Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Lau diye Mushur Dal / Bottle gourd cooked with Red lentils

My blog is slowly turning into more of a bird zoo.
And my life is turning more haphazard, out of tune and out of my hands than I ever wanted it to be.

Nose deep into work, maid absconding ... so nose deep into house work too , DH down with the sniffles now ... read needs more attention than an infant ... , beautiful weather mocking, ... so all I do now is crib, work, crib, crib, work, crib, crib .... .

And on the top of it, the little fellows on my balcony are driving me insane.

This morning started with screeches of alarm from Mr. & Mrs. Shalik. Hurriedly step out into the balcony.
This sight greeted me.

Ever since the birds made their home here, I have dreaded this day. It had fallen from the nest that is about 9 feet high, but was ok. A strong breeze kept blowing it away ... it desperately trying to hold on to the floor.

The parents keep screaming. DH puts on gloves ( they should not have the smell of human beings on them ) and picks it up.

Puts it back firmly in the nest with the rest of the babies.

Quiet and normal noises made by the birds assure us everything is fine.

Half an hour later screeching starts.
Baby is down again. This time not moving but breathing. Again put back.

Half an hour later baby down again.

Something is wrong. We try to think of possibilities. Maybe they are too crowded and the weakest is getting the boot. Maybe they have rejected it due to the smell of the rubber gloves.

Any other animal ... pups, kittens, anything else .... I would have confidently dealt with. But have no idea what to do with so small baby birds.

So called up Blue Cross Society. They directed us to the city zoo. Thankfully they took us seriously and sent us their volunteer nearest to our place of stay.

I was initially sceptical. But the way gentle and deft way the man dealt with the baby bird put my fears to rest.
He said the baby has an infection ... so is being rejected by the parents lest the others catch the same.

He treated and carried it away to the zoo where special doctors for birds will take care of it.


This dal has been sitting in my drafts for a long time. A quick, healthy, light and simple dal, this is very good on the tummy ... especially if you have been ill and returning to normal food ... or if you want a light meal.

I use the tempering of Paanch Phoron here as I love the slightly achaari flavour it gives when paired with mustard oil and Mushur dal.

Need :
Musur dal / Masoor dal / Red lentils
Lau / Lauki / Bottle gourd - peeled and cut into small cubes
Paanch phoron ( a mix of mustard + fennel + fenugreek + cumin + nigella seeds )
Mustard oil - to temper
Haldi / Turmeric powder
Sliced onions
Whole dry red chillies
Salt to taste
Water to cook

How to :
Wash the dal and keep aside.

Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the Panch phoron and the dry chilles.

When they start to splutter add onion and fry for a while.

Now add the bottle gourd and stir for some time.

Then add the dal and keep stirring.
Then add the turmeric powder, salt and water.

Close cooker and cook for 2 whistles on low heat.

Remove cover when cooker has cooled.

Give the dal a stir ... check for seasoning.

If needed add some more water and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve hot.

Goes great with plain rice or rotis and a dry dish on the side.

Blogger is going bonkers. Many of you have not been able to leave comments.
I have not been able to view comments ... I see 5 comments and get to read 1 ... that way.
And I have no idea what's going on.
So please bear with me ... if not with Blogspot.
C' ya all soon folks !!


  1. Dhal looks absolutely delicious, that's so kind of you to take care of that cute little one:-)

  2. Its indeed a great side dish..easy and quick to make.

  3. Sharmila, I am reading this book about a lady who rehabilitates injured birds. The weakest of the babies gets the boot by the parents for the survival of the healthier ones. Nature!!

    As for the bottle gourd, looks perfect.

  4. I am touched by the way you dealt with this Shalik fledgling. I hope its cured soon. I am softie when it comes to birds and animals.

    Nature's ways are funny. But glad they make people like you.

  5. The Daal looks stunning ..... in Orissa we prepare something very similar but the dal we use is Chana Daal.
    Hope allz well with lil birdie ...


  6. Looks very healthy and yumm!

  7. That's such a simple and light-looking dal. I've made dal with bottlegourd and toor - didn't think much of it, maybe I'll try tempering it with some panch phoron

  8. Orre baba, koto kichu hoy. Shalik er baba ma bhari cruel to. Thik hoye gele ki choto shalik ke baba ma'r kache diye jabe ?

