Masoor Dal Bhate: A Bengali Specialty Recipe Of Mashed Lentils
Image Credit: Chhaya's Food

Bengali cuisine has always been a benchmark for simple, flavoursome recipes that provide maximum comfort. As one of the regional cuisines that has a very distinctive identity, certain flavours of ingredients like mustard, poppy seeds, freshwater fish are largely associated with the cuisine. Of the many popular dishes that the state of West Bengal has contributed to India’s culinary canvas, it can be hard to pick a single favourite considering the strong influences of Mughlai and Chinese cultures on the food has created a nuanced space in the larger scheme of things.

This masoor dal bhate, also known as musoor daaler bhorta, is a dish that is commonly eaten in the summer in Bengali homes. A simple delicacy made with mashed red lentils, mixed with onions, green chillies and mustard oil, it has a texture and flavour similar to chokha, with a mellow nutty undertone from the cooked masoor dal. Usually eaten with a short-grain rice porridge called phena bhat and ghee, the bhate is a lovely, comforting meal that’s slightly different from the usual dal-chawal. Here is how you can recreate this delicious meal for a quick supper that is light and satisfying.


  • 1 cup masoor dal
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • Salt, to taste


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  • Rinse the masoor dal a couple of times to get rid of any dirt and add it to a clean, dry cloth. Tie together the ends to make a potli, and drop it into a pressure cooker filled halfway with water, to cook the dal for five whistles.
  • Extract the potli out of the cooker, once cooled slightly and transfer the cooked dal into a bowl. Add the chopped onion, green chillies, mustard oil and season with salt, before using a fork to mash everything together.
  • Make sure to not add any extra water as the consistency of the mashed dal must resemble that of a thick dip. Dollop this mash over steaming hot rice or porridge and add a spoonful of ghee, before eating it hot.