cups of water and salt
  • As the lentils get half cooked add the mango pieces and cook till the lentils are fully cooked
  • Add the turmeric powder and with a wired balloon whisk stir the cooked lentils once or twice
  • Heat the oil in a wok, throw in the mustard seeds and dried chilies
  • As the mustard seeds starts popping pour in the lentils and cook for a minute or two
  • Serve hot with rice for lunch

Further Reading: Chholar Daal, Dal Shukno, Masur Dal – Musurir Daal, Roadside Tadka

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Bhat Dal and Bhaja – a no frills bong meal

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“Lentils are friendly—the Miss Congeniality of the bean world.”
Laurie Colwin

What’s the staple food in West Bengal? Any guesses? If you answered fish, you’re suffering from a common misconception (another link). Fish is the most loved dish. But Bhaat (i.e. steamed rice, boiled rice or ubla chawal) is something that Bongs drool over. The Bengal region includes the largest delta (Ganga Brahmaputra delta) in the world and the loamy soil of this delta has favored the cultivation on rice. So, boiled rice has become the staple food, and the main source of carbohydrate among the people of this region. Useful Tip: Don’t ask a Bengali “did you have lunch?” Ask “Bhaat kheycho?”(“Did you have rice?”). The Bong guy will suddenly feel connected to you. Bangalir Bhaat ghum is proverbial – a Bengali usually dozes off post lunch, location notwithstanding.

Masur dal with radhuni

Rice is usually accompanied with some lentils and any kind of fry, potato, aubergine (brinjal, baingan, baigan), or any other vegetable. A platter of bhaat, dal and bhaaja (rice, lentils and fries) is one of the leanest, and thus, cheapest meal.

Lentil is prepared in several ways. The most preferred one is masur dal (also, musur dal, masoor dal, musuri dal, red lentil). Predictably, the spices used vary with the style of cooking musuri dal. My last two posts were on desserts (give links), thought of writing a simple and lean platter for today’s post. As they say in Bangalore, Enjoy Madi!

Serves: 2

Cooking time: 20 + 10min

Preparation time: 5+5min


For dal-

Red Lentil (Masur dal): ½ cup

Wild celery (Radhuni): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Water (Jal): 1 ½ cup

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste

For fries-

Pointed gourd (Patol/Potol): 4-6

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel) for frying

Salt to taste


For dal-

  • Wash the lentil well, put it in a deep boiling pan along with water and half teaspoon of salt and cook for about 10-15 min or till the lentil is fully cooked, add water if necessary
  • Heat the oil in a wok and add the wild celery to it
  • As the celery starts popping pour in the cooked lentil and add turmeric powder, stir to mix well
  • Simmer for about 2-3mins and take out of flame

For fries-

  • Peel off the pointed gourd and  make two inch long slits on both ends, alternatively you can also cut the pointed gourd longitudinally into two halves
  • Mix the gourd turmeric powder and salt to it
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the pointed gourd till soft in low flame
  • Serve hot with warm rice and daal

Bhaat Dal Patol Bhaja

Hot Tips – While cooking the dal, you can also do it in a pressure cooker, allow two whistles before you take it out of flame.

Further Reading: Vegetarian Bengali recipes, some posts on a Bengali forum, Masur dal recipes,

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Dhokar Dalna

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I hope you all had loved the round up for The Non-Veggie Event. As for me, hosting an event for the first time was of great great pleasure. The recipes I received were so good and I felt pleasure in going through all the recipes. Each was better than the other. Chicken, mutton, eggs- everything was on the menu. I even tried out some of them and they were so yummy.

So after all these meat and flesh and spices all over I thought of choosing something light and vegetarian for my next post.

Dhokar dalna is one of the oldest recipes, which is of absolute Bengali origin. You will never find anything equivalent to this recipe. If any of you have anything which you feel is similar to Dhokar Dalna, then please do write a comment on that. Even better of you please post it on your blog and leave a comment along with the URL of the post.
I found my mother cooking many items and calling them with the same prefix “Dalna”. I took this opportunity to search about what Dalna actually means. My source was noone but my inspiration of cooking , my MOM. After partition many people came from East Bengal, now better known as Bangadesh. In present Bengal (West Bengal, India) they are popularly known as Bangal(as in Bangladesh) and those who were actually from present West Bengal are called Ghoti. As the language changes with every mile, so here also there is no exception. What the Bangal call tarkari (curry) the Ghotis call it Dalna. So, this Dhokar Dalna most probably originated from the people who were the oldest inhabitants of present West Bengal. There are many more stories of this differetiation in every part of Bengal. If I start writing I’ll never ed, so better keep it for future.

Dhoka is a mixture of two types of pulses, and the curry with very little spice is called Dhokar Dalna.


Yellow split pea (Matar dal): 40gms

Bengal gram (Chana Dal): 160gms

Refined wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Potatoes (Aalu): 2 medium sized

Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon

Black pepper (Gol morich guro): 1 teaspoon

Asfoetida (Hing): 1 pinch

Fennel seed (Mouri):  ½ teaspoons

Cinnamon powder (Dar chini guro): 1 pinchr

Cardamom powder (Elaichi): 1pinch

Nigella (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon full

Cumin Seeds (Jeera): ½ teaspoons

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 ½ teaspoons

Red Chili powder (Sukhno Lankar Guro): 1½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel) for frying

Salt to taste


For the Dhoka:

  • Grind both the pulses together in a powder. Grind it well so that it becomes absolutely powdery.
  • Alternately you can also soak the pulses for about 2 to 3 hours and then make a paste of the soaked pulses.
  • Add salt, ½ teaspoons each of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoons of red chili powder, turmeric powder, black pepper, cumin seeds;  refinedwheat flour, sugar, asafoetida, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon of nigella to the dough.
  • If you have dry grinded the pulses then add water and make thick dough. Keep it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat ½ teaspoons of oil in an wok. Add the dough and toss for 2 to 3 minutes or till the dough become quite dry.
  • Spread the tossed dough over a plate with almost an inch depth. Cut it into small diamond shapes. The dhoka is now ready to fry.


