Biulir Dal

A prized Bengali mashkolai or biulir dal (urad in Hindi) recipe flavoured with fennel seeds and ginger.

  • Cooking time
    45 minutes
  • Calories
Recommended by
members who rated this recipe on Youtube

Biulir dal can be polarising. You either like its slimy texture, or you don't. Slime is a food texture that Bengali cuisine prizes. Young children are gently cajoled into eating slimy delicacies such as lady's fingers (dhyarosh), jute leaves (paat), malabar spinach (pui), certain types of taro (kochu), taro stolons (kochur loti) and so on. The indoctrination usually starts with the fried forms of these foods. In no time they graduate to other methods of cooking, that produce more slimy results. It is a slippery slope.

This recipe is how biulir dal is cooked in our Bangal (East Bengali immigrant) family. The dal is first dry roasted before being boiled. In other households, the dal may be boiled directly producing a more slimy consistency. The most important flavours here are of fennel seeds (mouri) and fresh ginger. This dal is commonly served with alu posto (potatoes cooked in a poppy seed paste) in West Bengali (ghoti) households.

Books in this recipe

No items found.
Like the work we do? Help keep this site ad-free by making a donation.


6 servings
  • 150 g kalaier dal (urad in Hindi)
  • 12 g salt
  • 600 g water
  • 15 g vegetable oil
  • 3 pcs dried red chillies
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • 3 pcs green chillies
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds (mouri)
  • 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • 20 g ginger paste
  • 6 g fennel ground to a fine paste
  • 28 g sugar
  • 15 g ghee


  1. Dry-roast the dal over medium heat, until the colour changes to a light brown (about 8 minutes). Immediately remove from the heat to prevent it from cooking further, and wash with cold water.
  2. Transfer the dal to a pressure cooker along with 12 g salt and 600 ml water. The lentils should be cooked, but should not disintegrate completely. Use a dal ghutni or balloon whisk to mash some of the dal. Do this gently. We don't want a uniform slurry.
  3. Grind 6 g fennel seeds to a fine paste.
  4. In a hot kadai heat vegetable oil. Temper with dried red chillies, bay leaves, ½ tsp of fennel seeds (mouri), green chillies, and a pinch of hing (asafoetida).
  5. Add half of the ginger paste and half of the fennel seed paste along with a splash of hot water, and braise the spices on medium heat for about 4 minutes.
  6. Add sugar, and then add the boiled dal.
  7. Bubble for 5 minutes, and add the rest of the ginger paste and the fennel seed paste. Cook another 2 minutes.
  8. Finish with ghee.

Recipe discussion

Did this recipe help you cook something that made you happy?

At Bong Eats, we are working to standardise Bengali recipes, and present them to the world in a way that anyone, anywhere will be able to cook Bengali food with confidence—even if they have never tasted it before. We want the world to know that there is Indian food beyond tikka masala.

A lot of time and money goes into creating precise recipes such as this one. We don't want to depend on advertisements that track our viewers' activities through third-party cookies; we do not want take sponsorship money from companies that don't make subpar products.

You can help us make this a sustainable venture that can employ talented local writers, editors, photographers, recipe-testers, and more. Donate to keep us going.

Make a One-time donation

Help us keep Bong Eats free and open for everyone by making a one-time contribution. You can donate as much as you want. No amount is too little.

Become a member ⭐️

Join to get access to a vibrant private community of people who full of people who love to cook, feed and eat. Get answers to your questions about recipes, techniques, where to find ingredients from fellow members. If you love cooking, this is the place for you.

Monthly LIVE cookalongs
Shiny new private forum
Adda after every video release
Personalised recommendations
✨ See Membership Perks ✨
Art by Ritwika
A fun, private community for enthusiasts of Bengali food

We're building a community

With Bong Eats adda we are trying to create a quiet corner on the internet for people who love nothing more than cooking and feeding people. The focus is naturally on Bengali and South Asian food, but as anyone who has spent time with food and its history knows, everything in food is interconnected. Nowhere is this more true than in Bengal, the melting point of so many cultures of the world—home to the first "global cuisine", as food historian Pritha Sen puts it. If that sounds like just the place you have been looking for, come help us build this space together. We are just getting started.

Join now
Join our 220+ strong community

🧣 Winter 🫛

Bakes & Roasts

Posted on
December 21, 2023
Bong Eats

Winter is here. It is time to get baking. Here are some ideas, both savoury and sweet.

Read More »

✨ What's new?

View all »

Koi Komola

Koi fish cooked with fresh orange juice and seasonal tangerines.

  • 1 hour
  • 214
Viewers liked this

Kochur Loti Chingri diye

Taro stolons cooked with mustard and prawns

  • 90 mins
  • 170
Viewers liked this

Potoler Khosha Bata

A spicy, fudgy mash made of pointed gourd (potol) peels.

  • 60 mins
  • 90
Viewers liked this

Palong Shaak Bhaja

Stir-fried spinach

  • 30 mins
  • 79
Viewers liked this
See all New recipes »
kolai dal
View all »

Doi Bora

Spongy lentil fritters in a yoghurt dressing: a perfect, cooling, filling snack

  • 4 hours
  • 312

Biulir Dal

A prized Bengali mashkolai or biulir dal (urad in Hindi) recipe flavoured with fennel seeds and ginger.

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal
View all »

Machher Teler Bora

These extra crispy fritters are packed with flavours of the fish fat, liver and bladder; they are the perfect with hot rice

  • 20 minutes
  • 376

Chicken Pakora

Boneless chicken thigh marinated with spices and deep-fried: a delicious snack with beer or tea!

  • 40 minutes
  • 416

Postor Bora

Ground poppy seeds mixed with various kinds of fillers and flavours, fried into small, crisp, brown discs

  • 30 minutes
  • kcal