Bhaja Munger dal with sobji

Bhaja Munger dal with sobji or Roasted Mung dal cooked with vegetables

Bhaja Munger dal with sobji or Roasted Mung dal cooked with vegetables is Bengali delicacy and forms a major part of vegetarian dish. This vegetarian delicacy is probably much as the lentil soup without onion and garlic. Bhaja means fried and sobji means vegetables. The mung dal  when fried in ghee or dry roasted till golden (not brown) , releases  a special nutty aroma. Then it is cooked with ghee and whole garam masala spices that enhances the flavor. Finally, the vegetables are added that makes this dish nutritional.

It’s an interesting fact that the birth of delicious, lip-smacking vegetarian dishes goes back to the era when a woman’s identity was solely tied to the man, and when her husband died, she was confined to the kitchen, household work and regional worships. Most noteworthy and sadly enough. the widow cannot relish non-vegetarian dishes like fish and meat, and also cannot include heating elements in her food such as shallots and garlic. However, ginger was allowed. In spite of all these restrictions, the vegetarian food evolved in such a way, that though it was deceptively a simple food preparation, but cooked with such precision and served with equal refinement, that it became popular among the larger population. These vegetarian delicacies became a part of the multiple courses served in a Bengali cuisine.

We’re all pretty chauvinistic about our traditional cuisines but no one can deny the delicacy, the nuances, that a Bengali cook brings to the simplest meal. I prepare this dish just as the way my dida( mother’s mom) used to prepare and so this recipe is incomplete without adding sugar and ghee :).

Bhaja Munger dal with sobji or Roasted Mung dal cooked with vegetables
Bhaja Munger dal with sobji


Bhaja Munger dal with sobji or Roasted Mung dal cooked with vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Bengali
Serves: 2 people
  • ½ cup split and dehusked Mung Beans(Mung Dal )
  • ⅓ cup cauliflower florets
  • ⅓ cup chopped potatoes
  • ⅓ cup green peas
  • ⅓ cup chopped eggplant
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced coconut(optional)
  • 2.5 tbsp white butter (ghee)
  • salt as per taste
  • ½ tsp sugar or as per taste(optional)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Dash of hing or asaefoetida
  • 1-2 green chillies slit vertically
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chopped/grated ginger
  1. Heat a pan and dry roast the mung dal till light brown on low medium flame. Cool the roasted dal for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the roasted dal in a pressure cooker and add 1½ cup water along with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
  3. Cover the lid of the pressure cooker with the whistle and cook on medium high heat. After 2 whistles, turn off the gas and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a large skillet and add 1.5 tbsp ghee into it.
  5. Add chopped potatoes into the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes so that they are partially baked.
  6. Next add the green peas, cauliflower florets, and grated/chopped carrots. Cover and cook on low flame for 20 minutes or till the cauliflower is baked. Stir and mix for 5 minutes and take out the veggies on a plate.
  7. In the same pan, add 1 tsp ghee. Add hing, cumin seeds, dry red chillies, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and cardamon pods. Saute for 2-3 minutes on low flame.
  8. Add grated ginger and green chilly and saute for 2 minutes till the raw smell of the ginger goes away.
  9. Add the cooked dal . Add water as required for the gravy consistency. Add turmeric and red chilly powder.
  10. Bring the dal to a boil on low medium flame. Add the fried veggies. Add roasted cumin powder and salt as per taste. Lower the flame and let the dal simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add ½ tsp sugar or as per your taste before taking the mung dal off the heat. This step is optional.
  12. You can garnish the dal with chopped coconut or coriander. Serve it hot along with rice or ruti(chappati).



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