Saturday, 19 June 2010

Bhaja Muger Dal & Crispy Fried Parwal

The Bhaja Muger dal ( Dry roasted and cooked mung / moong lentils ) has been a request from an old reader of my blog ... Vaishnavi ... from a considerable long time back. I know I have been very late in posting this ... but then ... well ... here it is ... a very flavourful yet very simple dal that tastes awesome with plain steamed rice.

This dal tastes very different from what raw moong dal tastes when cooked. Try the tempering used here with raw moong dal once ... which is also wonderful in taste and flavour ... and you will know.
Just one mouthful of this dal with rice takes you to heaven ... and back ... for another mouthful.

I recommend cooking this in ghee. If cooking in oil, top it with a spoonful of ghee after it is done.

Bhaja Muger Dal

Need :

1 cup Moong / Mung dal
2 Green chillies - chopped
1 inch Ginger - chopped very finely
1/2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
A little Haldi / Turmeric powder
1 tsp Ghee / Clarified butter or 1 tsp Mustard oil
2 Tej pata / Bay leaves
Salt to taste
Water to cook ( around 3 cups )

How to :

Take a thick bottomed pan .. preferably cast iron kadahi / wok ... or a non stick utensil would do too ... but it has to be a heavy one.

Tip in the cupful of mung dal into it and put it on low flame.

Keep stirring continiously ... the dal will slowly get roasted and turn golden in colour and let out an aroma. Do not leave the place even for a moment .. it burns real quick.

As soon as the dal turns golden ... turn off heat and remove pan ... keep stirring for some more time till the pan / kadahi cools.

Wash the dal and keep aside.

Take a pressure cooker. Put in the dal, water, salt and haldi. Close and cook till 2 whistles on low heat.

Or you can soak the dal for around an hour and then run it in the MW oven at 60% for 10 minutes.

Heat ghee ( or mustard oil ) in another pan or kadahi.

Add the jeera. When it starts to splutter ( do not burn it ), add the tej patta and the ginger.

Stir a little and add the green chillies.

Add the dal and stir well.

Adjust salt and water to get desired consistency.

Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer for around 5 minutes.

Serve very hot with steamed rice.

Preferably with some vegetable fry on the side.

I had some Parwal / Potol / Pointed gourd ... so here's my crispy fried Parwal or muchmuche Potol bhaja.

Crispy Fried Parwal / Pointed Gourd

It is Parwal / Padwal / Potol / Pointed Gourd season.
Bengalis make a whole variety of dishes with this vegetable.
But I love it crispy fried ... like this. Crispy yet retaining the sweetness of the vegetable.

This way of coating with rice flour and frying the vegetables is more common in Odisha ... which is very different from the usual Bengali way of frying vegetables.

While I am used to this way due to our Oriya cook, DH fell in love with this kind of fries on our trip to Chilika ... and later many other places in Orissa that we have visited.
For a vegetarian, this is like manna from heaven ... if you are not into those heavy paneer masala, etc. types of food.

The crispiness comes from the rice flour. So this is known as Pithau bhaja in Odiya.
And since it is shallow fried, no too much of oil into you ... as opposed to the usual Bengali way of bhajas / fries that are most of the time deep fried.

You can fry other vegetables like the Karela / Bitter gourd, Potatoes, Onions, Cauliflower, etc. this way too.
And this is a great hit with kids too .. an easy way to get some veggies into them.

This is quick to make and tastes best when eaten hot. So prepare everything and fry just before serving a meal.

So here is the Potola pithau bhaja for you.

Need :

Parwal / Pointed gourd - peeled and cut into very thin slices
Rice flour - a few spoonfuls to to coat the slices well
Chopped green chillies ( optional )
Salt to taste
Oil to shallow fry

How to :

Toss everything except the oil together in a bowl.

Take a flat bottomed heavy or non stick pan and heat some oil ... spreading the oil all over properly.

Put in the sliced and coated parwal and spread them so that they do not stick to form a lump.

Fry till golden brown.