    Ami pakhi ekdom handle korte parbo na, oi rokom pore geche dekhle chilliye ekakar

  9. Yeah,thats what nature is all about --Survival of the fittest.Hope that lil bird finally got a place to call home.And i really appreciate the way you handled this episode.
    Mushur dal lao diye banae ni konodin,eyibaar try korbo.
    hugs and smiles

  10. A very simple but tasty recipe. I tried it out today, added a few chopped carrots along with the bottle gourd. The dal came out perfect and so yummy.

  11. Thanks Umm, A2Z, Parita !

    Indo .. I knew about this but saw and experienced it for the first time. Nature sure awes me now. :-)

    Thanks Pree! The fledgling was lucky to be here ... had it been out in the open it would have been history by now. :-)

    Satrupa ... I use the chana dal and vegetables to make the dalma. :-)

    Sra .. my guess is panch phoron won't work with toor for this. Try red masoor along with it. Personally I like the bottle gourd with the chana dal and dryish .. you can find it a couple of posts back. :-)

    Sandeepa ... Na .. birds never accept their young if touched by humans. Baby bird will grow in the zoo and get released in the wild.
    Ar ami eshob korini ... shob bor koreche ... oituku dekhte kintu ja chitkar koreche na pakhita ... paa diye scratch korteo try koreche. :-)

    Right Jaya ... survival of the fittest. :-)

    That's wonderful Madhu. I make dal with a lot of vegetables that is called the dalma in Orissa ... you may like it. Posted a very long time back. :-)

  12. I do not know whether the birds were cruel or kind. They had to sacrifice the sick one to keep the remaining ones healthy. I wonder what kind of infection the poor baby had and how the parents came to know about it. I am impressed with the quick response of the Blue Cross team. I did not know there was such a thing in the first place.
    I do make moong dal with lau once in a while, have never made with mushur dal. Kids do not like torkari diye dal and I rarely get to experiment with such stuff.

  13. That is so sweet of the both of you, the way you cared for the little bird.

    This is such a simple yet delicious dal, looks very creamy and must be very satisfying too.

  14. that's so wonderful that you rescued this little bird sharmila! Dal looks so comforting.

  15. Thats a beautiful balance between meals and helping a little one..that made your dal even more special coz it had a special someone to view it..a little birdie:) so cute!
    Youve done a great job by getting it to the zoo, most of the times when such things happen, one doesnt know what to do.Great Job!

  16. The dal looks so delish and comforting..

  17. Sharmila, I as looking for your email address, but realized I don't have it. Check my Blog when you can.

  18. Hi...looks healthy and delicious dear....

  19. So nice of u guys to save the lill birdie.

  20. Aparna ... this happens in the animal and bird world all the time. A sick or injured cub or chick is always a drawback and a liability. So is rejected.
    It was a skin infection ... and birds/animals somehow know. I have seen the parents feed the chicks neem leaves too ... so I guess they know. :-)

    Thanks Aqua, Mandira, ANB, aipi, T&T, Neema! :-)

    Getting back to you Pree. :-)

  21. Hy Sharmila,
    First time here...loved your space and beautiful posts...! Am your happy follower now..:)
    Do drop in at my blog sometime..
    Loved the golden sunshine color of the dal and neat presentation.

  22. Thank God for sending people like you, you did a great job and hugs for this. hope the baby is fine by now.
    Lau dal amar most favourite summer dish. ghee ar garam bhat e...heaven

  23. tomar post-ta pore ke bondhur kotha mone pore gelo.
    but unfortunately in her case, the poor bird did not make it through.
    jai hok, dal ta dekhte darun hoyeche; khete nishchoi aro bhalo hoyechilo.

  24. Thanks Jay! :-)

    Thanks Sayantani! I hope the same too. :-)

    Thanks Anon! Tomar naam ta jante parle bhalo lagto. :-)

  25. Aww.. how cute is that baby bird!!! Glad he was taken care of. Bottle gourd is supposed to be good for nursing moms and I've been having various lauki concoctions these past few months. Your dish looks good, S!

  26. Sharmilla,
    That was so kind of you and your husband to make sure that the chick got a safe home. I am so scared of looking, touching or being near a bird, I would have totally freaked out!
    The dal looks good. I have never made a dal with panch phoran though. Will try it.

  27. You are such a sweet soul, Sharmila, to take care of that poor baby bird. Kudos to you, and bless your heart. He/she looks absolutely adorable and completely bewildered. I hope the zoo folks take care of him and send him flying off as soon as he's old enough to do so.

  28. Searching something with Lau and reached here.Really moved by your bird episode.Have faced many such events in childhood but never could save one.Your recipe looks delicious an very easy.Gonna try now !!

  29. Plz gv the quantities of ingredients also.. i m confused


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