Chungudi  Masoor Dalma :

( a common Odia way of mixing up dals, vegetables and prawns for flavour)

( For 3-4 servings)

Apply haldi and salt to cleaned prawns ( regular medium sized; about 300-500gm; retain heads) and fry in 1-2 tbsp mustard oil. Keep aside.

Cut vegetables into small cubes – potato(1), brinjal(1 small), pumpkin(a bit) and jahni (2 ). You may add other green veggies like potola, bean, kunduri or jhudanga etc.– avoid watery or slimy veggies ( like bhindi).

Pressure cook masoor dal ( 3/4 cup) and a bit of roasted moog dal*( 2-3 tbsp), adding water, salt, haldi( a little) and vegetables ( no tomato at this stage). DO NOT OVERBOIL ( just cook for one whistle( about 5 mins in pressure cooker) and after a min or two,cool under running tap. Open the lid. Both masoor and mooga cook very fast and it is ideal to keep them just cooked and split. Overboiling makes it slimy.)

Heat mustard oil (1-2 tbsp) in the same pan in which prawns were fried. Crackle paanch phutan. Add chopped tomatoes ( 2). Stir-fry a bit. Add finely chopped onion (1), crushed garlic( 1-2 cloves), grated ginger(a little bit, say ¼ inch long) and 1/3 tsp red chilli powder. Saute. Add a bit of salt ( care: dal preparation already contains salt), 1 tbsp curry powder( preferably MDH Kitchen King) ( or garam masala powder) and a dash of cinnamon powder. Stir in the fried prawns. Sprinkle a bit of water as you fry to avoid burning of masala. Saute till oil separates and add this to dal and add water to get proper liquid consistency of dalma. Should be of slightly running consistency (not thick dal). Cook the dalma on low fire for 2-3 mins to absorb all flavours. Sprinkle ½ tsp cinnamon powder and chopped dhania patta. Serve hot with rice/roti/paratha etc..

* Simply dry fry( no oil to be added) some mooga dal in a pan lightly- for say about 2 mins till it leaves that nice aroma, and turns very slightly brown. Do not over roast.

Try it out – quick to make, less oil & masala and finger-licking !