Dals are an integral part of my life; my Dad hails from Delhi, and he grew up eating a very many varieties of dals, especially the North-Indian styles. After my parents got married and moved to Mumbai, the dal-eating habit traveled with them, and was soon inculcated into our daily diet; something that has continued over the years. And while we have different kind of dals with rice, some traditional Bengali ones too, we like to have some ‘tadke-wali dali’ with our rotis at night.
Over the years, I’ve picked up some family recipes of dal from my mother’s aunt, who was married to a Punjabi, and even some Maharashtrian and South Indian style dals. This one is a simple, yet tasty Moong dal recipe that I learnt from my Nani (maternal grandmother), and then gave it my own twist.
Spicy Moong Tadka
- Dhuli Moong dal/Split Yellow Lentils – 2 cups (500 gms)
- Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Tomato paste – of 1 large tomato
- Green chili paste – of 3 to 4 chilies (adjust according to heat preference)
- Curry leaves – a handful
- Curry powder – 1 tbsp
- Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tbsp
- Turmeric – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Dried red chilies – for tadka
- Birista/Fried onion – for garnish
- Fried raisins and cashews – for garnish
- Methi/Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp for tadka
- In a large, deep-bottomed kadhai, heat 2 tbsp of ghee, and let it smoke well.
- Add the methi seeds, and once they sputter, add the whole red chilies and curry leaves.
- Don’t fry them too much, and after a few seconds, add the ginger-garlic, tomato and green chili paste.
- Fry the masala for a few seconds on low flame, and add the curry powder, turmeric and Kashmiri red chili powder.
- Once the masala changes colour and leaves the ghee, add the washed moong dal. (You may boil the dal to save time, but I prefer to bhuno the dal with the masalas first)
- Now season with salt, sugar and garam masala, and for 5 to 7 minutes, roast the dal with the masalas well.
- Now add water, almost 6 to 8 cups, enough to submerge the dal, and let it boil in the kadhai itself. (Alternately, you may pressure cook the dal now, with the masalas, but I prefer this method of boiling the dal. It took me 20 minutes for the dal to soften well)
- Once dal has absorbed most of the water, check consistency and seasonings and adjust water to make dal thick and soupy.
- Lastly, garnish with some onions, cashews and raisins fried in the reserved ghee, and serve hot.. 🙂