Teto Daal—A wonderful cooling dal made with bittergourd

  • Prep Time : 5m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 25m

Since India is a warm country, in summer, you find that people consume certain fruits and vegetables that are meant to be cooling for the system.

Ancient medicine  used food itself as a cure so ancient wisdom and Ayurveda prescribe certain foods for certain ailments.

According to Ayurveda, the 3 elements Kapha, Vata and Pitta balance each other and have to be in perfect proportion.

Any imbalance and the system goes for a toss. So essentially, if you watch what you eat, eat seasonal, you will be ok.

This recipe is a typical Bengali recipe and is always made in the hot sweltering summer.

What better way to stay fit than to eat the right things at the right time of the year.

Here’s to keeping well!


  • Mung dal/ Toor Dal- 1 cup
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Karela/ Bittergourd- 1/4 cup
  • Green chilli
  • Mustard seeds/ Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 1/2 tsp ( for tempering)
  • Oil/ Ghee- 1 tsp - for tempering
  • Salt- to taste
  • Papaya ( raw)- optional or Bottlegourd (Lauki) or Turai - 1/2 cup or try
  • Ridge gourd ( Jheenga/ Shirala) or Courgette ( raw)- optional
  • Ginger grated
  • Turmeric- optional
  • Drumstick- 1 )optional)
  • Sugar- 1/2 tsp
  • Carrot- 1 (optional)



Step 1

Pressure cook dal with the vegetables (other than karela) and keep aside. Do not pressure cook karela. Keep aside. Mostly a combination of karela and any 2 vegetables like raw papaya, bottlegourd or carrot are used.

Step 2

Slice the karela into roundels. You can either keep/ discard the seeds, as you please. In Bombay, we always get rid of them, but in Calcutta, they keep them . They taste crunchy when fried. Howerver, if they have turned reddish, please throw them. Apply some salt and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Step 3

In a wok, put 2 -3 tsp oil. Add the bittergourd (karela) and fry till slightly crisp and brown.

Step 4

Heat 1 tsp ghee, add mustard seeds/ jeera. When they pop, add grated ginger. Normally Turmeric is not added, but you could add it if you like.

Step 5

Add the cooked dal & and cooked vegetables.

Step 6

Add in the salt. Remember that the fragrance of the ginger and the taste of the karela have to be the most prominent in this recipe, hence too many spices are not used.

Step 7

Serve hot with rice.



For more Dal recipes please look up:

Veni's SPicy Mung dal         PunjabiDalFRy    Sambhar

Veni’s Spicy Mung Dal                 Punjabi Dal Fry                       South Indian Sambhar



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