Monday, January 23, 2012

Moong Dal

For those of you who can't imagine eating beans, may I introduce you to Moong Dal? 

I have made Moong Dal several times and I have to say, it's becoming a favorite go-to dish.  It's easy to make, it's inexpensive, and it's delicious.  Also, if you have vegetarian or vegan friends, it's the perfect dish to serve as it has no animal products in it whatsoever.

Basically, you cook yellow split peas with salt--bring the water up to boiling, then allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.  They are cooked with ginger, jalapeno peppers, turmeric, tomatoes (you can used a can of diced tomatoes, and if you use a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos, then you will save yourself the trouble of dicing a jalapeno pepper) and lemon juice.  You saute the rest of the ingredients (garlic, cumin seed, and red chili pepper) in a little oil.  The original recipe called for this to be stirred in with the yellow split peas but a friend of mine that it works quite well if you stir the peas into the skillet where you're sauteing the spices and heat it through.  It did work quite nicely.  When I made them this go round I forgot to add the tomatoes and I did miss them though the peas were still tasty.

Basmati rice a tasty accompaniment to this.  I like to throw in one or two cardamom pods and a teaspoon of cumin seeds in with the rice in my rice cooker--I cooked a cup of rice (which became two cups cooked).  It was pretty good.  Basmati rice already has a lovely, sweet and nutty fragrance anyway so if you decide to skip the cumin and cardamom it will still be tops.


  1. Great idea. Do you leave out the aesofita (sp?) mention in the recipe you link to? Wondering if it's a key ingredient or if I can sub something else...? - Lisa M

  2. Lisa, You can pick up asafetida at any of the Indian stores in Porter Sq. If not, sub chopped garlic and/or onion. -Steve

  3. Lisa, if you buy it ask for "hing." I asked for Asafoetida at my local Indian grocer and they gave me a box of acidophilus, which is great for the gut but not needed for making moong dal! I didn't end up using it though and it turned out just fine. Probably because I'm VERY generous with the garlic and ginger--I use more than is called for.