“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% 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 Kolkata thing?”
I replied irritatedly, “See there is nothing fancy with the name Biulir Dal; it is just we call it! You can call it Urad dal too! So stop irritate 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!”
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) :).
They say, the people having their root in West Bengal are having the tendency of adding sugar in every dish they prepare. I must say. Kalai Dal is an exception. No Sugar, prepared with the punch of Fennel Seed, and Asafoetida and Chillis and served with a dash of lemon juice, Kalai Dal 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 at my parental house, or in-laws or grand mom’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 of is the thumb rule for me that not to over-cook the dal, the moderately thick consistency and the special aroma of Asafotida, ginger and Mouri bata (Fennel Seed Paste. A dash of lemon is must and for that matter, it has to be the Gandhoraj Lebu.
- Serves: 4 People
- Serving size: 25g
- Calories: 68
- Fat: 0.9g
- Saturated fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 10.6g
- Sugar: 0.8g
- Sodium: 978mg
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Vigna mungo / Urad Dal / Kolai Dal/ Biuli Dal: 1 Cup (without skin)
- Ginger Paste: 1 Tsp.
- Green Chili: 3-4
- Lemon Juice: 1 Tbsp.
- Dry Red chili: 1
- Fennel Seed: 1 Tsp.
- Asafoetida: ½ Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: ¼ Tsp. (optional)
- Salt: to Taste
- Mustard Oil: 2 Tbsp.
- 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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or in Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.