Moong dal or split, husked green gram has not always been a favourite - but according to Ayurveda, it is said to be lighter and easier to digest, compared to the more popular toor dal. Khichdi prepared from moong dal and rice is said to be one of the most restorative dishes during an illness. When pressure cooked, this dal tends to get somewhat slimy, which is why I wasn't too kicked about it in my early cooking days. Besides it doesn't have the kind of rich flavour that is inherent to toor dal. Add some masalas and a good tempering in ghee and moong dal turns more palatable. Cooking moong dal by the boiling method as against the pressure cooking method keeps the texture alive and makes it a much better dish, in my humble opinion.
This time I added tomatoes and flavoured it with ginger and a pinch of mint powder for a bit of mystery in the background and if I may say so, it did turn out pretty good. This is best had with rotis as it doesn't have any liquid to mix around with rice.
Sukhe Moong Dal
Serves 2 as an accompaniment to rotis
1/3rd cup Moong dal, washed and soaked in 2-3 cups water for at least 30 minutes, or more if possible
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp finely chopped or grated fresh ginger root
pinch of asafoetida
1-2 green chillies, finely minced
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp dried mint powder
In a pan, heat the oil. Splutter cumin seeds and then add ginger, asafoetida, chillies and saute for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and stir for a minute or so before adding all remaining ingredients except mint powder.
Once water comes to a boil, add soaked moong dal. Cover and cook for around 8-10 minutes, checking in between to add tbsp of water if dal is drying out.
Look for a stage when the dal is cooked, yet keeps its shape well and water is dried out. On a medium flame, this would take around 10 minutes. Sprinkle mint powder towards the end, give it a stir and remove into a bowl. Serve with rotis.
Next post : How to prepare mint powder / dried mint