Shukto Recipe – Hab Shifa

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Shukto Recipe


  • 200 g split mung bean (moong dal)
  • 1 medium bottle gourd
  • 2 drumsticks (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 3 dried red kashmiri chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 125 ml(½ cup) hot water
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • handful sawtooth coriander leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard oil
  • coriander cress and roti, to serve

Panch phoron

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds


Soak the moong dal in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, wash well and drain again.

Meanwhile, for the panch phoron, mix all the spices together.

Wash, peel and cut the bottle gourd into fine batons. Wash, peel and cut the drumsticks into the same lengths as the bottle gourd.

Heat the vegetable oil and ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the chillies, bay leaf and the panch phoron and cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the bottle gourd, season with salt and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the drumsticks and drained moong dal and cook until the dal starts to break down (press it between your fingers to test). Add the dried spices and cook for a couple of minutes then add the hot water.  Check the seasoning. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the dal has broken down.

Stir through both corianders and remove from the heat. Drizzle with mustard oil and sprinkle over the coriander cress. Serve with roti.



Drumsticks are the pods of the tree of the same name, a native of Northern India. The pods and leaves are typically used in India to add to soups and curries.