Garur Dal

  • Cooking time
    2 hours
  • Calories
Recommended by
members who rated this recipe on Youtube

Garur dal is in many ways an embodiment of the spirit of Bengali cooking—eating seasonally and eating every part of the plant or animal. This dal is so seasonal that you can only find its ingredients in the Bengal markets for exactly a week of the year, sometimes even less. Garur dal is cooked on the last day of the Bengali month of Ashwin, marking the end of the Sharat season. It is eaten the next day, on the first day of the month of Kartik, the beginning of the Hemanta season.

Garur dal is essentially a dal cooked with a medley of vegetables, a common cooking format for dals in Bengal. It uses summer vegetables that are about to go out of season, with some vegetables such as water lily stalks, green/unripe tamarind, and water lily rhizome which are only available during this period, and some winter vegetables that are just coming into season—a combination so unique that you cannot cook this outside this particular period of the year.

This is our family recipe, but every family has a particular combination of vegetables that they use. Here are some commonly used vegetables:

Leaves and shootsRoot vegetablesGourdsOthersSour
Shapla (water lily)Shalu (Water lily rhizome)Kumro (pumpkin)Thor (banana stem)Kacha tetul (unripe tamarind)
Lau doga (Bottle gourd shoots)Maan kochu (taro root)Chal kumro (ash gourd)Mulo (radish)Jolpai (Indian olive)
Kumro doga (Pumpkin shoots)Gathi kochu (taro corm)Jhinge (ridge gourd)Sheem (flat bean)Chalta (elephant apple)
Palong data (Spinach stem)Ol kochu (elephant foot yam)Lau (bottle gourd)Borboti (yardlong bean)
Pui data (Malabar spinach stem)Mishti aloo (sweet potato)Potol (pointed gourd)Begun (brinjal)
Kakrol (spiny gourd)Pepe (green papaya)

The water lily rhizome, which is also called garu or shalu/shaluk, has to be foraged from under the water. It is only during this time after the monsoons, that the water level is low enough to easily collect the shaluk.

The lentil used for this dal is motor dal (split yellow pea) although another lentil called khesharir dal (split Indian pea) used to be the preferred lentil until its sale was banned in India because of health reasons.

The basic cooking method is to first boil the dal until partially cooked, then add the vegetables until done. No oil is added upto this stage. After everything is cooked, some families (like ours) temper the dal with whole spices, but many don't. Instead they finish with a dry-roasted bhaja moshla.

Books in this recipe

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


8 servings
  • 200 g motor dal (split yellow peas)
  • 15 g salt
  • 1 L water
  • 120 g kumro (pumpkin)
  • 100g chalkumro (ash gourd)
  • 100 g shalu (rhizome of the water lily plant)
  • 100 g mishti alu (sweet potato)
  • 100 g thor (banana stem)
  • 100 g gathi kochu (taro corn)
  • 75 g shapla stalk (water lily stem)
  • 1 whole kacha tetul (green, unripe tamarind)
  • 4 pcs green chillies
  • 25 g grated coconut
  • 30 g sugar
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 15 g mustard oil
  • 3 pcs dried red chillies
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • ½ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
  • 15 g ghee


  1. Soak the motor dal in water for at least 2 hours. Boil it in an open pot or a pressure cooker with 15 g salt and 1 L water until 80% cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables. Cut kumro in 3-cm cubes, chalkumro in 4-cm cubes, gathi kochu in 3-cm chunks, mishti alu in 3-cm chunks, and shalu in 3-cm chunks. Peel and cut thor in 3-mm thick slices, removing fibres between each slice. Peel and chop the shapla stalks in 3-cm segments, and coat them with a pinch of salt. Slit the green chillies.
  3. In a saucepan, boil gathi kochu for about 6 minutes and strain the water. This removed its sliminess.
  4. Once the dal is 80% done, add the harder vegetables first: kumro, chalkumro, mishti alu and shalu. Give these a 10-minute headstart, before adding the boiled gathi kochu and thor. Boil for 5 mins or so, before finally adding the softest vegetables: kacha tetul and shapla. Boil for 2 mins or until all the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add 2 slit green chillies, grated coconut, sugar, and turmeric to the dal, and stir them in.
  6. In a separate pan, heat mustard. Temper with dried red chillies, bay leaves, kaalo jeere and 2 green chillies.
  7. Add the tempering into the dal.
  8. Finish with a generous amount of 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 »
View all »

Tita'r Dal

Moong dal cooked with bitter melon and bottle gourd, flavoured with ginger, ghee and coconut

  • 30 minutes
  • kcal

Arahar Dal

An easy toor dal (split pigeon peas) recipe cooked with ginger paste, tomatoes, and coriander leaves

  • 20 minutes
  • kcal

Biulir Dal

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

  • 45 minutes
  • kcal
View all »

Panchmishali Dal

This is the summery version of everyone's favourite 'bhaja' (roasted) mooger dal, this time loaded with a variety of summer vegetables

  • 40 minutes
  • 130

Panchmishali Torkari

A medley of winter vegetables, slow-cooked in their own juices

  • 90 minutes
  • kcal

Palong Shaaker Ghonto

A dry curry of spinach and winter vegetables, slow-cooked in their own juices.

  • 60 minutes
  • 163