Garur dal? What is it? If you are a Bengali then you will never ask such silly question? Particularly if you are from East Bengal then you definitely know what it is. This dish is pronounced as Gaarur Daal what is nothing but a Bengali traditional lentil curry with various vegetables. This daal is cooked on the last day of Bengali month Ashwin and store it for having on next day which the first day of Kartick month.
There is popular proverb in Bengali language ” Ashwin e radhe, Kartick e khay” which means you cook this food in the month of Ashwin and eat this in the month of Kartick.
This lentil curry is prepared with a lot of easily available vegetable during this season. This garur dal is a very healthy food and it has almost all required major & minor nutrients for a human body. It is a popular ritual in Bangladesh as well as people in West Bengal generally whose ancestors came from Eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh).
The list of vegetable what can be added to this dish is very long because almost everything can be added here, haha. It includes lau (bottle gourd), kumro (pumpkin), mulo (radish), chal kumro (ash gourd ), bhendi (okra), gathi kachu (taro root), ol kachu (elephant yam), gaaru (root of sapla/water lity), mogai sim, borboti (long beans), shapla (water lily stem), misti aloo (sweet potato), aloo (potato) etc. Here mostly split peas lentils (matar dal) is used to make this garur dal.
Most interesting part is that you do not need to use any oil or even you do not need to add tadka/phoron. But still, surprisingly this garur dal (gaarur daal) is super delicious.
There is another popular proverb regarding this ritual that is “Haaler ta aar jaaler ta khete nei” on this day. That means you should not eat which is grown by using Haal (plough) and anything that is caught by using jaal (fishing net). I found this very strange. What does it mean actually?
As per my understanding you should avoid anything which is bought from the market so that you can avoid commercially cultivated vegetables where plough is used. That means you should use anything which is homegrown at your backyard. Secondly you should avoid anything which is caught by fishing net. That means you have to avoid fish on that day. So this rituals may be introduced to promote growing vegetables at own premise as well as restrict non vegetarian item for a day.
I do not know the actual meaning of such proverb and not every Bengali follows this but still, many Bengali households prepare this garur dal on this day. It has just became a popular tradition.
I just found this draft writen by me last year but I forgot to take a snap of final dish. That is why l did not publish this post that time. But today I thought I should publish this now that next year when I will have this garur dal again then I will share a few snaps of cooked garur dal. Till then wait for the day.
Garur dal recipe (Bengali traditional dish)
- 1 big bowl of finely chopped vegetable [gathi kachu (taro root), ol kachu (elephant yam), gaaru (root of sapla/water lity), mogai sim, borboti (long beans), lau (bottle gourd), kumro (pumpkin), mulo (radish), chal kumro (ash gourd ), bhendi (okra), shapla (water lily stem), misti aloo (sweet potato), aloo (potato)]
- ⅔ cup matar dal/split peas lentils
- Pinches of turmeric
- 6-7 green chillies, whole
- Salt as needed
- Water 3 cups
- Boil 2 cups water in big cooking pot and add all finely chopped vegetable, then cover it with the lid and cook over a medium flame for 12 minutes
- Pressure cooking: Add matar daal, pinches of turmeric, salt and 1 cup water and pressure cook till 4 whistles and keep it simmer for next 10 minutes
- Now add pressure cooked matar daal to boiled vegetables and again cook over medium flame for next 10 minutes
- Check softness of your vegetables, if it is done then it is ready to serve