Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mushur Dal Sheddho / Boiled Masoor Dal*
To me, summer means a hardworking sun.
Summer means new leaves and fragrant flowers on the mango trees.
Summer means that light, soothing breeze from the pond, in the afternoons, when the fans did not work due to load shedding.
Summer means the sweet, ripe mangoes that were plucked in the morning and kept on wet sand, for us children to wake up  from our afternoon nap and bite into.
Summer means yellow, mango juice stains on white frocks.

Summer meant waking up to the fragrance of the Bel phool ( Mogra flower ) plants under Thamma's window, near her head.
Summer means evenings with a balmy breeze.
Summer means that beautiful smell of dry, thirsty earth when I watered our garden with a hosepipe.

Summer means light food.
Summer means Ma's watermelon juice.
Summer means the bunches of sweet Lichu (Lychee) that Bapi brought.

Summer means Thamma's achars and ambols.

Summer means Dadu's house and paanto bhaat.
With aloo sheddho, dal sheddho, maach makha, bori bhaja and shaak bhaja.
With a drop or two of achar er tel or pickle oil.
Summer means lying on the cool floor of red cement, polished with time, in Dadu's house after a lunch of paanto.
And listen to the repeated creaks of the old fan, that slowly lulls you sleep.

Summer is made of things memories are made of.*
I can go on and on.
Though officially summer hasn't set in, not yet.
But the weather outside surely spells summer.
It is extremely hot and given Pune's dry and humid free weather, burning hot is more apt to describe it.
But nature still is in spring and the trees are still bare.
New, baby leaves are yet to come.

And in these days, all I crave is plain steamed or boiled food.
As light as possible.
Given my way of cooking, food can't get any lighter in my home. But I still cannot stand a tempering of spices, leave alone frying pastes and making gravies.
Which is why I am resorting to plain boiled food.

In the Bengali way of cooking, plain boiled food can be made extremely tasty.
If you have made friends with the mustard oil, then you have won the battle already.
And if not, there is always ghee.
One dollop and a boiled and mashed vegetable, with some green chilli mashed in, it tastes like manna from heaven.
You have to try it to believe me.

I make this dal sheddho a lot, both during summer and winter.
Red masoor dal is high in protein and is very healthy.
In winters, I use it to make vegetable soups.
Or just sip on its water when plain boiled , with a drop of ghee or butter and some freshly ground black pepper.
Does wonders to a sore throat.

In summer, I jazz it up with some raw chopped onions and green chillies.
A dash of mustard oil is all that is needed for fragrance and that kick, to take it to the next level.
If having it with the paanto bhaat, I keep it thicker so that it is easy to mash.
And for eating it with rice, I keep it slightly diluted.
Like I did this time, when I made it for lunch.*
The recipe is fairly simple.

Need :

Red Masoor dal - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Onion - 1 medium, chopped into very small pieces
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Coriander leaves - chopped ( optional , I use only in winters )
Salt - to taste
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 3 cups ( use the same cup used for measuring the dal )

How to :

Boil the dal with the turmeric powder + water + salt in a pressure cooker.

Remove and cool a little.

Add the chopped onion + green chillies + coriander leaves.
Add the onions only when the dal cools down.

Top it with mustard oil.

Serve warm with rice.*

Here is a picture of my light, simple lunch with the Dal sheddho, some Dharosh (Okra)  bhaja  and some biulir daler bora.
Post on Dharosh bhaja is coming up soon.



  1. একমত, শর্মিলা। আমাদের তো যেদিন ভাত, ডালসেদ্ধ, আলুসেদ্ধ, ডিমসেদ্ধ হয়, সেদিন আমরা "সেদ্ধভাত পার্টি" করি। অত তৃপ্তি শত মুরগিমটনেও হয় না।

    1. Etar saathe amio ek mot, koekdin khub beshi mosladar khabar khawa hoye gele tarporer din aalo seddo bhat must.

    2. achaarer tel r aloo seddo bhat amar fav.
      Kokhono aloo seddo diye muri makhiye aacharer tel r besoner bora diye kheye dekho...byapok laagbe.
      Mushur daal seddho amio prefer kori khub...very good for health.

  2. Thik bolecho Kuntala. Murgi mutton er dhaare kaache o ashe na.
    Ar shobcheye bhalo kotha holo je eyi rokom sheddho both winter ar summer duto shomoye e darun laage .... kokhono gorom gorom, abar kokhono thanda.

  3. Ami aloor chop ba shingara mekhe muri khete khub bhalobashi Jyotirmoy.
    Kintu aloo sheddho diye kokhono khaini ... ekdin bikele r chaa er shathe try kore dekhbo.

  4. I already ate the dal in my mind.. What are the accompaniments? Chingri? And bhindi fry? Can't see from far..

    By the way the table cloth is preety

    Warmest regards,

    1. It is dal fritters/pakodas and bhindi fry. :-)

  5. Really enjoyed your write-up about summer Sharmila. It reminded me of my childhood summers spent in Delhi at my Nani's home. Here, Spring is still in two minds - it's so cold, but the days are brightening and I hear the birds chirping earlier and earlier in the mornings...

    Dal looks yummy, perfect comfort food... waiting to read your dharosh bhaja post. Dharosh is my favourite! Thank you for this lovely post.

    1. The weather is behaving the same way all over the world I guess Vaishnavi ... the very next day of this post the temperature dropped and it is still very cold.
      Thanks for dropping by. Always love to see you here.
      Take care.


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