....... and it was so easy to do.... I totally loved and enjoyed doing it. I am scared of whatever is complicated..... recipe or otherwise. Whatever is easy.... whether it is a recipe or easy going people makes me happy, gives me pleasure. Yet, I so much respect some dear people who put all their heart and soul in preparing and drafting a recipe, or may be preparing a lesson plan for their next day class or say put immense effort to be a near perfect housewife. I am none of them, rather would say I feel myself enriched been surrounded by such beautiful people. Everything seems happy happy, going to meet family and friends soon. It feels so great to be silly with your dear ones. The ones with whom I was a bit angry few days back.... I am settling meeting dates in advance with the same.... we are as silly as we had been many winters back...... the silver streaks, the under eye bags could not reach deep inside. Some of them are coming down to the city at the same time, just to sit together, giggle, do naughty talks going back to teen hood. The only glitch is that my senior is not been able to accompany me this time.... who happens to be as dear to them as much as of mine.
This typical 'kochughechu' type Bengali was so happy to discover this recipe at a friend's place last month. . Her name is Paramita Chakrabartty, a foodie herself and a fabulous cook. We were giggling all through when she was telling us the story of her daddy's diet till date which is a full 5-7 course typical Bengali meal. I could suddenly connect with it as we have seen in our family years back. A fat wallet? colourful home decor? gadgets? decades back these were not important part of life but the food plate had to be full from Gondhoraj lebu to chutney. This steamed dal is not to be confused with Dhokar Dalna's Dhoka which was/is regular at my side of the family. This dal is prepared by totally steaming it. My friend did not use onion like me. She did with matar dal, I did with moong dal. The process was hassle free, just prepare the mix and put on steam. So it was an altogether 'dhinka chika' kind of cooking listening to my favourite numbers. This dish I dedicate to myself because my not so Bong men hardly love such things. We can save time by doing it in microwave but I am yet to try. Let us prepare this Dal Bhape or Steamed Lentil together following the stepwise pictures.
Moong Dal [skinless green gram lentil] : 1big cup
Shredded Coconut : 1/2big cup
Onion : 1big[sliced]
Green Chilli : 2[chopped]
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Salt : As Required
Mustard Oil : 1tsp + As required to drizzle later
Dry roast the dal till it turns light brown. Wash and soak in hot water for 2-3hours. Grind to a paste adding water little by little. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the sliced onion, chopped green chillies, shredded coconut, salt and turmeric. Mix well.
Now grease a steel container with mustard oil. Transfer the dal mix to it.
Cover the box tightly. Heat enough water in a wok. Place the steel container on the wok.
Let it cook for 1hour 15 minutes to 11/2hour. Let cool. Take out and open cover.
Loosen the sides with a knife and turn onto a plate. Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice drizzling some mustard oil on it. Since my men are less of a Bong, and cannot have raw mustard oil, so they had with ghee.