  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the dhokas till they get hard and the inside also gets cooked. You can prick them with a knife. If the knife comes out with sticking, then the inside is also cooked.
Deep Fried Dhoka

Deep Fried Dhoka

For the Dalna:

  • Cut thepotatoes in medium size square pieces.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Fry the potatoes till they are golden brown.
  • Add the cumin seeds to it along with turmeric and chili powder.
  • Pour in water and salt.
  • Now cook till the gravy thickens and the potatoes are cooked well.
  • Carefully drop the dhokas and just boil for 2 minutes in low flame. Do not toss else the dhokas will break.

Take it out of flame and Dhokar Dalna is ready to serve. Dhokar Dalna serves as a wonderful side dish for vegetarian meals. Try it out and send me your comments. Keep in touch and till then HAPPY COOKING AND HAPPY EATING.


Sending this recipe for Home Grown Gourmet event hosted by Erika

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Two joys and a Recipe

Today is a great day for me. Thanks to Ganesh Chaturthi I got a break from my daily routine of waking up, getting ready and taking a bus to work. This morning I woke up and the first thing that I did was visit my blog. Oh, and there was a great news for me. Priti had sent me an award. Thank you Priti. See my Awards page to check out the awards. This was not all, visiting the Great Cooks Community site I found another great surprise. My name was there as the Featured Blogger of the month. It’s really a great way to start a day with two great surprises.

Back home I was always a junk food lover. Coming to Bangalore I really miss those roadside food junctions. At times I get so much desperate to have those that I prepare those at home. Though can’t find that dust mixed taste in the home cooked junkies, but still it’s something closer. The other night I thought of cooking Tarka. Tarka with roti was a delicacy in those roadside food shops. For those who are thinking what this Tarka is, I tell you it’s a special way of preparing the green Mugh dal. Here’s the recipe for you all.

Serves 2


Green Mugh dal: 150gms

Tomato: 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 large ones

Garlic (Rasun): 7 or 8 cloves

Kasturi Methi (Fenugreek leaves): 1 tablespoon

Green chili (Sukhno Lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower Oil (Saada tel): 2 tablespoons

Salt to taste

The Ingredients

The Ingredients


  • Soak the mugh dal for about an hour.
  • Pressure cook for at 2 to 3 whistles.
  • Drain the excess water out of the dal and keep aside.
  • Cut the onions in square pieces, and the chilies into small ringlets.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow wok.
  • As the oil gets heated throw in the onions to sauté along with the garlic.
  • As the onions become tender, add tomatoes and chili, sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the mugh dal, turmeric powder, salt and toss well.
  • Add little water if necessary and in between mash the dal properly.
  • Now add the Kasturi Methi to the preparation and mix well.
  • Scramble to eggs in a separate frying pan with little salt and throw in to the Tarka preparation.
  • Take it out of flame as it gets dried up.
Tarka with roti, curd and onion

Tarka with roti, curd and onion

It tastes best with roti or paratha and a little bit of curd and onions. You can add chicken or mutton keema, or anything of your choice. Tarka also tastes good without adding any other non-vegetarian items to it. So, you can have it without any other supplementary to it. Catch you soon, till then happy cooking and happy eating.

Sending my recipe to Srivalli’s Announcing My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping! , the event brain child of Well-Seasoned Cook Susan .


Week Night Dinner

Monday nights are always the lousiest nights of all the weekdays. After a lazy-dizzy weekend, I’m always reluctant to get into the kitchen after a whole day’s work. Anyways, nothing to do I have to get going and prepare something. So, whatever it be, the preparation shouldn’t take much time, but should be wholesome and of course good to taste.

Now, I started cutting down my options and ended up with jeera-rice, mugh dal and potato fry. This seemed to be a good option with less work to do, and I’ll get back a good output. The recipe for Monday night’s platter is here for you.

Serves 2


Rice (Chal): 200gms

Pulses (Mugh dal): 50gms

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 1 or 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 ½ teaspoons

Cumin (Jeera): 2 teaspoons

Ghee: ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Saada Tel): 2 tablespoons

Mustard Oil (Sarser Tel): ½ tablespoons

Ginger (Aada): 1” size

Salt to t


For making Jeera rice

  • Boil the rice, and let it cook properly.
  • Drain the excess water out of it.
  • Heat ghee in a wok, as it gets heated add 1 teaspoon of cumin to it.
  • Thrown in the cooked rice and toss for ½ a minute.
  • Keep aside.

For making the Dal

  • Boil the pulses in plain water until it softens.
  • Grind the ginger to make a paste.
  • As the dal gets cooked, add turmeric powder, chili, salt and ginger.
  • Heat mustard oil in a frying pan; add the cumin as the oil gets heated.
  • Drop in the cooked pulses in it.
  • Cook for a minute more.
  • Keep aside.

For making the potato fry

Potatoes cut to fry

Potatoes cut to fry

  • Chop the potatoes to 1 inch size slender pieces.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt to it.
  • Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan.
  • Throw in the potatoes and fry.
Week night dinner ready to serve

Week night dinner ready to serve

Veg Mini Thali

Veg Mini Thali

You can prepare any other type of pulses of your choice. Serve the hot rice, potato fry and dal; and enjoy your week night dinner. Catch you soon, till then happy cooking and happy eating.

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