Matar Dal in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Matar dal or split pea dal is one of the most favourite lentils for Indians. The dried peas were hulled and split to convert to what is fondly called Matar dal. This lentil is full of nutritional benefits.

Lentil is kind of a staple food for many Indians. Though masoor (pink lentil) or moong dal is more common at Indians’ households, Matar dal is used to prepare plain soup or richly curried gravy and therefore, a hot favourite with many.

This write-up covers a few of the most popular Matar dal recipes that claim their royal status in India’s rich culinary repertoires.

Matar Dal in Bengali & Indian Cooking

Uses of Matar Dal in Bengali & Indian Cooking

In Bengal, Matar dal with red chilli tadka served with steaming rice and jhiri jhiri alu bhaja (Bengali style fried potatoes) finds only a few matches when it comes to satisfying one’s taste buds while comforting one’s tummy at the same time.

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The best part of this recipe is ‘Tadka’ which involves both ghee and red chilli. These are added at the end of cooking so that the dish gets a rich mix of flavour and spiciness.

Bay leaves are also added at the beginning of cooking for flavour. You can add cardamom for more flavour and dry fruits such as cashew nuts and raisins to jazz up its spiciness.

Some Bengalis prefer the niramish preparation of Matar dal whereas others, being fond of spicy delicacies, onion slices and chopped garlic, love the amish avatar.

Whereas niramish dal is more common during puja celebration, the non-veg variety makes it to the special menu other times.

There is an interesting winter-special twist to this Matar dal recipe. It is made with very small florets of cauliflower.

In Bengal, cauliflower is abundant during the winter season and the Bongs put this vegetable to a variety of uses.

You can also use peas and small pieces of carrots. Matar dal, prepared this way, makes a perfect accompaniment with both hot rice and phulka roti.

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Matar dal dhoka! It is an innovative dish. Usually, dhoka is made from cholar dal. But you can easily replace cholar dal with Matar dal while keeping the style and other ingredients the same.

Mulo diye Matar dal is another comforting winter-special recipe. Small pieces of radish are cooked with Matar dal. It goes great with steamed rice.

Kancha aam diye Matar dal is a summer delight. Raw mango slices or pulp is added to Matar dal. The sweet-sour-spicy dish tastes really good with hot rice. Keep in mind that sugar goes in all Motor dal recipes.

Matar dal halwa is an awesome desert. Usually, cholar daler or moong daler halwa is more common, but the Motor dal variety tastes great as well. Other ingredients and cooking styles remain the same.

You can make Matar dal barfi of halwa by spreading it on a ghee-greased pan and after it cools down, giving it the shape of barfis. Sprinkle lots of dry fruits to make halwa or barfis more appetising.

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What Can Be Made from Matar Dal?

I have already mentioned a few recipes that can be made from Matar dal like Matar Daler halwa, kacha aam diye Matar dal, mulo diye Matar dal, Matar dal dhoka, etc.

Questions & Answers:

Does Matar Dal Need to be Soaked?

It is better to soak Matar dal in water. It will reduce the time of cooking.

What is the Taste of Matar Dal?

Matar dal has a decent earthy flavour.

Is Matar Dal and Toor Dal Same?

Toor dal, also called split pigeon peas, are different from Matar dal though both are commonly referred to as split yellow peas.

What is Matar Dal Called in Different Languages?

Matar dal is referred to as split pea dal in English.

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