Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal or Bengali Moong Dal with Vegetable- a handful of lentils, some freezer-friendly veggies and few whole spices transform into a pot of deliciousness that is easy to cook, nutritious, super healthy.
Dal, Dahl, Daal or Dhal!
Dal, Dahl, Daal or Dhal- we all might have confusion about how to spell the word. Still, we all must agree that lentils are economical sources of protein and full of flavour.
It is an essential ingredient in Indian and south-east Asian cuisine. Specific types of lentil identified or represented India’s regional kitchen and cooking.
For example, cooking Masoor dal or pink lentil is a daily affair in the Bengali kitchen, and yellow Moong lentils for special lunch, These two kinds of Dal mostly dominate not only the Bengali kitchen but also Odia, Assamese kitchen too! Toor dal is hugely used in North Indian, West Indian kitchen.
What is the significance of roasted moong dal?
I am a big fan of meal prepping! When we dry roast the moong lentil in a preheated pan, it releases its oil and develops a toasted, nutty flavour.
As roasted Moong dal has a long shelf life, I always prefer to roast it in a big batch, so that I can save another 5-6 minutes cooking time during weeknight meals.
In a Uses of roasted Moong Dal- khichuri, different kind of bengali dal, cook with veggies to make the delicious side dishes and serve with rice, roti.
Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal and a piece of my childhood memory!
This Dal is another winter delicacy from Bengali kitchen.
I remember, as a kid when I got bored at home, Baba( my dad) used to take me to the nearby Bazaar. During winter months the Shobji Bazaars used to be flooded with winter produces. Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrot, Spinach, Peas, baby potatoes, spring onion, beetroot! Baba’s shopping bag looked like a veggie melange!
Though my self-appointed job was to talk with every known or unknown person. And the common question they often asked me-
“Aaj dupure ki ranna hochhe tomader barite? ”
Which means what’s on your lunch menu today? And the conversation followed by “Ami asbo kintu khete”! Means, I will join you at lunchtime!
I used to be very happy that someone is going to join us for lunch! As the sudden arrival of guests was nothing new at our home! Since my childhood, I have seen my mom warmly welcomed them and offered them Cha- Biskut( Tea and Biscuits) followed by lunch. Nothing fancy, a simple, humble Bengali meal, whatever she cooked on that day! There is a Bengali proverb “Otithi Narayon” loosely translated, the guest is God! Maa- Baba always taught us that guest is God, but for me, arriving a guest means freedom from the study! And now coming guest at your home means we are living in post #COVID era! Can’t ask for more! Can we?
Though these days we get all vegetables throughout the year! But, the beauty of local, seasonal food is that they create not only delicious meals but also create delicious memories!
Steamed rice with Shobji Diye Bhaja Muger Dal, a dollop of Ghee, Begun Bhaja, then Aloo Kopi Diye Macher Jhol or Aloo -Bori Diye Macher Jhol, end with Tomato chutney. This meal is pure nostalgia for a Bengali soul!