Gondhoraj Lebu Masoor Dal with Amada/ Lentils with Gondhoraj Lime and Mango Ginger
An aromatic lentils dish from Bengali cuisine, with pink/ red masoor dal, Gondhoraj lime leaves and juice, mango ginger/ amada and Bengali spices i.e. panch phoron and randhuni
Servings: 2 people
For Cooking Masoor Dal
- 1 cup Masoor dal/ red lentils split, skinless masoor dal
- ⅛ teaspoon Turmeric powder a pinch
- 2 cups Water for cooking the dal
For Panch Phoron/ Bengali Spice Mix
- ¼ teaspoon Mustard seeds/ rai Black or yellow
- ¼ teaspoon Nigella seeds/ kalonji
- ¼ teaspoon Fennel seeds/ saunf
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds/ jeera
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds/ methi
For Gondhoraj Lebu Masoor Dal
- 2 teaspoons Mustard oil or a mild vegetable oil: see the post above
- 1 tablespoon Mango ginger/ amada/ amba haldi peeled and minced
- 1.5 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt or, to your taste
- ⅛ teaspoon Sugar a pinch
- 1 Green chili split in the middle but kept whole at both ends
- 2-3 Gondhoraj Lime leaves or kaffir lime leaves or other lemon leaves
- ¼ teaspoon Gondhoraj Lime juice
- ⅛ teaspoon Randhuni spice Roasted dry, and powdered/ a pinch
To Cook Masoor Dal
Wash, drain and soak masoor dal in water sufficient to cover its surface, for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse, discarding the water in which soaked.Pressure cook for 1 whistle (the dal cooks fast) with turmeric powder and 2 cups of water.Allow the cooker to cool on its own. Once opened, mash or whisk the dal. Leave aside till required.
Wash, peel and mince (slice into very small pieces) amada/ mango gingerRoast a pinch of radhuni spice on a dry kadai/frying pan, and powder it (a small mortar pestle comes in handy here, as the quantity is rather small)Wash, dry and slit a green chili in such a way that it remains whole at the top and bottom Wash, zest the Gondhoraj lime (if you would like to use the zest in some other dish). Slice it into two, vertically (the traditional way of slicing this lime). Squeeze (you will need to use some effort, as it is not easy to extract the juice) required juice from one piece of lime. Wash and dry the leaves. Set it all aside till required.
To Make Gondhoraj Lebu Masoor Dal with Amada
Heat mustard oil in a kadai/ frying pan till it just begins to smoke. Quickly add the panch phoron spice mix (all the whole spices listed above) together. Saute for about 30 seconds till the mustard finishes crackling.
Add minced amada/ mango ginger, stir for about 30 seconds
Add the mashed/ whisked masoor dal. Add 1 to 1.5 cups of water, or less, depending on how thick you want the dal to be. I like my dal fluid, so I added 1.5 cups.Add salt, a pinch of sugar and the slit green chili. Stir.Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes till the flavours blend. Turn off the heat. Quickly add the Gondhoraj lebu juice and roasted randhuni powder. Crush the lime leaves to release fragrance, and add. Cover the pot.Serve hot with gobinbhog or basmati rice, ghee and baigun (brinjal) bhaja or aloo (potato) bhaja. The green chili is to be removed from the dal and mashed into the rice, for those who like some heat in the meal.As lime juice and the leaves will give a bitter taste if reheated, the dal is best as soon as it is made.