Friday, February 17, 2012

Musuri'r Daal Chocchori and Alu'r Chokha


Yesterday I woke up with a firm determination, that I will publish my first recipe. And then somebody else woke up too….

My nearly three kid, woke with high fever and diarrhea and threw up everything that I tried to feed him and as cranky as he can be. He refused to budge from my lap, Caillou and Barney couldn’t help either. A trip to the clinic confirmed a viral infection and the doc put him only on Gatorade (flavored electrolyte drink) till the diarrhea stopped or he “begged for food”.

8:30 PM – Little Sid tucked away in his bed, I crashed on the sofa hungry and exhausted. I had a Glucerna shake for lunch and have no idea what hubby had for his lunch or whether he had lunch at all.  Sam sheepishly asked if I was in a mood to cook or should he order Burrito bowl from Chipotle.

On other days I would have gone for the second option, but remember, I am in the blogging mode now. So like a perfect domestic goddess, I donned my apron and picked up the pressure cooker. Out went the one-pot Chaal (rice), Daal (dal) and Alu Sheddo (mashed potato – Bengali style), in came Musuri’r Daal er Chocchori and Alu’r Chokha – Comfort food in style!

Musuri’r Daal er Chocchori(Spicy Red Lentil Curry)
Served: 2

What I used:
Masoor Dal (split Red Lentils) – ½ Cup
Water – 1 Cup
Turmeric – a pinch
Paach Phoron (Paach Puran- Bengali Five Spice) – ½ tsp
Onion – 1 Small sliced or chopped
Ginger – 1’’ piece chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves chopped
Green clilies – 2 silted
Oil – 1 tbs
Salt – to taste
Sugar – a pinch
Corriander Leaves/ Cilantro - 3-4 sprigs


How I did it:
Pressure cook the dal with water and a pinch of turmeric for 1 whistle. Remove from flame immediately. For this chocchori (thick gravy), we don’t want a runny dal. The dal should have absorbed all the water and the grains have just cracked open. Hence the dal:water ration of 1:2 is so important here.

Heat oil in Kadai/ Frying Pan – I used a non-stick frying pan.

Once the oil is hot, temper with Paach Phoron.

When the spices starts spluttering, add the chopped garlic and ginger.

As the garlic and ginger release their aroma and get a hint of color, add the sliced onion.

Add a pinch of sugar, to help caramelize it. (tip: keep the flame low if you are leaving it unattended. I have had charred onions on a number of occasions!)

Once the onion is pinkish brown, add the dal, chilies and salt and increase the heat to bring it to a boil.

Lower the heat and let it simmer for a minute or two, so that all the flavors penetrate the dal.

Dish out and garnish with coriander leaves.


Alu’r Chokha (Stir Fried Mashed Potatoes)

Served: 2

What I used:
Potatoes – 2 nos  
Onion – 1 small finely chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves minced
Dry Red Chilies – 1 to 2 nos
Green Chilies – 3 chopped
Oil – 1½  tbs
Salt – to taste




How I did it:
Pressure cook the potatoes or boil on stovetop for 20 mins or till tender.

Mash the potatoes and keep aside.

Heat oil in Kadai/ Frying Pan – I used a non-stick frying pan.



Once the oil is hot, add the dry red chilies.

When the red chilies turn dark brown add the garlic and stir till it becomes fragrant and light brown. (be careful not to char them)

Add the chopped onions and the green chilies and fry till golden.

Add salt and the mashed potatoes and incorporate it well with the garlic-onion-chili masala.



Two ridiculously simple recipes…. pure pleasure. Using pantry staples, these two simple recipes are one of the many comfort foods that is much love in our house. We had it with some leftover rice and chili pickle.

Satisfying the stomach and soothing the soul, dinner on a Thursday night took my tiredness away. As I slip in the warmth of my comforter, arms around little Sid’s tiny body, I know I’ll sleep well and gear up for a new tomorrow. 

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