And it would be supremely unfair if I did not publish a sequel to my post last week on the sublime Sylheti urad dal with loads of fried eggplant.
And this time it’s kalai dal, my husbands favourite -the cold runny ginger and fennel-seed perfumed urad dal, simple, no-fuss and earthy, that accompanied by aloo posto is quintessential West Bengal soul food !!!!
Kalai Dal (Urad Dal)
- 1 cup urad dal husked and split
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 - 3 dry red chillies coarsely torn
- 1 - 2 bay leaves
- 1 - 2 tbsps fennel powder freshly ground
- 11/2 tbsps ginger paste
- 2 tsps mustard oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- Soak the urad dal for 6-7 hours or overnight.
- Cook the urad dal in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water until mushy. 2-3 whistles I would reckon. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan, when smoking hot, add the paanchforon, fennel seeds, bay leaves and red chillies. Allow them to splutter.
- Now add 1 tbsp ginger paste and saute for 2-3 minutes over a medium flame. Pour in the boiled urad dal, bring to a simmer.
- Add the fennel powder, sugar and salt, give a good stir. This dal shall be of a runny consistency. Add some hot water if needed to get the consistency right.
- Adjust seasonings, finish with a sprinkle of fennel powder and 1/2 a tbsp of ginger paste if needed.
- Serve cold (yes, cold, its almost a sin to serve it hot !!!) with aloo posto and rice.