Thali Menu #152 – Bengali Thali
West Bengal is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal with a unique geopolitical, cultural and historic significance. Bengali culture, considered one of the richest cultures in the Indian subcontinent has a recorded history of over 1,400 years.
Bengali cuisine is a culinary style originating in Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam’s Barak Valley. The cuisine sees a bias towards freshwater fish, vegetables, and lentil dishes that served with rice as a staple diet.
Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavours and its spread of confectioneries and desserts. It also has the only traditionally developed multi-course custom from the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent that is similar in structure to the à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.
At Daana, however, we will present it as a Thali this weekend. So, come join us to celebrate great food this festive season!
Recipe of the week
Maharashtrian style tempered dal
For pressure cooking:
- ½ cup Toor dal or split pigeon peas
- 1 ½ cups Water
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- a pinch Asafoetida
Pressure cooking the Dal
- Wash Toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear.
- Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, discard soaking water.
- Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and turmeric powder.
- Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles, open the lid once the pressure is released.
- Mash or hand blend the dal till smooth.
- Add salt and jaggery to the dal. The dal needs to be thin consistency but not too watery, add water to get the desired consistency.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
- Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Making the tempering
- Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan.
- Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for a few seconds.
Then add red chilli powder and asafoetida.
Immediately add the tempering to the dal. Stir well.
Serve hot with steamed rice.