Macher Matha Diye Mung Dal – Yellow Lentil with Fish Head

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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 and begun bhaja (aubergine fries) and tilapia 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
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • 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
  • Serve with warm white rice and fries of choice.

Hot Tips – Roasting the dal is optional, you can directly wash the dal and boil it. Moog dal tends to absorb a lot of water, so make sure there is enough water even after the dal is fully cooked.

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10 thoughts on “Macher Matha Diye Mung Dal – Yellow Lentil with Fish Head

  1. My family is originally from Sylhet, now in Bangladesh. Sylheti’s had a tradition of not mixing up a non-veg item with a ‘veg’ daal – moog, chhola, arhar (things may be different now). Sylheti’s prepare this recipe using kolai daal/beauli daal, always after roasting the unwashed daal.

  2. Today I am going to make this…Chhanar dalna , next time as I will be leaving home in few days
    Bhalo theko

  3. It is authentic bengali receipe. I LIKE IT.I also love
    to cook ofcourse bengali dishes.amio probashi.

  4. Dear Sudeshna
    How are you? After a long time I could access blogs, so just gulping up all the recipes i missed. You have really put the recipe, the most authentic way and no riot of garam masala. Now need to get a fish head before I leave for ” Tepantar” again
    Bhalo theko

    1. Ushnish Da,
      Its great to here from you after such a long time. Oh, I try to use garam masala as less as possible. The smell of moog dal dies when there is a riot of garam masala, so I try not to use it in the dal.

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