Green Mango and Masoor Dal | Aamer Dal | Tok Dal

Green Mango goes well with Indian lentils, and this time we pair it with Masoor Dal (called red lentils outside of India, but not to be confused with Indian red gram dal / toor dal). The recipe today is a tangy, simple Bengali dish with a touch of mustard oil. Simply spiced, it is delicious.

This recipe can also be made with Mung Dal instead of Masoor Dal, or with a mixture of both.

Similar recipes include Hara Mung Dal TakaAmbe Dal (Channa Dal with Green Mango), Mung Dal with Green Mango, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, and Masoor Dal with Green Chillies.

Browse our Green Mango recipes and our Dals. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

Continue reading “Green Mango and Masoor Dal | Aamer Dal | Tok Dal”

Lemon Dal

Lemons and limes, even oranges, are used in savoury dishes throughout India, for example in South India in Rasam and in Kuzhambu. Wonderful dishes. This recipe takes a simple Mung dal, blends it until it is silky smooth and infuses it with the flavours of lemon or lime peel and flesh. It is a delightful dish, and very refreshing in Summer.

This recipe is similar to Kancha Dal, but adds the lemons. It is a Bengali dish which I came across in the excellent book Bengali Cooking.

Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices, Kancha Dal, and Mung Dal with Coconut Milk.

Browse all of our Dal recipes, and all of our Mung Dal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Lemon Dal”

Begun Pora with Bori | Bengali Eggplant Puree with Fried Urad Dumpling Crumbles

Begun Pora is the Bengali rustic cousin of the Punjabi Baingan Bharta, less well known than Baingan Bharta but no less well loved. This has the tastes of Bengal and is totally different in flavour to its cousin. We have already posted one recipe for Begun Pora – but today’s recipe is a different version of that dish.

The idea for this particular dish came from Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals, a wonderful and highly readable book on the amazing food of that state. The author describes how he uses bori in his Begun Pora. What a great idea! It may not be traditional, but it is full of flavour.

Similar recipes include Baingan Tamatar, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Begun PoraBaingan Bharta and our Wadi recipes.

Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try Algerian Eggplant Salad/Spread, BabaganoushSaffron and Rose Scented Eggplant, and Japanese Baked Eggplant.

Or perhaps you would like other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Vegetable Kitchari and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Have a look at all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Bengali recipes. Perhaps you want more Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn feasts.

Continue reading “Begun Pora with Bori | Bengali Eggplant Puree with Fried Urad Dumpling Crumbles”

Begun Pora | Bengali Eggplant Puree | A Rustic Cousin of Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta is the well known, Punjabi, wonderful Indian eggplant puree, easy to make, full of spicy flavours and so versatile in its use. This is its rustic cousin from Bengal, less well known than Baingan Bharta but no less well loved. This has the tastes of Bengal and is totally different in flavour to its cousin.

Make both! This one is almost salsa-like in its rustic composition. Wrap it in a roti and bliss out.

Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Begun Pora with Bori Crumbles, Baingan Ka Salan, BabaganoushSaffron and Rose Scented Eggplant, and Japanese Baked Eggplant.

Or perhaps you would like other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Vegetable Kitchari and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Have a look at all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Bengali recipes. Perhaps you want more Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn feasts.

Continue reading “Begun Pora | Bengali Eggplant Puree | A Rustic Cousin of Baingan Bharta”

Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhajiya

Looking for quick and easy snacks? These Onion Bhajiya are feather light and so more-ish – you had better make quite a few. Heat from the chilli, the beautiful citrusy warmth of the coriander seed and the chickpea flour coating make these a great go-to accompaniment to a strong cuppa Indian tea either morning or afternoon on a cool day.

This is a treasure of Bengal, north of India. The original recipe comes from Christine Mannfield in her collection of Indian recipes Tasting India. I adapted it a little. The beauty of this recipe is that the onions are not coated in a batter, but the chickpea flour is worked into the onions, using its own moisture, to form a delicious crispy light coating.

Have a look at this other style of Onion BhajiEggplant and Kale Pakora, and these Huge Vine Leaf Pakora and  Vegetable Bhaji. Or try this Greek-Indian Tomato Pakoras and Salty Battered Broad Bean Pods.

Other Onion dishes you could try include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, and South Indian Onion Strings Slightly Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Bhajiya/Pakoras here, or have a look at our Indian Snacks. All of our Onion recipes are here, and Indian dishes are here. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhajiya”

Norom Shada Khichuri | Latka Kitchari | Bengali Soft Kitchari

Bengalis love their kitchari, and love the rain. Often the two go together – as the rains come, the consumption of kitchari increases exponentially.

There are dozens of types of Kitchari. It is eaten in different forms all over India, but even in Bengal alone, many varieties exist. Kitchari style dishes can vary from pilaf/pulao-like dishes, to the more porridge-like Pongals of Tamil Nadu and the beloved Bisibelebath of Karnataka.

This kitchari is a well-cooked – that is, it is quite soft and moist, almost slightly soupy. It is delicious and it is perfect on a rainy day, any where in the world. The defining characteristics of this kitchari is that it is very soft (norom) and white, as well as healthy.  It is mostly tempered with onion and garlic. (It can also be served very soupy, almost like an Indian version of Chinese Congee. We will add a recipe for this version later on and add a link here.)

I have seen Kitchari referred to as Hodgepodge. My goodness! A hodgepodge is a random assortment of things — a group of things that don’t quite fit together. There is a dish from Nova Scotia called Hodgepodge but it is nothing like Kitchari. It is a collection of beans, peas and potatoes cooked in one pot. It is also common to call Kitchari as risotto. Again this is a great misnomer. Kitchari must be one of the most well known of Indian dishes outside of India, thus it is surprising to see Indian cooks give it other names. You can read more about that here.

