This nutritious moong dal contains healthy portions of bitter melon (korola) and bottle gourd (lau). But that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

This is a wonderful dal for the spring-summer months. Teto’r dal, or as the Bangals (Bengali immigrants from the eastern part of undivided Bengal) call it, tita’r dal, is light, mellow, and nutritious, to say nothing of delicious. This dal gets its name from the fact that it contains korola or bitter gourd; ‘teto’ literally means bitter.


COOKING TIME 40 minutes
YIELDS 4 servings


Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100 g Moong dal
250 g Lau (bottle gourd)
50 g Korola (bitter gourd)
15 g Mustard oil
1 pc Dried red chilli
1 pc Bay leaf
½ tsp Shorshe (mustard seeds)
½ tsp Methi (fenugreek seeds)
40 g Grated coconut
40 g Ginger paste
13 g Salt
30 g Sugar
8 g Ghee

Equipment

  • Saucepan or boiling pot with lid
  • Kadai | frying pan
  • Khunti | long spatula

Appliances

  • Grater or grinder (to grate coconut)
  • Stove

Method

  1. Wash and rinse the moong dal thoroughly, and boil it with 550 g water till the dal is soft. This should take about 15 minutes.
  2. While the dal is boiling, chop the korola into 5-mm-thick rings. Peel the lau and divide it in 4-cm-large chunks.
  3. Transfer the lau to a saucepan and add just enough water to submerge the lau. With the lid on, steam them on medium heat till they are 90 per cent done. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and set aside.
  4. In a kadai, heat 20 g mustard oil till it starts smoking lightly and changes colour to a pale yellow.
  5. Add the korola rings and fry them till they are golden (for about 4 minutes). Remove them from the oil and set aside.
  6. Now, temper the same oil with the dried red chilli, bay leaf, mustard seeds (shorshe), and fenugreek seeds (methi).
  7. Just as the methi turns reddish in colour, add the grated coconut. Fry it on medium heat for about 2 minutes till it turns light brown.
  8. Now add half of the ginger (that is, 20 g) to the pan, and fry it for a minute or so.
  9. Add in the boiled moong dal, along with salt and sugar.
  10. Once it has come to a boil, add the fried korola, boiled lau, and the remaining 20 g of ginger paste. This will accentuate the gingery flavours of the dish.
  11. Let everything bubble for a good 6 to 7 minutes. By this point the dal should be infused with the flavours of ginger and korola, and the lau should be fully tender.
  12. Add some ghee, stir it in, cover, and let it rest for 2 minutes before serving.

Served with