This is a traditional homemade style Bengali delicacy, where fried moong dal and raw papaya are cooked with fried bittergourd slices. Having any bitter preparation at the beginning of any meal is generally considered to cleanse the system. Raw papaya can also be substituted with lauki (bottle gourd).
It is a very common recipe cooked in all Bengali household. All bittergourd lovers will definitely relish this dal. Just have it with plain steamed rice. There are many versions to this dal, where it differs slightly from one individual to the other. Please check for an easy step by step method with pictures to prepare it.
- 1/2 cup moong dal (split yellow / green gram )
- 1/2 cup raw papaya, cubed
- 1 small bittergourd, sliced
- 3 tbsp. mustard oil
- 2 whole dry red chilies, broken
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek and nigella (kalonji) seeds)
- 1 tsp. ginger, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
Dry roast the moong dal till light brown. Soak in water for 15-20 minutes. Pressure cook along with the papaya cubes in 1 cup water for 3-4 whistles. Open the lid after it cools down.
Heat oil and temper with the broken red chilies and panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add the ginger and Bay leaves and saute for a few seconds.
Now add the bittergourd and fry till light brown. Add the boiled dal, salt, turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water.
Bring it to a boil and simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add ghee and mix well. Serve hot with plain steamed rice.
Dry roast the moong dal till light brown.
Temper the oil with panch phoron and dry red chilies.
Add the bay leaves and ginger and saute for few seconds.
Add the bittergourd and fry till light brown.
Add the boiled dal, salt, water and turmeric powder. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
When done, add ghee and serve with plain steamed rice.