Are you after similar dishes? Try A Collection of Kitchari Recipes, Bisi Bele Huriyanna, Congee Bowls, Goan Bisibelebath, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Gujarati Kitchari, and Bengali Bhog Kitchari.

Or are you looking for other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer.  There are more Bengali dishes coming, so check back here.

Browse all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our lovely Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Norom Shada Khichuri | Latka Kitchari | Bengali Soft Kitchari”

Bhuna Khichuri | Bengali 5 Lentil Kitchari with Toasted Mung Dal

The warm weather disappeared and our thoughts turned to kitchari as it rained and rained and rained. Researching Bhuna Kitchari, I came across a very interesting recipe, one that took time and extraordinary care over the making of this dish.  Bhuna Khichuri is a richer version of Kitchari and injects flavours not only through the spices used but also by the slow frying of onions, the roasting of the mung dal and the frying of the other lentils and rice. There are 5 lentils used in this dish. The word Bhuna actually comes from the roasting of the moong dal and the frying the rice as the kitchari is made.

It is true that this recipe for Bhuna Khichuri is fussier than others – more steps and an attention to detail. But the end result justifies the means. Often at our house Kitchari is made in the rice cooker, and it is pretty fast and pretty good. But when time allows, more complex variations yield wonderful results. The recipe isn’t difficult – let me reassure you – it just has a few more steps. I have followed the original recipe fairly closely, with just a few alterations.

The secret to this dish, which I recommend that you note, is the frying of the onions – caramelise them – the quality of your ginger-garlic paste, toasting of the mung dal and the frying of the rice. The texture of the dish is wonderful! Also, on occasion I have used urad dal and matki (moth) beans when I have been out of masoor or mattar dal. Both need to be in the longer soaking.

Similar dishes include Moth Bean (Matki) Dal, Norom Shada Khichuri, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Maharashtrian Masoor Sprouts Kitchari,  and Gujarati Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Bhuna Khichuri | Bengali 5 Lentil Kitchari with Toasted Mung Dal”

Okra with Onions | Pyaaz Waali Bhindi Subzi

This dish represents the way that Okra is served in many parts of Delhi and also in the Punjab, Bengal and other parts of North India. Okra are cooked with a caramelised onion paste, and the success of the dish depends on the onion paste being cooked to the right depth and consistency. Then tomato puree is added with spices to make a delicious sauce.

This dish comes via inspiration from Madhur Jaffrey, and like all of her dishes, it is very successful. The okra are meltingly tender, and the sauce coats them beautifully.

Are you interested in other Subzi dishes? Try Okra Subzi, Potato Sabzi, Carrots and Green Peas Subzi and Beetroot and Carrot Subzi.

Or perhaps other Okra recipes. Read more about Okra here. Then try okra in Sambar, and in Moar Kuzhambu. And make Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Okra Stuffed with Onions, Mustard Okra Fry, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Spicy Dried Okra.

Browse the Madhur Jaffrey dishes we have made, all of our Subzi dishes, and all of our Okra dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Okra with Onions | Pyaaz Waali Bhindi Subzi”

Kancha Mung Dal | Bengali Mung Dal

I find Dal the most comforting of dishes, and it is no wonder that it is eaten on most days throughout India. Spices are used to vary the flavours, – some for the heat of pre-Monsoon Summer, others for the cool of the Monsoon rains.

Dals always begin the same – boiling one or more lentils until soft, with the thickness of the dal being a personal preference. Some areas of India make them thick, others prefer them thin and soupy. In this household, we have the choice, so it depends on the cook, and the day, and the weather.

Inclusions also vary. Some dals contain onions – in some parts of India, the onions are cut long and thin – the chillies too. In other parts, the onions and chillies are cut minutely, almost a paste – garlic too – and this is all fried in ghee or oil.

Mung dal (split, hulled Mung Beans) is good for any time of year – and particularly good in summer. So is Toor dal. In Winter it is good to roast the mung dal before cooking as it helps to heat the bodily system. Toss it in a frying pan until a gorgeous aroma arises, then add to water to cook. In Summer, it is preferred kancha or unroasted, as it is lighter and easer to digest. Thanks to the excellent book Bengali Cooking for the lovely chapter and information on Dals.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Kerala Mung Dal, Mung Dal with Green Mango, Dal Tadka, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Gentle Golden Dal.

Or browse all of our Mung Dal recipes, and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Kancha Mung Dal | Bengali Mung Dal”

Achari Mushrooms | Spicy Mushrooms

Achari dishes are so-called because they use the same set of spices that are commonly used in pickles (achar) in North India. Achari can refer to almost any ingredient – mushrooms, eggplant, paneer, okra, potatoes, and more. The recipes are more or less the same for the different ingredients. Today we are making Achari Mushrooms.

Spices are roasted and ground to a powder to make an Achari Masala, the spice mix common to the Achari dishes and also to pickles. A tomato gravy is made with the spices and the mushrooms are briefly simmered in the gravy.

Are you looking for other Mushroom recipes? Try Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, the Perfect Mushrooms Sauce, and Mushroom Curry with Tomato-Yoghurt Sauce.

Other Achari dishes include Achari Gobhi.

Try this dish that also uses Panch Phoron: Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.

Browse all of the Mushroom dishes, all of our Punjabi dishes and all of the Bengali dishes. Or explore all of our Indian dishes. Alternatively take some time to browse our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Achari Mushrooms | Spicy Mushrooms”