Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal or Bengali Moong Dal with Vegetable- a handful of lentils, some freezer-friendly veggies and few whole spices transform into a pot of deliciousness that is easy to cook, nutritious, super healthy.
Dal, Dahl, Daal or Dhal!
Dal, Dahl, Daal or Dhal- we all might have confusion about how to spell the word. Still, we all must agree that lentils are economical sources of protein and full of flavour.
It is an essential ingredient in Indian and south-east Asian cuisine. Specific types of lentil identified or represented India’s regional kitchen and cooking.
For example, cooking Masoor dal or pink lentil is a daily affair in the Bengali kitchen, and yellow Moong lentils for special lunch, These two kinds of Dal mostly dominate not only the Bengali kitchen but also Odia, Assamese kitchen too! Toor dal is hugely used in North Indian, West Indian kitchen.
What is the significance of roasted moong dal?
I am a big fan of meal prepping! When we dry roast the moong lentil in a preheated pan, it releases its oil and develops a toasted, nutty flavour.
As roasted Moong dal has a long shelf life, I always prefer to roast it in a big batch, so that I can save another 5-6 minutes cooking time during weeknight meals.
In a Uses of roasted Moong Dal- khichuri, different kind of bengali dal, cook with veggies to make the delicious side dishes and serve with rice, roti.
Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal and a piece of my childhood memory!
This Dal is another winter delicacy from Bengali kitchen.
I remember, as a kid when I got bored at home, Baba( my dad) used to take me to the nearby Bazaar. During winter months the Shobji Bazaars used to be flooded with winter produces. Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrot, Spinach, Peas, baby potatoes, spring onion, beetroot! Baba’s shopping bag looked like a veggie melange!
Though my self-appointed job was to talk with every known or unknown person. And the common question they often asked me-
“Aaj dupure ki ranna hochhe tomader barite? ”
Which means what’s on your lunch menu today? And the conversation followed by “Ami asbo kintu khete”! Means, I will join you at lunchtime!
I used to be very happy that someone is going to join us for lunch! As the sudden arrival of guests was nothing new at our home! Since my childhood, I have seen my mom warmly welcomed them and offered them Cha- Biskut( Tea and Biscuits) followed by lunch. Nothing fancy, a simple, humble Bengali meal, whatever she cooked on that day! There is a Bengali proverb “Otithi Narayon” loosely translated, the guest is God! Maa- Baba always taught us that guest is God, but for me, arriving a guest means freedom from the study! And now coming guest at your home means we are living in post #COVID era! Can’t ask for more! Can we?
Though these days we get all vegetables throughout the year! But, the beauty of local, seasonal food is that they create not only delicious meals but also create delicious memories!
Steamed rice with Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal, a dollop of Ghee, Begun Bhaja, then Aloo Kopi Diye Macher Jhol or Aloo -Bori Diye Macher Jhol, end with Tomato chutney. This meal is pure nostalgia for a Bengali soul!
Still hungry? Want to make more delicious memories?
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Shobji Diye Bhaja Moong Dal
- ½ cup Moong Dal or Split Yellow Lentils - ~ 150gm
- ¼ cup Frozen Peas - ~ 40 gm
- ¼ cup Carrot - – diced ~ 30 gm
- ¼ cup Cauliflower - small florets ~ 40 gm
- ¼ cup Potato - – diced ~ 40 gm
- ¼ Tomato - – diced 40 gm
- 10 gm Ginger - ~ 1½ tsp ginger paste
- 2 Green chilli - – slitted
- 2 tbsp Mustard oil - ~ 30 ml
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp roasted Cumin powder
- ½ Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 2 cups Water - to boil the dal
- 1 cup Boiling water
Whole spices for tempering
- 1 Dry red chilli
- 2 small Bay leaves
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds - ~ 2 gm
- 2 Green Cardamoms
- 2 Cloves
- 4 cm Cinnamon Bark
- Preheat a heavy-duty cooking pan or skillet over medium heat. Add in the moong dal and roast over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Keep stirring the lentil with a spatula to avoid to stick on the inner bottom of the pan. Dal will start changing its colour and developing roasted flavour. Remove from the pan and keep in a saucepan.
- When the lentil is ready to touch, wash it for a couple of times and pour 2 cups of water, cover with a lid and soak it at least for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Next, boil the lentil. First, place the saucepan over high heat and wait for a rolling boil. You will see the foam on the top, with a help of a ladle remove them.
- Then, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low, sprinkle salt, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, give a stir to mix them, partially cover the saucepan and continue to cook for about 10 to 15 t minutes.
- Add half of chopped tomatoes, green chillies and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until lentil cooked.
- Heat up mustard oil in a Kadai or heavy-duty deep skillet. Wait till the oil reaches to the smoky heat.
- Next, reduce the heat to low and add whole spices for tempering. Give the spices a quick stir with a spatula for a few seconds and spices will release the aroma.
- Add veggies, sprinkle salt, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ginger paste. Cook till the moisture removed and oil is separating from the veggies.
- Add sugar,add in boilied dal, give a stir with a spatula and pour about 1 cup of boiling water and let Dal comes to a rolling boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Add ghee, roasted cumin powder, give a final stir, remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serve.
- Enjoy with steamed rice.
- Make sure lentil should be cooked but not mushy! Nobody likes lumpy dal.
- When you are boiling dal add 1/4cup or ½ cup of boiling water if required.
- Cooking time may vary.