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Winter Melon with Yellow Mung | Chaal Kumro Diye Muger Dal

Happiness is when you see a lot fresh "Indian Produce" in the vegetable aisle of Yanbu's supermarket. In the two years of living here, this is the first time I got to see Indian Produce fruits and vegetables that are not only in good shape and condition but are more in variety too. The funny thing was they had labelled each and every item as "Indian Produce" and charged at 11 SAR for 1 Kilogram. Pick any for 11 for a kilo! that is insane but totally acceptable! :-)

I picked raw papaya, bottle gourd, Indian okra, winter melon, drumsticks, broad beans and tiny brinjals! There were a few other veggies like ridge gourd, bilimbi, Indian pumpkin etc which I did not pick this time because I have never used them. When your fridge is fully stocked is when it is hard to decide what to cook, don't you agree?

 Winter Melon with Yellow Mung | Chaal Kumro Diye Muger Dal

I started with the winter melon. I made moru curry (buttermilk curry) with one-half and the other half went into making this Bengali dish called "chaal kumro diye muger dal" that translates to "Winter Melon with Yellow Mung". The first time I made referring to eCurry because my bong friend was away on a romantic vacation with her hubby dear. I knew a half cut winter melon would not stay good for too long, so went ahead and made as per Soma's recipe.

As I am drafting this post, I learnt she is back and shamelessly asked her for the recipe instead of how her vacation was! :-) She knows me to bits so... the only difference is she uses "Panch Phoran instead of cumin in this recipe and I can imagine that would be amazing too.

To make your own stock of Panch Phoran (btw, this is my new love. I make use of this in tempering upma, stir fries etc and it lends such amazing flavour and aroma) take equal parts of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a bottle and shake well before using it. :-P

 Winter Melon with Yellow Mung | Chaal Kumro Diye Muger Dal

And that is my Ragee dear who photobombs either sleeping or sniffing at my food plate. :-) 

Winter Melon with Yellow Mung

Winter melon is also known as ash gourd, white gourd, or winter gourd. In Malayalam I think it is called Kumbalanga?


1 medium winter melon, peeled and chopped  (about 3 cups cubed)
1/2 cup yellow mung (don't wash)
2 teaspoons ghee
2 dry red chilli
2 green chilli, slit
a pinch of Hing/asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (1/2 to 1 teaspoon Panch Phoran, Bengali's five spice)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Peel the skin, cut and remove the seeded part. Chop the melon into little cubes, wash and set aside.
  2. Dry roast the yellow mung dal in a thick bottomed pan or kadhai until they turn golden and become fragrant. Transfer them to a bowl and let cool.
  3. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they splutter add the asafoetida, green chilli, dry red chilli and the bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the chopped melon, salt and turmeric and toss well. 
  5. Add the roasted lentils, and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, then add a few drops of water but may not require as the melon will anyways release water. Cook for about two whistles and switch off. Let the pressure go off on its own.
  6. Uncover and check the doneness of the lentils, melon and salt. Everything should retain its shape but be mashable. Adjust the taste and switch off.
  7. Serve hot with a dash of ghee tossed in it and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Traditionally this is served with hot white rice but we enjoyed with some chapatis.
I usually make at least twice before blogging, but this is a very simple dish and cannot go wrong at all. InshaAllah, I will try and make it again with Panch Phoran. Meanwhile, linking this post to the event MLLA #103 happening at The Big Sweet Tooth until this month end, conceptualised by Susan and hosted by Lisa

Update: 20/04/2017: Here is another picture of the same dish made with Panch Phoran which is the 5 spice of Calcutta!

Winter Melon with Yellow Mung | Chaal Kumro Diye Muger Dal