Chal kumro diye moong dal recipe is a simple dal with winter melon which is comfort food served with rice or roti.
Winter melon is also known as Ash gourd. My Kerala style Kumbalanga Parippu Curry is made with winter melon but uses toor dal and coconut. But today's recipe is a bong-style recipe using moong dal and Calcutta style 5-spices called Panch Phoran.
Chal kumro diye muger dal
This Bengali dish called "chal kumro diye moong dal" recipe translates to "winter melon with yellow mung lentils". The duo of lentils with vegetables, particularly the gourd family like - bottle gourd, ash gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, etc. is common across India. And you will find similar recipes cooked differently with regionally grown spices.
To make your stock of Panch Phoran (5 spices) take equal parts of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a bottle and shake well before using it.
You can use panch phoran for tempering aka tadka your dals or stir-fries for a bong flavour. If you are like me, you will fall in love with the aroma.
- Winter melon: There is no difference between winter melon and ash gourd. Both refer to the same vegetable. It comes in different sizes and is mostly oblong. In Tamizh we called it Neer Poosanikkai and Kumbalam in Malayalam.
- moong dal (sometimes labelled as yellow split mung bean)
- dried red chilli
- hing (asafoetida)
- panch phoran: If you are not a fan of this 5-spices, then use cumin seeds instead.
- bay leaf
- coriander leaves
How to make it?
Use a thick-bottomed pot or a pressure cooker. Measure out the dal and pick any debris. Don't have to wash the dal.
Dry roast the yellow mung dal on low flame until they turn golden and become fragrant. Transfer them to a bowl and let them cool.
Heat ghee in a pressure cooker pan.
Add the panch phoran or cumin seeds and when they splutter add the asafoetida, green chilli, dry red chilli and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.
Next, add the chopped winter melon (ash gourd).
Add salt and turmeric and toss well.
Add the roasted moong dal and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, then add a few drops of water but may not require as the melon will release water.
Cook for two to three whistles or 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat and switch off. Let the pressure go off on its own. Serve warm with rice or roti.
Winter Melon with Yellow Mung | Chaal Kumro Diye Muger Dal
- 3 cups ash gourd winter melon (cut into cubes)
- ½ cup yellow mung dal no need to wash
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 2 dried red chillies
- 2 green chillies slit
- 1 pinch a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or (Panch Phoran)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Pick any visible debris or bad pieces. Dry roast the yellow mung dal in a thick-bottomed pan or pressure cooker pan until they turn golden and become fragrant. Transfer them to a bowl and let them cool.½ cup yellow mung dal
- Heat ghee in a pressure cooker pan. Add the panch phoran or cumin seeds and when they splutter add the asafoetida, green chilli, dry red chilli and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.2 teaspoons ghee, 2 green chillies, 1 pinch a pinch of hing, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2 dried red chillies
- Add the chopped winter melon (ash gourd), salt and turmeric and toss well.3 cups ash gourd, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, salt to taste
- Add the roasted lentils, and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, then add a few drops of water but may not require it as the melon will anyways release water. Cook for about two whistles and switch off. Let the pressure go off on its own.
- Uncover and check the doneness of the lentils, and melon and adjust the salt. Everything should retain its shape and be soft.
- Serve hot with a dash of ghee tossed in it and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Traditionally this is served with hot white rice but we enjoyed it with some chapatis.fresh coriander leaves
Adapted from eCurry and my friend, Rajsree.