This dish was part of my 200th blogpost last year, where I compiled four heirloom recipes from the kitchen of Bengal. I thought let me share them individually with the wish to reach more people. I take a lot of pride in my roots and lot of bloggers are actually doing the job very beautifully. I humbly add mine, recipes that have come down to us for generations should be compiled and archived. Honestly, when I started with the blog, I very much wished to keep it exclusively as an archive for family recipes, representing Bengal's Kitchen. Somehow midway I could not keep my promise and the blog turned onto a 'Khichdi'..... meaning.... a hotchpotch one. It feels good to see some of my friends doing the same beautifully, I just provide fillers when they are not doing it.
I have decided to archive certain family recipes on the blog. Whether I promote them or not, they should be on the blog. I know even my daughter-in-law may not try them, yet they should be there. This particular dish is prepared with AshGourd and Lentil Fritters or Dal pakora. Actually, the dal pakora is a substitution for 'bori'..... that is dried lentil balls.. With the on and off rain scenario here, I never try preparing them at home. There is a way of doing it in microwave which I am yet to try. So, I team this non-spicy dish with dal pakora. You can also substitute the Ash Gourd with Bottle Gourd or Raw Papaya. Let us prepare this healthy, vegetarian dish together.
INGREDIENTS :[for the dal pakora]
Masoor Dal : 1/2 cup
Nigella Seeds[kalojeera] : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 1/4tsp
Oil to fry.
Ash Gourd [chalkumro] : 1medium
Green Chilli : 2-3
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Salt : As Required
Turmeric : 1/4tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Bayleaf : 1
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Oil : 2tbsp
Peel, wash, cut and shred the ash gourd. Add salt n turmeric, mix well.
Let us do the dal vadas first. Soak the dal in water for 1 hour. Grind to a paste discarding the water.
Add kalojeera,salt, turmeric,sugar. Beat well for 2-3 minutes and shape into small balls. Heat oil in a wok and fry the vadas till golden brown.
Once done, add 2tbsp oil in the remaining oil. As it get hot, temper with cumin seeds, bayleaf and halved red chillies.
Add the shredded ash gourd, stir and cover. Keep heat at low.
After 12-14 minutes, uncover and add the vadas and slitted green chillies. Stir and cover again.
Keep stirring every 3-4 minutes till the water dries up. Add the sugar, stir again, cook for 2 minutes, its done.
Dal vadas are used as a substitute for bori [dried lentil ball].