Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dal Bharta

I'm composing this post while KKR v/s RCB is being broadcast from 'Namma Bengaluru'. Oh yes, although I am blogging about a Bengali comfort food, I hail from Karnataka and my patriotism towards my state never staggers. I am the lone supporter of RCB while the whole family cheers 'Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re'. But when it comes to food, my taste buds fail to see any boundaries. Dal Bharta is my comfort food too.

One of the pros of marrying a Bengali is that I got to explore a whole new culinary world where I ventured into cooking using mustard oil, mustard paste, head of a fish (My Amma used to throw away head of any fish while my in-laws relished various special dishes with fish head in the lime light). Abbas used to ask me before marriage that Seemu, "would you be able to adjust with us?". After marriage when he saw the ease at which I became one among them, he says, "You were in a wrong place earlier. You were meant to be a Bong. Thank me for having brought you to where you belong". Well, Konkanis love Potato too just like a Bong does. Only thing I never compromised with is rice. I couldn't get myself to eat boiled rice. Initially, we had two pots of rice cooked. Now everybody eats raw rice along with me. After all compromise has to be from both ends for smooth running of a family.

Coming to the dish in discussion, Masoor Dal is generally washed and closed inside a small container along with slit green chillies, salt, turmeric powder and mustard oil. The container is called Ghoti, its lid has to be tight. This is cooked along with rice. Bengalis generally eat boiled rice. Since it takes a long time to cook, lentils get cooked just right as required by this dish. But since we eat raw rice which gets cooked very fast, I cook this in a pressure cooker. Texture of dal doesn't match that cooked in a Ghoti. It tastes great nevertheless.


1 cup Masoor dal
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Green chillies slit
2 Green Chillies finely chopped
1 tsp Red chilli powder (optional, I add it but in-laws don't)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Mustard oil


Pressure cook dal, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, slit green chillies and 1 tsp mustard oil with enough water so that the dal is neither cooked nor over cooked. Well the exact amount of water to be added can be perfected with trial and error.

Mash dal with chopped green chillies, remaining oil using hand. Adjust salt and chillies according to taste. Best Blogger Tips

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