I was in love with this dal (Lentils) served with steamed rice since my childhood in Kolkata .This is a recipe cooked by the “Bangals” whose ancestors hail from East bengal ,from undivided Bengal era.The Bengali’s are divided into these two groups “Ghoti” and “Bangal” owing to the origin of their ancestors having variations in culture,language and food habits.My father and his family would proudly say that they belonged to Dhaka(Now the capital of Bangladesh) and my grand father used to be a Land lord.My grand mom would say stories about how they had a big house and orchard full of fruits.As a child I used to listen to the stories with interest and amazement without feeling the pain in their memories.As I grew up ,I understood partition,the pain of being uprooted,the struggle to start from scratch and how it affected the culture and food of Bengal.There is a difference in the cuisines of East and west Bengal owing to the use of locally cultivated vegetables and there are funny competition as well, like “Bangals” will love to spice up the dishes,some regions from East Bengals consume a lot of red chillies,the “ghoti” on the other hand emphasizes on “posto bata”,poppy seeds paste with emphasis on green chilies.
Bitter gourd is always a part of the Indian diet due to its health benefits specially in Asian diet.It helps to increase immunity ,fight infections ,control glucose level in blood ,help digestion and so on .This dal is prepared during the Summer to keep our body cool,the bottle gourd and bitter gourds added in this dal are cold food according to ancient ayurveda which helps keeping your body cool under scorchy hot sun.
Titar dal (Lentils with bitter gourd)
This dal is prepared during the Summer to keep our body cool,the bottle gourd and bitter gourds added in this dal are cold food according to ancient ayurveda which helps keeping your body cool under scorchy hot sun.
- 1 cup yellow moong dal yellow split lentils
- 1 bitter gourd
- 1 cup Bottle gourd cubed into big pieces
- 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
- 2 to 4 Bay leaves
- 2 to 4 Red chillies
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- A pinch Turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp Clarified butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Cut the bitter gourd into medium thick pieces and marinate with turmeric powder and salt for 15 minutes
Wash them and fry them till light brown and tender in 1/4 th cup oil
Boil the dal with bottle gourd and salt till tender and mushy
Add a tbsp of clarified butter or oil in the pan fry mustard seeds till they crackle.
Fry bay leaves and ginger paste
Add the dal with desired water to form thin consistency
Add a tbsp of sugar and let it dissolve
Bring to boil ,add salt and check.It should be little on the sweeter side
Split 2 to 3 green chilies and add to the dal.
Add the fired bitter gourd into the curry.
Take it off from the gas oven and serve immediately with steamed rice