Bengali-style Bitter Gourd Dal

Ayurvedic Recipes_Bengali Style Bitter Gourd Dal.jpg

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.

Serves 6


  • 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 M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) 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.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!