Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal) is a Bengali style simply delicious red lentil curry with onion garlic tadka. This Bengali masoor dal is popular in West Bengal & Bangladesh and goes well with rice.
For making this Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal), boiled red lentils are cooked with fried onion, garlic and tomato only with salt and turmeric. No other spices are used for cooking this dal. Except for tempering of kalojeera & dry red chilli straight get in the hot mustard oil at the beginning of making this dal.
This dal is easy to prepare just in 30 minutes. For a little faster cooking, the best way to boil the dal using a pressure cooker.
Well, vegans and all Indian vegetarians can have this dal except Bengali vegetarians. It is banned in Bengali vegetarian kitchens for a long as masoor dal is considered a non-veg item among Bengalis. I guess due to containing high protein (it contains the same amount of protein carried by fish, meat or eggs) it is considered similar to non veg.
About Masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal) or red lentil
Masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal)is also known as red lentil in English as these lentils look pinkish-red or orange-red in colour, this lentil recipe is mostly made in Indian and Bangladeshi kitchens. This red lentil has basically two variants, whole red lentil seeds (whole grains) and split red lentil seeds (split grains). Even whole lentil also has 2 more variations, with skin (having black or brown peel) and without skin.
Red lentil contains high protein and fibre (have more benefits if used with skin), so you can keep this Bengali lentil soup for your day-to-day meal as this dal is not only healthy but a comforting food as well.
Today I am using skin-out whole masoor lentil (called gota masoor dal in Bengali language), which is the basic ingredient for making this recipe. You can use skinless split masoor dal or with skin masoor dal too. If you are using split masoor dal or with skin masoor dal then you need to soak the dal for 30 mins before cooking (to quickly get it soft by boiling). Whereas skin-out whole masoor dal is quickly cooked and does not need to soak in water before cooking. Though boiling time of dal depends on the quality of the dal. As if the dal has a very good quality then it takes less time to get soft.
Tips for making Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal)?
1. Masoor dal needs to boil until soft so that each grain of dal can be mashed between two fingertips and all grains of dal will be soft but the shape will be intact as before boiling.
2. If boiling masoor dal in a pressure cooker, then use 1 cup water for 1/2 cup dal. This means masoor dal and water ratio should be 1:2 or means water will be double than dal. In the pressure cooker, dal should be boiled on medium heat till 1 whistle blows.
3. If boiling masoor dal in a saucepan or a pot, then the dal and water ratio should be 1:2. But you can add 1/2 cup of more water in between cooking if the dal is not soft.
4. Before putting it in the pan, half of the dal needs to lightly mash (not make a paste) either with a steel or wooden masher (mathni) or dal ghutni or dal kanta (in Bengali).
5. 1 medium-sized onion(in phoron) is sufficient for cooking 1/2 cup dal. More onion can make the gravy mushy and thick.
6. Instead of kalojeere, you can use paanch phoron in phoron or tadka.
7. Tomato is not mandatory in this cooking but is used for enhancing the taste and flavour.
8. Cook the dal (with tadka) until dal starts boiling, add a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves (or cilantro) at the end (as garnishing) and our Bengali-style red lentil will be ready to eat.
Is Onion or Garlic tadka mandatory for making Bengali musur dal?
I used crushed garlic in tadka (rosun phoron in bengali dialect) which makes a good flavour in masoor dal. In West Bengal, garlic is generally not used in making this dal, however, cooking masoor dal with garlic, is a common style among Bangladeshi Bengali. But must use tomato and coriander leaves for good taste and flavour.
However, you can make this dal without using garlic and onion, as my mom makes it for Arandhan(Ranna Puja occasion). She just make this dal with kalojeere shukno lonka phoron with nun and holud. At Ranna Puja, no onion garlic, no tomato or no coriander leaves are used for cooking this dal.
Try this traditional Bengali-style red lentil dal at home. My step-by-step cooking details (with pictures) will help you at the best to make it perfectly. Let me know your opinion about this recipe in the comment section below.
Check few more simple yet delicious Bengali dal recipes for having with rice
How to make Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal) recipe with step-by-step pictures
How to Boil Masoor dal (in a saucepan/ in a pressure cooker)
1. Take 1/2 cup (= 100g) skin out whole masoor dal or red lentil in a saucepan or pressure cooker. Thoroughly wash the dal until the water gets clean.
2. Add 1 cup of water (= 250 ml) to the dal and boil the dal on low heat (if using a saucepan) until the dal gets soft (but not mushy). Can add a little hot water if the dal water gets reduced before the dal gets soft.
