Summer Special: Kacha Aam Dal or Toker Dal
There is only one thing that makes me wait for summers and that is Mango. Green as well as ripened, both are awaited with abated breath in my household. First one to reach the markets is always the Green Mango which makes delicious chutneys and a special Bengali sour dal known as Toker Dal or Kacha Aam Dal.
The nomenclature here, need a little bit of explanation. ‘Tok‘ means sour in Bangla, hence, Toker Daal means sour dal. The sour taste essentially comes from the unripened tangy Green Mango. Among the various lentil recipes, this one is a staple in every Bengali household during the summer months in India.
Torko Bitokro On Toker Dal
I know many who swear by the Masoor Dal or Red lentil recipes of Toker Dal, but there is a sect of of cooks who prefer other variety of lentils. Purists would always settle for ‘Motor Dal‘, i.e. the split pea lentil, while some would stick to Arhar Dal or Toor Daal or split Pigeon Pea Lentil for a Toker Dal recipe. Let’s settle this discussion for ever here with this statement that all three of them go exceptionally well for the vegan lentil recipes of Toker Dal. While Masur Dal is very easy to cook and does not need much effort, arhar dal and motor dal have a distinctive taste of their own which makes this dish unique respectively.
Another debate is on whether Panchphoron/Bengali 5 Spice Mix or Sorse/Mustard Seeds should be used to temper the dal. I have tried both and I find both distinctively good. Panchphoron gives a unique smokey flavor due to its spice components like Methi or Fenugreek Seeds and Rai or Black Mustard Seeds. A point to note here is the distinction between normal mustard seeds or sarson and black mustard seeds or rai. While the former is also black and round in appearance, latter is much smaller in size and has a distinctive flavor of its own.
Looking For Bengali Veg Food Recipe Online?
You might be surprised to know that Bengali food is just not about Mach’er Jhol and Pantha’r Mangsho! We have a vast collection of vegetarian recipes which are most of the time vegan as well. Also, bear in mind that the concept of ‘vegetarian’ means no-onion and no-garlic for us. So, if you are looking for some then simply check out the ‘Vegetarian Recipes’ section. You would find a plenty of Bengali veg food recipes there.
Coming back to this recipe, let’s get started with my version of Bengali Toker Dal or Green Mango Dal recipe.
- 1/4 cup Masoor Dal or Red Lentils
- 1 Green Mango Small Size
- 1/2 tsp. Panchphoron
- 1 Dried Red Chilli
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- Salt to Taste
- 1/4 tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 4 tbsp Sugar
Pressure cook the red lentils with water and salt till they are soft.
Peel the green mango and chop it in small cubes. Please bear in mind that every mango has different level of sour taste. So, if it is too sour then hold some of it back from this recipe.
Heat oil in a pan and temper it with panchphoron, bay leaf and red chilli.
Add the chopped green mango and fry it along with the turmeric powder.
Once they turn golden, add the cooked lentils.
Stir and add water if required. Add the sugar, again use your judgement. Sugar should balance the sharp tang of the mango, but should not make the dal overtly sweet.
Check for seasoning and add salt if required.
Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, till the mango pieces become soft and tender.
Serve with plain boiled rice.