Bengali Tetor daal- Yellow lentil cooked with bitter gourd/karela , bottle gourd and few basic spices.
This Tetor daal is a simple every day kind of daal with a hint of bitterness . It is a summer specialty and includes both the popular summer vegetables- karela/ bitter gourd and launki/ bottle gourd .The bitter gourd slices are fried before adding in the simmering daal so it reduces the bitterness of karela .
In Bengal they start there food with some thing green or bitter in taste,be it daal or some vegetable.The simple yet slight bitter daal served as a palate cleanser in there Lunch menu. Bottle gourd pieces are also added in this daal to balance the flavours .Addition of bottle gourd adds a mild sweet touch to the daal.
This Daal have very clean and simple flavours . Only Green chili and ginger is added for the flavour. Tempering can be done in mustard oil or ghee as per your preference . In some house hold they use Randhuni or mustard seeds and some use panch phoran so you can use as per your taste preference. there are few versions of making this tetor daal .some people roast the moong daal before cooking and some cook it directly ,not much difference in taste so do what suits you.
i love bengali cuisine and often cook recipes which i learned from a bengali neighbour- Aloo potol curry , Beetroot Chops, Bengali aloo and cabbage curry, Aloo Chorchori , Kancha Aamer chutney, are made and enjoyed regularly in my house
Karela /Bitter gourd and bottle gourd both are good for digestion so this tetor daal is very good to have during hot summer days. It is best served with steamed rice but taste good with roti and paratha too. You can serve begun bhaja or Aloo parwal ki sookhi sabzi with this tetor daal to add some spice and flavour to this mild daal.
Bengali Tetor daal
- 1 cup Yellow Lentil / Moong Daal (dhuli huee)
- 1 Bitter Gourd / Karela
- 200 gms Bottle Gourd / Lauki
- 1.5 tsp Lemon Juice / Nimbu Ka Ras optional
- 1.5 tsp Sugar / Chini
- to taste Salt / Namak
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder / Haldi Powder
- 2 Green chili/hari mirch chopped
- 1.5 Ginger / Adrak grated
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil / Sarso ka tel to fry karela slices
- 1.5 tbsp Ghee
- 1 Bay Leaves / Tej Patta
- 2 Dried Red Chilli, Whole
- 1/3 tsp Mustard Seeds / Rai *
- 1/3 tsp Fenugreek Seeds / Methidana
- 1/3 tsp Cumin Seeds / Sabut Jeera
- 1/3 tsp Asafoetida / Hing powder
- Dry roast the moong daal in the cooker till golden and fragrant(this is optional step ,you can skip this step if you wish)
- Wash the roasted daal and soak in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.
- Peel the bottle gourd/lauki and chop into medium thick pieces.
- Slice bitter gourd in roundels and sprinkle some salt over them and keep aside for few minutes. then wash well and squeeze the extra moisture.
- Add turmeric,salt, green chilies ,bottle gourd and 1 tsp oil and pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium heat.
- Add some mustard oil in a pan and shallow fry the bitter gourd pieces and keep aside
- When the pressure cool down then open the pressure cooker and add about 3 cups of water and mix (can add water as thick or thin you want to have your daal )
- In a small pan heat the ghee for tempering and then add all the seeds for tempering in it and when seeds start to crackle add bay leaf and whole red chilies.
- Add this tempering in the daal,now add the fried karela and ginger and mix.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes.keep stirring in between.
- Serve piping hot daal with steamed rice and a tsp of ghee on top.