3. Or Boil the dal with 1 cup of water on medium heat (if using a pressure cooker) with 1 whistle. Turn off the heat. Make sure the dal and water ratio should be 1/2: 1 for pressure cooker cooking. Turn off the heat.
4. Open the cooker, Once the pressure is automatically released.
5. Coarsely, mash the dal (mash the half dal, do not mash it fully).
How to make Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal)
1. Heat a kadai, and heat 2 tbsp mustard oil.
2. Add 1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kaalojeere), and 1 piece dry red chilli (broken into half) in oil. Stir them well.
3. Immediately add 1 medium-sized sliced onion into the pan, and saute until soft and succulent.
4. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves (optional), and saute until the garlic turns into little golden.
5. Add chopped tomatoes, fry for a while, then add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the kadai. Saute until tomatoes get soft.
6. Then quickly add 1/2 cup of water into the kadai (to prevent the spices from getting burnt), mix them well, and bring altogether to a boil.
7. Once the gravy dries off then quickly pour the dal into the kadai, mix well, and add 2 more cups of water (hot water or water at room temperature)
8. Bring the dal to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 5-7 mins.
9. Once the froth rises up and accumulated on the top, then add chopped coriander leaves (if using). Turn off the heat.
10. Bengali masoor dal is ready, serve it hot with steamed rice with any Bengali side dish like aloo bhaja (potato fry), maach bhaja (Bengali fish fry) or any Bengali tarkari(sabzi). I love to use a slice of lemon too.
Recipe Card for Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal))
Bengali masoor dal (Bengali musur dal or musurir dal) recipe | Peyaj rosun phoron diye Bangladeshi musur daal recipeCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Bengali, Bangladeshi, IndianDifficulty: Easy
Bengali masoor dal (musur dal or musurir dal) is one of the authentic Bengali dal recipes prepared with red lentils and simple spices. Boiled red lentil is curried with roasted onion, garlic, tomato salt and turmeric, and is loved by Bengalis if served with steamed rice.
Ingredients of Bengali masoor dal(musur dal or musurir dal)
1/2 cup Masoor dal / Red lentil (Skin out & whole)
2 tbsp Mustard Oil
1/4 tsp Kaalo Jeera (Kalonji/ Nigella seeds)
1 Dry Red Chilli
1 Medium Onion (Finely chopped)
2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
1 Medium Tomato (Finely chopped))
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
A handful of Coriander leaves (Finely chopped)
- Take 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentil) in a saucepan or pressure cooker, and wash the dal until the water gets clean.
- Add 1 cup of water to the dal and boil the dal in a saucepan on low heat until the dal gets soft. Can add a 1/2 cup of hot water if the dal water gets reduced before the dal gets soft.
- Or Boil the dal in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water (the dal and water ratio should be 1:2)on medium heat with 1 whistle on. Turn off the heat.
- Open the cooker, Once the pressure automatically releases.
- Coarsely, mash the dal (mash the half dal, do not mash it fully).
- For tempering or tadka
- Heat a kadai, and add 2 tbsp oil (mustard oil / white oil) on medium heat.
- Add 1/4 tsp kalojeere, and 1 dry red chilli (broken into halves). Stir them well.
- Immediately add onion (finely sliced) into the pan, and saute until soft and succulent.
- Then add 2 garlic cloves (crushed), and saute until the garlic turns into little golden.
- Add chopped tomato, and fry for a while. Then add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the kadai. Saute until tomatoes get soft.
- Then quickly add 1/2 cup of water in kadai (to prevent the spices from getting burnt), mix them well, and bring them to a boil.
- Once the gravy dries off then quickly pour the dal into the kadai, mix well, and add 2 more cups of water (hot water or water at room temperature)
- Bring the dal to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the dal for 5-7 mins.
- Once the froth rises up and accumulates on the top, then add chopped coriander leaves (if using). Turn off the heat.
- Bengali masoor dal is ready, serve it with steamed rice and a slice of lemon with any Bengali side dish (Aloo bhaja, begun bhaja, maach bhaja or any Bengali sabji).
- If you are a beginner then boil the dal in a saucepan, in my opinion, it would be easy for you to check the dal every time until perfectly boiled. Even you can add water in between if water gets reduced.
- Sauteeing tomato onion with salt and turmeric powder will help you to get the veggies quickly get soft and also prevent you from having a raw smell of turmeric powder after cooking the dal.