Serve hot

Here's another look of this simple yet very tasty and flavourful lunch.

Have a great weekend all!!

Do check out Sandeepa's and Mandira's versions of the Bhaja muger dal.


  1. Simple n delicious much I love these..the parwal looks so gud

  2. looks delicious Sharmila ..
    hugs and smiles

  3. very yummy lunch. simple but flavorful... i like the fried mung dal, can't eat the raw one... the taste of fried mung is sooo good.

  4. thats ultimate comfort food. tumi ajkal sab amar pachonder khabar banacho dekhe mone hoche tomar okhane gie thaki kadin. tabe thik bolecho ami kakhano ebhabe bhaja khaini. dekhete darun lagche aar tel o kam lage. aaj weekly veggie shopping korechi. kal eta lunch e banie janachi.

  5. Looks good, especially the fried parwal. I will keep my eyes open for them and buy them this time, usually I don't as I don't know them from experience.

    The dal is the ultimate comfort food.

  6. Hey Sharmila..never thought of deep frying parwal...tats really good.
    N hw good is ur dal...dry roasted..liked it.
    Tis is comfort food for me...n wud be happy if served everyday.

  7. A different recipe for me and looks like a comfort meal so inviting....

  8. Bhaja Muger Daal is one of my favorite dals, my Mum also adds a handful of green peas when in season. Aami erom kore potol bhaja kono din khayee nee. It looks so tempting.

  9. shotti etaa comfort food...I am for it anytime.

  10. like!!!!!

  11. This one is my husband's favourite, he loves muger dal and bhaja!

  12. Your blog always makes my mouth water, Sharmila. I am a huge fan of your simple, homecooked recipes, and that padwal definitely looks like heaven!

  13. Delicious combination, loved the crispy parwal !

  14. Thanks Priti, Jaya, Somoo, Sayantani, Rekha, Pree, Joyee, S, Aparna, Vaishali, Usha, Rashmi! :-)

    Thanks ISG! I should have included a snap of the vegetable ... will update the post. :-)

    Thanks Chetana! It is not deep fried ... only shallow fried in very little oil. :-)

  15. comfort food at its best! love the pics Sharmila.

  16. Bhaja mooger dal is manna for me:-) ami think ei bhabei kori. Where did you use the mustard oil?

    potol er chobi ta dekhei bhabchilam je ei bhabhe coating kore kono din khayini... ekhane potol payina and I am waiting kobe deshe jaabo to tat it. I can just imagine the taste. Will try the other veggies with rice flour. nice idea and way lighter than besan.

  17. Thanks Mandira! :-)

    Thanks Soma! Amar o ei pyaj chara version ta bhalo lage.
    I have given mustard oil as an alternative to the ghee ... corrected the post. Try the rice flour coating with potatoes ... too good. :-)

  18. Roasting certainly enhances the flavor of moong,love it with the crispy parwal :D

  19. Dear Sharmila

    Sorry for the long delay in acknowledging your post. Thank you so much for this recipe - I love the simplicity of this dal and will definitely try it this week and let you know how it goes.

    Take care. Can't wait to have you back :-)

  20. Dear Sharmila - I finally made this dal yesterday and it came out really well. Sorry it took me so long to try this - don't laugh at my excuse - I ran out of moong dal and haven't had the time to visit the Indian store to get some!

    I will be making this dal more frequently - hubby thought it tasted authentic (yay!) and I love the flavour and taste. Thank you :-)

  21. Aami kakhono eirokom patol bhaja khaini. Tomar maton try kore dekhlam. Ki shundor crispy hoyechhe aar potol er ekta shundor mishti taste chhilo.

  22. Thanks Yasmeen! :-)

    Lol Vaishnavi ... happens to all of us. Glad you liked it. :-)

    Ekdom thik Madhu ... even I have noticed that sweetness. :-)

  23. Hey Sharmila, I made this today and it is gracing my blog right now. It is a lot like my mummy's moong dal except that she uses sunflower oil for tadka and adds hing and curry leaves. Delicious.


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