Aamer Dal or Tok Dal is a common name in a Bengali households during the summer months. As the months roll into the typical summer heat and the schools are out, the lunch menu at home slowly transited into light meals to beat the heat.
Finally I have a post!!
This recipe today comforted and soothed on sweltering hot days just like we are having now. Quiet afternoons, kids at home lazing around, the incessant gurgling of the dove outside and the smell of cooking…
It is a simple combination of raw green mangoes which are plentiful during this time of the year and lentils with very light seasoning for flavor.
I have used red lentils here, but any husked lentils maybe used. Yellow mung and red lentils are commonly used in Bengal to make this dish.
Like any other recipes, this combination of mango and lentils is popular in other parts of India too.
However different seasonings and/or different lentils are used and that changes the flavors of the dish to a certain extent. That is the charm of cooking! Play around with the seasonings and you have an entirely new dish.
We are definitely deep into the summer vacations. The body is slowly getting tuned to the relaxed days, waking up a little later than the usual hours. The girls are swimming a lot, spending time with their friends and wanting to go back to the beach…
We did have a fantastic time in Florida; doing nothing but relaxing and swimming in the ocean for more than a week. It has been many years since we took a vacation like this, doing nothing with no plans or rush to see “places” or drive from one base to another. It was surreal to watch the dolphins play in the ocean from the balcony of the condo in the early hours of the morning. The stingrays swam by the shore and the water in the ocean was crystal clear and we watched the schools of fishes swim by us or have them nibble at our feet.
On another note, I have a broken camera…very unfortunate as I have used this one for only about a year. And I do not feel sane without a camera. For now you will have to bear with me with the blog posts and the photographs. I am using my phone. Maybe I should dig out my old camera.
Enjoy the summer and this cooling, light and soupy dal.
Aamer Dal/Tok Dal: Tangy Red Lentils with Green Mango
Ingredients: serves 4
- 3/4 cup masoor dal/red lentils
- 4 cups water (might need to adjust amount)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste – the dal will not be sweet; sugar is used only for the balance of taste)
- 1 large green mango, peeled and sliced
- 1.5 teaspoon Panch Phoron/Bengali Five Spice Mix (combine equal quantities of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella and radhuni. If no radhuni is available use black mustard seeds instead. store leftover spice mix in a airtight bottle for later use)
- 2 -3 red dry chili pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon pure mustard oil (or any cooking oil)+ 1/2 teaspoon of pure mustard oil
Peel the mangoes and slice them. Slice around the seed. Try not to pierce/cut through the seed. If you accomplish to do that, you may use the seed while cooking. If not, try to slice off as much flesh around the seed. If the seed is cut through and if you use this seed, the dal will become astringent and dark in color
Wash the red lentil and place it in a pressure cooker or a pot with about 2-3 cups of water, turmeric powder and the peeled mangoes. Cook until done. The lentils should be cooked through and the mangoes will be tender. It will take about 12 minutes in the pressure cooker. Adjust time if cooking without pressure cooker. When the lentils cool down, mash some of the mangoes with the lentils with the back of the spoon. Add another cup of water, stir in the sugar and set aside.
In a thick bottomed pan heat 1/2 tablespoon mustard oil (or any other oil you are using) and add the red dry chilli peppers and the panch phoron/five spice mix. Once they start to sizzle and pop pour the cooked lentils. Give it a stir and cover the pot and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Or the seasonings (chili pepper and panch phoron) maybe prepared in a small pan and poured over the lentils and then the lentils may be simmered. This is just another way to do it and I prefer to cook the lentils in the same container where the seasonings is prepared.)
After the lentils are simmered with the seasonings, if you want you may drizzle the half teaspoon mustard oil over the dal. This enhances the flavor of the dal/lentils, but if you do not like mustard oil you may skip this step
Serve with steaming hot rice.
- Aamer Ombol – Chilled Green Mango Soup or Cooler
- Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup
- Red Lentils with Cumin and Fried Onions
- Bengali Cholar Dal: Lentils with Coconut and Spices
- Bhaja Muger Dal/Roasted Mung Soup
- Simply Seasoned Red Lentils – A Taste of Home
- Dal Chenchki: Red Lentils with Pearl Onion
- Dal Makhani/Lentils Simmered in Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Dal Palak/Lentils with Spinach
- Masala Chana Dal – Spiced Split Grams
- Methi Dal (Lentil Soup with Fenugreek)