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Tables full of flavor with Rituparna’s Bhaja Monger Daal and Kulina Masi's Tawa Arbi

I have been loving the food pictures in my Whatsapp inbox from many of my friends and relatives. I was dreaming of a roasted yellow lentil, Moong Daal , the way my nanny cooked it . We would relish her daal endlessly(seriously!) , eating it with our hands enjoying each morsel. She knew we loved her daals and would prepare them for us, day after day , when we would visit my parents home. We did not need any accompaniment with them. Just Daal and rice and we would be satiated.

Another dish that she would prepare for us was shallow fried Arbi or Colocasia. Generally children eat this vegetable with much fuss , but as soon as it was placed on our table , it was gobbled up. She would prepare it plain for us , without much masala.

So, when my friend Rituparna who hails from one of India's food capitals ,Kolkatta ,messaged me regarding the Daal she had prepared one evening , I couldn’t but resist to replicate it . My aunt who now resides in the beautiful foothills of the Himalayas sent me her Tawa Arbi and it flooded memories of my wonderful nanny’s cooking . Even before the lockdown ,we always relish home cooked meal meals , no matter how simple the meal is , it is they who cook with their heart whose tables are always full of flavor.

Bhaja Monger Daal Serves 2


½ cup Moong daal, split yellow lentils

1 tsp Salt

½ tsp Turmeric

1 tblsp Oil

1 ½ tsp Whole garam masala

1 no.Dry red chili

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 no.Green chili, slit

11/2 cup of Veggies – cauliflower, pumpkin , carrot ,green peas or any of your choice

1 no. medium sized Tomato , chopped

To Prepare :

1.Dry roast the moong daal . Add water , turmeric and salt. Pressure cook till cooked.

2.Heat oil in a pan , add whole garam masala , dry red chili and cumin seeds .

3.Add the slit green chili.

4.Saute the vegetables and then add the tomato . When the vegetables are cooked and bit crunchy ,add to the daal.

5.Add ghee in the end and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves .

Tawa Arbi


500 gms Arbi , Colocassia, boiled and peeled

1 tsp , Carom seeds or Ajwain

Pinch of Asafoetida or Hing

11/2 tsp finely chopped garlic and ginger

½ tsp red chilli powder ,

½ tsp turmeric

1 no. green chilies, finely chopped

Sprinkle of chaat masala

½ tsp garam masala

1/4 bunch of coriander , chopped

Salt, to taste

To Prepare

  1. Boil arbi ,cool and peel . Cut horizontally and keep. If using a pressure cooker, then cook till 1 whistle .

  2. In a flat pan , heat mustard oil or any oil that you use.

  3. Add ginger and garlic, see that the raw aroma of these are no longer there and then spice powders and the Hing .

  1. Add arbi and brown well on both sides. Add the garam masala .Season.

Remove and garnish with green chilies , coriander, sprinkle chaat masala . Serve hot with lemon slices

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