Machher Muro diye Muger Daal :

 MUGER DAAL is something which I always associate with decadence.My mom, cooked it up in quite a few variations. And this sheer variety of cooking the same lentils, made me always believe as a child that this Daal(lentil) had something special about it. Kancha Muger Daal, Bhaja Muger Daal, Aam diye daal  all happen to be favorites of mine but Machher Muro diye Muger Daal (Yellow Mung beans soup cooked with fish head ) holds a special place in our household.Every Bong worth her/his salt, will have a special longing for this dish. Its that unmistakble Bong flavour which is so bold in this fish and lentil soup.The fish fead of a Rui(Rohu) is fried up, and then broken up into large chunks, and cooked along with the Daal,lending its signature taste. So if you are fish lover, or a daal lover, it should please both tastes, in one go. And this dish, spells decadence. Give calorie count a miss, when you are planning to cook this up !

I always pick up a large Rui Machh, weighing around 4.5 kgs, from the local Bangladeshi store, during my monthly groceries. Despite being frozen, Rui Machh here, has never let me down. The Fish monger, asks me courteously every time, whether he should cut the frozen fish in the Bengali style, to which I nod my head a few times.The man works on the fish with deft hands, and I get handed over three bags of prepped fish: One bag for the Peti (belly)pieces, one bag for the Gada(shoulder) pieces, and one bag, with the fish head cut into four pieces. The man knows his way around the greatest love of Bongs. And I walk out with a big smile on my face. If I am cooking up just for the two of us, then I usually use half the Machher Muro, for the Muger Daal, and keep the other half for some Muri Ghonto. If I am cooking up for a slightly larger batch of people, then the whole Muro, of the large Rui maachh, goes into the Daal. Since I love both Machher Muro diye Muger daal and Muri Ghonto, sometimes, I ask the fish monger if he has some extra Fish heads on sale, to which the answer is usually yes. I wonder which Bong, buys Fish from him, and leaves behind the Machher Muro. Thats something which I could probably never imagine doing.

Machher Muro diye Muger Daal is an ideal choice for me, when I am entertaining primarily a Bong crowd. It always is a hit, as it strikes the right culinary notes with the entire crowd. Now, what more could a happy hostess want. Here's a lil secret, I guess, I can share with all of you:Whenever I am making a larger batch of Machher Muro diye Muger Daal, for a party at home, I always, keep aside a small serving of Daal for myself, before I serve it all to the guests. One can never go wrong with some Muger Daal the next day with gorom Bhaat. Bliss!!


Muger Daal(Yellow Mung beans): 1 cup
Ginger paste: 1 1/2 tbsp
Rui Machher Muro(Rohu Fish head): 1 large head, cut into 4 pieces
Turmeric Powder
Cloves: 3
Green Cardamom: 3
Cinnamon Stick: 1 1/2 inches
Bay leaves: 3
Green Chilies: 3-4 slit longitudinally
Whole Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Canola Oil: 3-4 tbsp
Cumin Powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 tsp


In a deep pan, dry roast the Muger Daal, till you can see brown specks in it. Be careful not to burn the dal.

Remove from fire and keep aside.

Meanwhile, coat the fish head/Muro with some salt and turmeric powder. In another pan, add some canola oil, and when the oil is hot, add in the Muro.

Fry the Muro well on both sides.

Once the Muro is well fried, then use the cooking spoon, to break it into big chunks. Drain off the oil, and keep aside.

Pressure cook the dry roasted daal, till about 2 whistles or till the daal is properly boiled, but not turned into baby food.

Now for the final assembly steps. In the deep pan, in which you had dry roasted the daal, add in the ghee, and green chiles, bay leaves, and whole garam masala and cumin seeds.

Once the cumin seeds start changing colour, add in the boiled daal, ginger paste, cumin powder, salt and sugar, and the fried Muro and mix well. Add in a cup of hot water. Let the Daal come to a boil.

Once the daal starts boiling, continue cooking uncovered on medium heat, till the daal gets thicker. Check for seasonings.

This is a thick daal. Hence make sure that there is not to much water in it. Cook down if necessary.

I served with some steamed Basmati rice and some Beguni (egg plant fritters).

Bon Appetit !!!

1 comment

  1. Chhobi dekhlei ...bangali adjective ta mo-ne poDe jae " Mind-blowing! Recipe ta perfect! Must follow yours.. i cook this dal minus the fish head but with the same spicing ...amar blog-e ekta majar article achhe..." roasted Mung dal and the missing fish head" ...but next time I will follow your recipe even if I cant get a fish head!
    Bhalo theko