Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teto r dal (bitter lentils)

Calcutta is famous for its sultry summers. Those summer afternoons were long and balmy and every day after school when I sat down for lunch with Ma there would be two things that were Ma's summer specials. The first one was teto r dal . Now , I am very fond of bitter vegetables (funny eh!) and since then I have come to know that these bitter stuff help to keep the body cool.

Since Sunday the weather here had been unusually warm. And so I missed Ma's tetor dal more than ever. C was a little apprehensive.."Bitter dal?!! How do you make that? Is it good?"He asked me over the phone when I told him that's what I had packed for his lunch."Tell me how it is after you have had it", I told him.
An hour later C told me it was his best lunch ever! He loved the dal!( I knew he would! :))

I also looked up the recipe from Bong Mom's Cookbook.

moong dal-1/2cup
masur dal-1/3 cup
bottle gourd (lau/lauki)-half of one middle sized one chopped into chunky pieces
bitter gourd (ucche/karela)-2 small cut into circular pieces
ginger paste-1 tbsp
Kalo jire (onion seeds)- 1/2 tsp
salt-according to taste
oil-2 -3tsp
green chilli- 1-2(optional)
turmeric-a pinch

Pressure cook the dal (do not dry roast or fry the dal) with the bottle gourd, turmeric , salt , ginger paste and 1/2 tsp oil.
Now in a pan fry the bitter gourd pieces (not too crisp). Just let them cook.
In the remaining oil sizzle the onion seeds and the green chilli.
Pour the boiled dal and adjust seasoning and consistency.
Serve with hot white rice on a summer afternoon and ENJOY!

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