Want to lower your blood sugar with a delicious meal? Enjoy Bengali-style bitter gourd dal—my own take on a traditional recipe made in a slightly different way in each Bengali home.
- 1.5 cups mung dal
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium lauki (bottle gourd), peeled and cubed
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1” ginger, grated
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 4 medium bitter gourds
- Ghee or sunflower oil as needed for stir frying
- 1 red chili
- 1.5 tsp. panch puran (Bengali spice mix)
- 1 pinch hing
- 1 bunch fenugreek greens, washed and chopped
- Salt to taste
- Wash the dal. Put dal, lauki, carrot, ginger, turmeric, water and salt in a pressure cooker. Bring to the boil and cook for about 45 minutes
- Meanwhile, slice the bitter gourds into thin rounds and remove the seeds. Sprinkle some salt and a little turmeric over them and let sit for ten minutes/
- In a wok, heat 1-2 Tbsp. ghee. Add the bitter gourd and fry until slightly crisp and brown.
- Combine the fried bitter gourds and the cooked dal with vegetables.
- Now heat 1 tsp. ghee or oil, add the red chili and the panch puran and fry until the seeds darken a shade, taking care not to burn the seeds. At the last minute add the hing. Tip the fried spices into the dal.
- Now add the fenugreek leaves and the salt and cook a few more minutes.
- Serve over rice.
Alakananda Ma A.D., M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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