Comfort food and it spells out Mushur Daal -Bhaat for me, on most occasions!!! More so, when I miss Ma's cooking on a very regular basis. For us, at the Chatterjee household, Mushur Daal, was something, which was cooked everyday. We needed our quota of Mushur Daal just about at every meal at home. Mushur Daal with a dash of Lebu, and gorom bhaat, is simply bliss, espcially on a hot summer afternoon. 

 So when recently, I was down and out with a bad bout of flu and stomach bug, I yearned for some Mushur Daal-Bhaat, amidst all the Chicken Soup, I was being served by hubby dearest. The man, is a good chef, no doubt. But his expertise, lies more in cooking up what is more exotic. When it comes to the simpler stuff, the man, simply avoids that path. So I had to brace myself up, make some Mushur Daal-Bhaat-Maachher Jhol to please my fevered soul. No wonder, the fever raced away faster, after I had treated myself to this spread !! 

While there are a bevy of debates, when it comes to the Phoron of Mushur Daal. Some swear by Panch Phoron, some swear by Kalo Jeere, some swear by Shorshe. Though most families do agree by Shorsher Tel, as the base for the Phoron. For me, I have never been a fan of Panch Phoron, and my dislike for it increased manifold, when I discovered its omnipresence, at the Dasgupta household, in Kolkata. Hence, here at my home, in Kansas City, the Panch Phoron, is more of a silent spectator in my pantry, who usually is relegated to the darkest corner. I never usually reach out for it, when I am cooking in the kitchen. I tend to copy most of my Momma's recipes, or basically the food, I have grown up loving. So Since Kalo Jeere(Kalonji), Kancha Lonka and Penyaj Kuchi (Chopped red onions) were Ma's choice of Phoron, over Shorsher Tel, I don't mess with that !!! 

So here's hoping all of you will enjoy, this staple from the Chatterjee household. I must tell you, it always works wonders !! 


Mushur Daal: Red lentils : 1/2 cup 
Red Onion: 1/2 - chopped
Green Chilies: 2: slit longitudinally
Kalonji: 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1/4 tsp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Tomato: 1 large: chopped
Mustard Oil: 2-3 tbsp


Wash the Mushur Daal, very well. I usually wash it twice in cold running water. 

Fill around 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker, and add the mushur dal, chopped tomatoes, salt, and turmeric. Cook till, about two whistles. Take off the stove. 

Let the steam escape, and then open the pressure cooker carefully. Stir it around and keep aside. 
In a another pan, add the mustard oil, and once it starts to smoke, add in the kalo jeere, and the kancha lonka. 

Once the kancha lonka and the kalo jeere start to crackle, add in the chopped red onion, and fry them around, till they start to caramelise around the edges. Add in the boiled mushur daal. Stir everything well. 

Check for seasonings. Add in the sugar at this time. Let it simmer for around 10 minutes or so, till the daal starts to boil. If you feel that daal has been too thick, so far, then you can adjust it your liking, by adding some hot water, and boiling it for some time. 

I usually like my Daal, a bit thick. Hence I do not add much of water to it !!! 

You can add a dash of lime juice, to the daal, before serving it with some gorom bhaat. 

Bon Appetit !!! 

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