Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Bengali Masoor comfort food even for a 6% Bong!!!

Bengali Masoor dal (Bengali style Red lentils)...the main difference between the dals cooked the Punjabi way and dals cooked the Bengali way is the consistency – Punjabis like their dals thick and Bengalis like their dal more soupysince dal is a staple at home and is cooked almost every day, the more variations available the betterthis is a basic Bong style dal except its consistency (both of us prefer our dals thick)lunch today was this dal, aloo bhaja (fried potatoes) and fried Rohu fishtotal comfort food  even for a  6% Bong like me (1% for ever year that I have been married J)

Bengali Masoor dal (Bengali style Red lentils)


  • Dhuli Masoor Dal/ Red Lentils, 1 cup
  • Water, 3 cups plus more if needed ( 2 ½  cups for a thicker consistency like mine)
  • Ginger, finely grated,1 tsp
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Green chili, slit, 1
  • Sugar, ½ tsp

For tempering:

  • Mustard Oil, 1 tbsp  (or Ghee or any oil of your choice)
  • Panch Phoron, ¾ tsp 
  • Dried Red Chilies, 1-2
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 large

For garnishing:

  • Green chilies, slit, 1-2
  • Coriander leaves


Wash the dal till water runs clear. Soak in water for about 10-15 minutes. 

Cook the dal till done with 3 cups water, ginger, garlic, green chili, salt and turmeric (pressure cooker: 1 whistle on high heat and immediately switch off the gas; in the pan: about 20-25 minutes) 

Open the cooker, once the pressure lets off completely. Whisk the dal lightly using a wire whisk or back of a spoon.

Heat oil in another small pan and add
Panch Phoron, dried red chilies and fry till the seeds start spluttering. Add in the onions and sauté till they turn light brown

Once onions are done, tip in the tempering mix into the dal and immediately close the lid for the dal to absorb the flavors.

Put the dal back on the gas and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Add in the sugar, mix and check for seasoning. Add in the green chilies and coriander leaves and take it off heat.

Serve hot with boiled rice and any veggie for your choice. (Ideally Aloo-Bhaja i.e. fried potatoes)


Innumerable variations, some of them are :
  • Add in the tomatoes to the tempering and cook till they are mushy
  • Replace mustard oil with Ghee or top up the dal with a tsp of ghee
  • Only use ginger and not garlic
  • Let the onions cook till they are almost burnt i.e. dark brown but not burnt


  1. I too love my daal to be thick..
    Your version looks delectable..You know i have never made/had masoor daal?! After all the praises i m hearing of this daal, i think it's high time i made this...

    1. really? ok you absolutely have to then, if dal is one of your staples, you will love this one as well

  2. Just made this dal with aloo bhaja , having it with rice and LOVING THE COMBO .. Thank you for sharing the recipe