Wednesday, November 25, 2009


THIS IS A VEGETARIAN  DISH ( making it non-veg is optional, see at the end).

The excitement of house painting, flower vase breaking, which went  unnoticed then, were over. The kitchen was recommissioned in a hurry by my wife ( I pretended that I was doing all the work).
I quickly fixed up the menu and moved in to the kitchen. The Dum Gobi -Alu, which all of you have tasted virtually and appreciated virtually too,  was cooked in no time. 
For a mandatory non-veg dish I was wondering what I should cook, there was nothing in the  fridge to my knowledge and that was a matter of great concern. I was tired of eating all kind of delivered dishes from the near by food joint.
Suddenly I remembered, a fish head ( Rui fish) was supposed to be there in the  fridge.  Now I could cook my wife's favourite dish, the Dal with fish head. I was relaxed, took out a cigarette from my secrete vault, went to the balcony had a healthy and refreshing smoke, dig a bit of soil from the money plant pot, buried the bud, covered it and came back to kitchen. ( I think the money plant is dead because of excessive nicotine in the soil).
Alas , when I opened the fridge , the fish head was missing. I called up my wife and came to know that the fish head had been donated to the maid before the painting started. But that did not solve my problem. Every thing had been lined up, roasted dal, spice paste etc etc.
I didn't have a pond in my back yard from where I could catch a fish , behead it and use. ( This back yard facility dialogue is learnt from Bong Mom's blog  'I didn't have a goat tied in my backyard and so had to resort to mushroom...( Goat Liver was not available , so Mushroom was used)'. But Bong Mom came up with the Mushroom alternative,  I was not lucky , so decided to proceed without the fish-head; after all grape is sometime sour so also fish head is bad for health under the circumstances. 
So I decided to cook the dal without fish head..and believe me , the taste was superb and I did not miss the fish head at all..
Logically I should stop here now because any one can go to internet and find a recipe for " Dal with fish head bong style" and cook it without the fish head.
 But I am just writing the recipe based on what I did and for the vege friends...Vege friends will never look at the recipe if it contains fish head.
The recipe is very simple with the usual spices. What makes the aroma so distinct is the combined effect of the condiments and  roasted Mung dal. The flavor  will be very different with any other dal but wont be anywhere near the roasted Mung dal dish. The presence or absence of fish head doesn't change the flavor significantly.
Mung Dal 1 cup ( 150 ml)
Green chili 4-6 number
Tomato 1 medium cut to 4 pcs
Onion 1 small 1.5 inch , chopped fine
Onion 1 small ground 
ginger paste 2 tsp
garlic paste 1 tsp.
Cumin powder 1tsp
coriandor powder 2 tsp 
chili powder 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp ( level)
Oil 4 tsp, + ghee 2 tsp ( for garnishing) ( you can use oil and ghee more)
for the dal boiling 
Turmaric 1 tsp ( level) 
cinamon 3/4 inch broken
clove 2 smashed
cardamom 2, smashed
Juliens / chopped  ginger 1 heap tsp
Salt to taste
For seasoning 
Red chili dry 2
cumin 1 tsp level
cardamom 2
Cinnamon 1 in 
clove 2
Black cardamom 1
Bay leaf 1

Optional (I did not use here) 
1/2 tsp bengali garam masala ( powder form equal proportion of cardamum, cinamon, clove) 
Roast the mung dal on medium heat and stir continuously for unifirm roasting until it changes color and you get the aroma of roasted mung Dal. Few grains of Dal may become light brown..dont worry.
Keep one big plate handy, and as soon as the roasting is over, immediately transfer the dal to the plate for fast cooling. Wash Dal thoroughly when it is cool and drain. Dont put water when Dal is hot.
Soak cumin, coriandor, red chili powder in water for 15 minutes. 
Take a pan and boil Dal with ingredients for dal boiling given above. When Dal is cooked stir to make it smooth and keep aside.
Note: In India , if you are using dip tube well water or hard water, boil Dal with mineral water or RO water..basically a soft water is good for Dal.
In A Kadhai or dip pan, put oil and when hot give seasoning , add the chopped Onion and fry , to light brown, (few will become brown).
Add the onion paste and fry on medium heat , when oil starts appearing , add the garlic paste fry for a minute and add ginger paste stir and immediately  add the spice paste and fry for few minutes. ( sprinkle water a little , if it  tends to burn out.)
Add the tomato and stir ( it will just get bit softened but will maintain shape.
Add the dal and mix,  adjust consistency to thin Dal ( close to Sambar or slightly thicker) and boil for 2-3 minutes with lead covered.
Add green chili
Adjust salt and add sugar ( Bongs have  sweet tooth, the sugar is added just to give a very slight sweet may increase the sugar to your taste) 
Add ghee and mix.
sprinkle garam masala ( if you decide to use it for a strong flavor) 
Eat with hot rice.
FOR THE NON-VEGE ( To make with fish head)
The process remains essentially same. Wash and Marinate the fish head ( cut into large pieces)  with turmaric and fry pieces to light brown to brown. Break furhter as the fish gets fried. 
Add the head pieces to the dal after giving seasoning and boil for 5-7 minutes.

And finally another Hibiscus for my foodie friends


Pari said...

Hmmm the dal looks filled with loads of flavors. And am glad it's devoid of the fish head :-)

Sayantani said...

your post makes me Smile. what a superb sense of humor you have and you mixx it in good dose in all posts. love it.

whenever i make macher muro die daal i reserve some for myself and then mix the fish head. it really taste great.

