Garur Dal: A Lentil Dish From Bengal Soaked In Tradition
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Every regional cuisine in the country is packed with several delicious delicacies that are loved by all. When it comes to Bengali food, the most popular dishes of this cuisine are macher jhol, Culcutta biryani, ilish paturi, and kosha mangsho. Speaking of vegetarian delights, this region has dishes like aloo posto, sukhto, and begun bhaja. All of these vegetarian dishes are simple, nutritious, and delicious.

But have you ever heard of garur dal? 

Commonly pronounced as ‘gaarur daal’, this is a traditional lentil and vegetable curry that is very popular in East Bengal. It is warm, hearty, and tastes absolutely divine. The interesting part about this dish is that garur dal is seasonal, as ingredients like unripe tamarind and water lily rhizome can only be found in the Bengal markets for just a week (a few days before the end of Bengali Ashwin month). 

In Bengali households, this dal is cooked on the last day of Ashwin month, which marks the end of Sharat season. Garur dal is also stored to relish on the next day, which is the first day of Kartik month. This ritual of storing garur dal for the next day is said to make the dish taste more delicious. There is a well-known Bengali proverb that says, Ashwin e radhe, Kartik e khay,” which is translated as you cook this food in the month of Ashwin and eat it in the month of Kartik. 

It is believed that offering this dal to the deities in the evening and leaving it overnight in the backyard for some autumnal dew drops blesses the dish. It is also said that if you make a wish before consuming garur dal the next day, it will come true. However, the main reason for following this ritual is to pay tribute to Mother Nature for the new season and abundant produce. 

As garur dal is prepared with a blend of seasonal vegetables like hyacinth beans, water lily, taro, and radish, it is extremely nutritious. The right way to prepare this dish is with eight vegetables and three pulses, but the recipe may vary from person to person. The tradition of eating this dish on the last day of Ashwin month is followed by the people of Bangladesh as well as West Bengal. Usually, it is served with alu sheddho and begun bhaja.

Garur dal includes a variety of vegetables, and the list may differ from family to family. But the most common ones are pointed gourd, pumpkin, brinjal, cauliflower, radish, taro root, long beans, sweet potatoes, and water lily stem. The lentils that can be used for preparing this dal are split yellow peas, Bengal gram, moong dal, urad dal, toor dal, and horse gram dal.  

So, if you are also planning to make garur dal at home, here is the recipe for you: 

Garur Dal  Recipe


  • 1/3 cup Bengal gram 
  • 1/3 cup yellow pea dal 
  • 1/4 cup moong dal 
  • 1/4 cup urad dal 
  • 1/4 cup toor dal 
  • 1/4 cup flat bean seeds 
  • 1/4 cup black-eyed peas 
  • 1/4 cup horse gram dal 
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup radish, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup sweet potatoes, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup ridge gourd, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup taro roots, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup green papaya, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup kakrol, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1/3 cup pointed gourd, cut into medium cubes 
  • 1 teaspoon panchforan 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 2-3 dry red chillies 
  • 2-3 bay leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut 
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of dollop of ghee 
  • salt to taste


  • Soak each of the lentils separately overnight. Drain the black-eyed peas from the water and gently press them to remove the outer skins. Keep it aside. 
  • Boil the lentils with a little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder until just cooked. Boil the lentils with a little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder until just cooked.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan, throw in the panchforan, red chillies, and bay leaves, and allow the spices to splutter. Now add all the vegetables, sprinkle a little salt, and sauté till the vegetables become tender. 
  • Gently pour in the boiled dal and add a cup of warm water. Bring to a gentle simmer; cool for another 5 minutes or so. 
  • Add the grated ginger and cook for 1-2 odd minutes. Add the freshly grated coconut. Give it a good stir. Adjust seasonings. Finish off with a generous dollop of ghee.