Split Bengal Gram with Bottle Gourd Soaking foodgrains, legumes and lentils before cooking is important because it reduces the vata present in them and the increased moisture helps the digestion of the cooked food by the digestive fire.
1 cup Bengal gram (chana dal) 2½ cups bottle gourd, chopped into ½ inch pieces (doodhi/ lauki) 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped (tamatar) 1 2 green chillies, chopped (hari mirch) 1½ tbsp finely grated/chopped fresh ginger (hari mirch) A pinch of asafoetida (hing) ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera) ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi) Salt to taste (namak) 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) 2-3 tsp lemon juice (limbu) 1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (dhania patta)
2 cups water
1. Soak the chana dal 6-8 hours before using.
2. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds. Once
they splutter, add the asafoetida, followed by the green chillies,
ginger and turmeric. Stir-fry for a minute on medium heat. Add the
tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes till soft.
3. Add the chopped gourd and dal. Mix well for a minute. Add the
water and salt and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Reduce heat and
cook for 10-15 minutes.
4. Take off the heat and allow the steam to escape. Check to see if the
dal is done.
5. Remove into a serving bowl, add 1-2 tsp of lemon juice and mix
well. Garnish with fresh coriander before serving.