My Experiments with Food said...

Hi Ushnish,
Thanks for the veg version...even though accidental :)
One question - can we replace mung dal with tuvar (arhar) dal?
- MEF (Sticking to the acronym you have suggested :) )

Sharmila said...

Ekhuni cholar daler muri ghonto diye lunch korlam. :-) Ar rui er 4 tukro diye kaliar moto korlam. Amar mung er chaite cholar dal diye beshi bhalo lage. :-)
Aha re ... gaachtake mere fellen smoke koriye koriye ... janen toh passive smoking o illegal .. lol. ;-)

Gouri Guha said...

Hi Ushnish,

I had been on a holiday but have caught up with all that i've missed in these days.

Simply love bhaja munger dal, one of my favourites but avoid onions and prepare it totally niramish.

The red hibiscus adds more colour to your recipe (smiles). Is it from your garden?

sangeeta said...

once you said that you too think that your wife is a superwoman n now i see that you successfully pretend to help her ....i can see something similar to my my household...ha ha..

that money plant may grow smoky leaves in future or may be some nicotine content in the leaves...good news for you??

This daal seems to be very aromatic going by it's ingredients.
..i heard my bong friends talking about this roasted mung dal very passionately but i got taste two dishes made using roasted mung a sago khichri using this and another mung halwa made with roasted mung ...both were yuck...and i never wanted to try it...but one mung dal pithe with a jaggery cooconut filling made with roasted n boiled mung was something we could eat by dozens( both me n A )..and when you posted roasted urad dal recipe i tried roasting urad dal for a different was great.
i think this is because of the treatment you give to the dal while cooking....depends on the cook ...n i now vouch for your recipes...this will be made sooner or later i know.

prasu said...

lovely write up.........thanks for the flowers.......enjoyed the recipe.

Suparna said...

hi ushnish da,
LOL...poor money plant! I guess it tried hard to be ur smoking buddy but alas :)
btw the aloo gobi dum was a super hit! my hubby loved it! very aromatic and flavourful dish I must say!!! coming to the dal this is another one which I wanna try sooner than later to impress my bong hubby :) thanks da!
beautiful flower!

Nandini said...

Mmm...! The dal is full of spiciness and colorful flavors! That's a lovely Hibiscus you have! :)

Preeti Kashyap said...

An impromptu recipe!!!....we veggies got lucky! nice recipe!

SGD said...

Oooofff!! Machher matha diye bhaja moog dal!! Phataphati....ghee gorom moshla'r aroma ta halucinate korchhi!!

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

Sounds interesting!!!Dal looks spicy and delicious!!!
Dried tapioca and sabudana is not the same.It is nothing but fresh tapioca peeled,washed,sliced,boiled and dried in the sun.This can be stored for years.I think it is only available in kerala.Hope this will help u...

preethvijay said...

hi ushnish u r preethi vijay. And this dish is so nice. More than tat ur unique explanation of minute details of the recipes.

Siddhi Shirsat said...

hey this dal luks nice n spicy...i dint knw that evn mung dal can be used 2 mak a dal vl realy taste nice...method of prep is realy good

kothiyavunu said...

lovely writeup & flower..Thats such a good way to enjoy dal, this sounds more fun with fish head, will def try your way the next time :-)Thanks for sharing.

Babli said...

I love dal with fish head. Its delicious and yummy. Wonderful presentation.
Please collect your award from my blog.

My cooking experiments said...

Thank God you did not find the fish head and the recipe turned veg,lucky vegetarians like me.Using mineral water for dhal is good info i did not know!

Muraligeetham said...

Dal without fish head looks delicious and explained everything in an interesting way! though you dont have a pond in the back yard to catch fish, i guess you have a wonderful garden in front yard to pluck new flowers each day for your friends .thanks for sharing .

Muraligeetham said...

hi, ofcourse you can make ctlets with the availbale minced meat you have with..thanks for the encouraging comments. And greeat to know that you r interested in trying out kerala dishes ..
have a good day !

Akal's Saappadu said...

I have to say that more than the recipe, I simply enjoyed reading your anecdotes about the donated fish head and the poor money plant :):) it's so nice reading you!

The dhal sounds perfect and the one new thing for me is the addition of garam masala for cooking the dhal as well as for the tempering. the dhal must have been well flavoured i guess; and secondly, I've never heard of adding fish heads to the dhal but we do appreciate so much the fried fish with dhal aside, yummy yumm, that's a superb combination. I'll try making the dhal with the fish heads next time :) and that's a lovely hibiscus!! have a nice day!!

Malar Gandhi said...

Comeon 'No Fish'!!!:(

I enjoyed reading your post, too kool...ha ha poor money plant, wish your wife catch you red hand,...kidding. Fish head donated to the maid!!:( I was just wud probably go to the market(b'4 reading the entire article)!!

Hmmm, one of my classmate...a Bengali cooked this dish for us, enjoyed it to the core, I consider fish head is a delicasy:)

jeyashrisuresh said...

Thank u very much for visiting my blog and leaving such an encouraging comment.
Dal looks nice andthank god u didnt add the fish head.Nice blogs u have.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear All
Thank you very much for all your great comments and sharing of knowledge.
Unlike me, I am unable to respond individually due to some unforeseen time constraints and will respond to specific query and suggestions after 3rd Dec..
I am whistling and will be driving in my dream lands the Himalayas (Kumaon sojourn, see my blog Indian Himalayas)
See you soon and Happy weekend