Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bengali Lemon Daal

I am reading "Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals" by Chitrita Banerji. This book is like a collection of essays about seasonal cooking in West Bengal & Bangladesh. The book is divided into four parts - Spring/Summer (Basanta/Grishma), Monsoon (Barsha), Early/late autumn (Sharat/Hemanta) & Winter (Sheet). Festivals, food, traditions and Bengali culture is woven around the seasons. The book of course has the recipes. and while reading, I came across this unusual daal - lemon daal. Daal is tempered with panch phoran - Bengali 5 spice mix and then added to the lemon-lined container just before serving. This adds a delicate lemon flavor to the daal. I found it very refreshing. Though it is recommended to serve with plain rice, I slurped this daal like a soup.

Lemon Daal
Adapted from Bengali cooking by Chitrita Banerji
1 cup masoor or moog daal
salt to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
1 lemon, cut into thin slices

1 tsp oil
1 bay leaf
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp panch phoran
1/2" ginger
1 green chili
1 red chili

1. Pressure cook daal and keep aside.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add water to cooked daal. Bring to boil. Add salt & sugar
4. Add tempered oil to daal.
5. Arrange thin slices of lemon at the bottom and around the sides of a ceramic bowl or pot.
6. Pour daal in the ceramic pot/bowl. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes.
7. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1.This daal can't be reheated or kept overnight as it will turn bitter. So pour in the lemon-lined container just before serving.

Bengali cooking:Seasons & Festivals by Chitrita Banerji.

This post is my contribution to Jihva:Lime/Lemon at The Spice Cafe by Coffee.

Jihva series is started by Indira of Mahanandi.


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