Aamer Dal or Tok Dal is a common name in a Bengali households during the summer months. As the months roll into the typical summer heat and the schools are out, the lunch menu at home slowly transited into light meals to beat the heat.
Here Is The Simple Recipe For You:
1. 3/4 cup masoor dal/red lentils
2. 4 cups water (might need to adjust amount)
3. salt to taste
4. 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste – the dal will not be sweet; sugar is used only for the balance of taste)
6. 1 large green mango, peeled and sliced
7. 1.5 teaspoon Panch Phoron/Bengali Five Spice Mix (combine equal quantities of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella and radhuni. If no radhuni is available use black mustard seeds instead. store leftover spice mix in a airtight bottle for later use)
8. 2 -3 red dry chili pepper
9. 1/2 tablespoon pure mustard oil (or any cooking oil)+ 1/2 teaspoon of pure mustard oil
Peel the mangoes and slice them. Slice around the seed. Try not to pierce/cut through the seed. If you accomplish to do that, you may use the seed while cooking. If not, try to slice off as much flesh around the seed. If the seed is cut through and if you use this seed, the dal will become astringent and dark in color.
Wash the red lentil and place it in a pressure cooker or a pot with about 2-3 cups of water, turmeric powder and the peeled mangoes. Cook until done. The lentils should be cooked through and the mangoes will be tender. It will take about 12 minutes in the pressure cooker. Adjust time if cooking without pressure cooker. When the lentils cool down, mash some of the mangoes with the lentils with the back of the spoon. Add another cup of water, stir in the sugar and set aside.
In a thick bottomed pan heat 1/2 tablespoon mustard oil (or any other oil you are using) and add the red dry chilli peppers and the panch phoron/five spice mix. Once they start to sizzle and pop pour the cooked lentils. Give it a stir and cover the pot and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Or the seasonings (chili pepper and panch phoron) maybe prepared in a small pan and poured over the lentils and then the lentils may be simmered. This is just another way to do it and I prefer to cook the lentils in the same container where the seasonings is prepared.)
After the lentils are simmered with the seasonings, if you want you may drizzle the half teaspoon mustard oil over the dal. This enhances the flavor of the dal/lentils, but if you do not like mustard oil you may skip this step.
Serve with steaming hot rice.