Bengali masoor dal is a simple flavourful Bengali-style red lentil recipe, made with boiled red lentils, stewed with onion (peyaj) and turmeric, no other spices. This red lentil dal is also named musur dal or musurir dal in Bengali. This dal is almost regularly made in every Bengali home in West Bengal and Bangladesh to serve with rice and bhajabhuji (fried vegetables) or tarkari (Bengali vegetable curry).
Boiled red lentil is curried with sauteed onion along with garlic, tomato and a Bengali style tadka (tempering) of kalojeera (nigella seeds) & dry red chilli in mustard oil or ghee with minimal spices. This red lentil curry is easy to prepare just in 30 minutes. Well, vegans and all Indian vegetarians can have this lentil curry except Bengali vegetarians, as masoor dal or red lentil itself is considered among non-veg recipes in Bengali cuisine.
About Masoor dal (red lentil)
Masoor 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 (if used with skin), so you can keep this Bengali lentil soup for your day-to-day meal as not only healthy, but comforting as well.
Today I am using skin-out whole masoor lentil (called gota masoor dal in Bengali dialect), which is the basic ingredient for making this recipe. You can use skinless split masoor dal or with skin masoor dal too. Then you need to soak the dal before 30 mins of 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.
Tips for making Bengali masoor 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 in the pan, half of the dal need to mash 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 used to enhance 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(Peyaj) or Garlic (Rosun) mandatory in phoron (tadka) making Bengali masoor dal?
I used crushed garlic in tadka (rosun phoron) 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 it without garlic or even without onion, as my mom makes it for Arandhan(Ranna Puja occasion). She just make this dal with kalojeere shukno lonka phoron and nun and holud. No onion garlic, tomato or coriander leaves.
Try this traditional Bengali-style red lentil dal at home. My step-by-step detailed recipe (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 Peyaj phoron diye patla Bengali masoor 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
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 them 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 and a slice of lemon with any Bengali side dish (Bengali bhaja bhuji or maach bhaja or tarkari).
Recipe Card for Bengali masoor dal (orange-red lentil dal)
Bengali masoor dal (musur dal or musurir dal) recipe for rice | Peyaj phoron diye patla Bengali musur daalCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Bengali, Bangladeshi, IndianDifficulty: Easy
Bengali masoor dal is an authentic Bengali dal recipe prepared with red lentils and simple spices. Boiled red lentil is curried with roasted onion (peyaj), garlic (rosun), tomato and salt and turmeric, served with steamed rice.
Ingredients of Bengali masoor dal recipe
1/2 cup Masoor dal / Red lentil (Skin out & whole)
2 tbsp Mustard Oil
1/4 tsp Kaalojeera (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 tarkari).
- If you are a beginner then boil the dal in a saucepan, in my opinion, that would be good for you.
- 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.