I have a slight obsession for Dal (Ok huge!!) And this Bengali Bhaja Moong Dal Is my Family’s Favourite. Roasted Moong Dal and slightly simmered in spices and pea makes it extra special.
Normally moong dal or yellow lentil is not considered gourmet. It is mostly opted when someone is looking for a simple meal with not much flavour.Or is feeling a bit under the weather wants to escape into easy cooking.
But here a slight roasting of the dal on the pan gives it a unique flavour. You get a slight crunch which has been gently simmered in spices in an open pan. Every grain is separate yet distinct in flavour.
This aromatic Bengali Moong dal can also be made with fresh vegetables during winters. It can also be enjoyed round the year and the addition of the vegetables gives it a lot of body and texture along with added nutrition.
Lentils are ancient food. They’re well-known for their ability to grow in poor soil with little water, complementing grains to provide a complete protein and nourishing whole civilizations. Early lentil dishes were likely cooked, along with early grains, over open fires to soften them into nutrient-dense porridges
More than anything, dal is comfort food at its finest. Served over rice or with rotis and chapatis, it is as nourishing as it is soothing. Quick-cooking dal is made from split lentils (in this recipe we went with moong dal) and can be dressed up with the addition of the tempering spices. Once you learn the technique, experiment with a ‘tadka’ combination of your own to customize this dish. That’s the beauty of dal — it’s made for personalization.
This dal along with roti/rice is delicious on their own, but if I want to add more vegetables to the meal, I often make a simple cucumber raita. This is a cooling staple recipe for summers and a relatively simple meal. It also keeps well in the fridge, so I can make it ahead of time.
Bhaja Moong Daal
I have a slight obsession for Dal. And this Bengali Bhaja Moong Dal Is my Family’s Favourite. Toasted Moong Dal and slightly simmered in spices and pea makes it extra special.
- 1-1/2 cup roasted moong dal (split green gram)
- 2 tablespoon of ghee
- 1 teaspoon jeera
- 1 pinch of hing
- 2 cardamom
- 2 cloves
- A stick of cinnamon and bay leaf
- 2 chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 2 green chili (or as per taste)
- 1-1/2 chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons of raisins (optional)
- ¼ cup of peas (fresh/frozen)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt to taste
- Lemon slices to serve
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- Heat a wok and dry roast the lentils in a pan for 15 min till light pink.No oil is needed. Be watchful as the dal tends to burn easily.
- Add the roasted dal and cook with 1-1/2 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric in 3 cups of water.
- Cook for 30-45 on low medium flame in an open pan. Add more water if needed.
- In another pan take 2 tablespoons of ghee and add hing (asafoetida), cumin, cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon. Add onion, ginger, green chilies. and tomatoes and cook for a while till the raw smell disappears and the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add the cooked pulses and allow it to simmer for a while.
- Add 2 tablespoon of raisins(optional) and the peas after the dal is cooked. Let it bloom and release its sweetness.
- Further, add coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon of ghee. Add garam masala if desired.
- Serve hot with rice or roti and lemon wedges.