"You are going to eat the Kolai Dal with Aloo Posto? But You like Kolai Dal with Aloo Bhate Debjani! Ain't it?" Mehebub asked almost horrifiedly a few days back upon witnessing me clicking the pictures.
"Yes, I like my portion of Biulir Dal with Aloo Bhate but 90% of people like it with Aloo Posto so I am clicking that way!" I replied, needless to say while juggling with the camera and tripod.
"That indeed is true, Kolai Dal and Aloo Posto are like Uttam-Suchitra of Bengali cuisine! Ain't it? By the way, why do you call it Biulir Dal instead of Kolai Dal? is this a Kolkata thing?"
I replied irritatedly, "See there is nothing fancy with the name Biulir Dal; it is just what we call it! You can call it Urad dal too! So stop irritating me and listen if the combo of Kolai Dal and Aloo Posto is Uttam-Suchitra then Kolai Dal- Aloo Bhate combo is none other than Uttam Kumar and Supriya Devi!"
Bengali Kolai dal aka biuli dal
If at this point a Bengali is reading the post, I know there is no need to give any reference but in case you are not familiar with the names mentioned; Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, and Supriya Devi are legendary Bengali Film Stars. On this note let me now share the Recipe of Uttam Kumar, I mean Kalai Dal; given Suchitra Sen (Aloo Posto) is already there on my blog and I will post soon about Supriya Devi (Aloo Bhate) :).
Kalai dal, recipe variation at ghoti and bangal households
They say, the people having their roots in West Bengal are having the tendency of adding sugar to every dish they prepare. I must say. Kalai Dal is an exception. No Sugar, prepared with the punch of Fennel Seed, Asafoetida, and Chillis and served with a dash of lemon juice, Kalai Dal is indeed a gem from the Bengali cuisine. Okay, I am really not sure whether anybody adds sugar or not at least they don't add it at my parental house, in-laws, or grandmom's place.
Before going further with the recipe, here's the little bit I learned from my dida about Biulir Dal. "don't over-cook your Biulir Dal, it should have the body, but not mussy!" Hence, this kind is the thumb rule for me not to over-cook the dal, the moderately thick consistency, and the special aroma of Asafoetida, ginger, and Mouri bata (Fennel Seed Paste. A dash of lemon is a must and for that matter, it has to be the Gandhoraj Lebu.
Here's how I cook Kolai dal aka korai dal aka biulir dal at debjanir rannagharPrint
- 1 cup Vigna mungo / Urad Dal / Kolai Dal/ Biuli Dal (without skin)
- 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- 3-4 Green Chillies
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 Dry Red chili
- 1 Tsp. Fennel Seed
- ½ Tsp. Asafoetida
- ¼ Tsp. Turmeric Powder (optional)
- 1 Tsp. Salt or to Taste
- 2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- Soak Fennel Seed in water for 15 minutes and roughly crush the Seeds either using a mortar pestle or Shil Batta.
- Wash the Lentil under running water 2-3 times.
- Take the dal along with ½ Tsp. of salt, turmeric Powder and 3 Cups of Water in a pressure cooker.
- Cook on high flame with the lid and weight on until 1 whistle comes out from the cooker.
- Reduce the flame and cook till 2 more whistles come out.
- The Dal must not be soggy. The texture is really important when it comes to Kalai Dal.
- Switch the flame off and wait till the pressure drops completely.
- Open the lead of the cooker.
- Heat the oil in a pan and temper it with the Red Chili and Asafoetida.
- Add Ginger Paste and crushed fennel Seed and cook for a minute on low flame.
- Now add the tempering to the cooked Kali Dal.
- Add slitted green Chili and if required little salt.
- Mix thoroughly and cook for around 5 minutes on low flame.
- Adjust the water accordingly. The Dal will be moderately thick, not mussy but well-cooked.
- Once done add the lemon juice and mix.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 25g
- Calories: 68
- Sugar: 0.8g
- Sodium: 978mg
- Fat: 0.9g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 10.6g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
To serve Kolai Dal:
You need to know till now 😛 ! okay, my friend, serve the Dal with steamed rice and either Aloo Posto or Aloo Bhate and a slice of Gandhoraj Lebu (lime) and enjoy the epitome of the comfort meal. A power nap is a must upon completion of the meal!
Have you tried the Kolai Dal/ Bengali Urad Dal Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on email@example.com or on Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.