Some things are special, not because of how they taste, but due to the memories they bring forth. This recipe is special for me as it reminds me of my mother. I always cooked and baked my best recipes when my mother visited and out of all those fancy things I made, this bhunni Moong daal was what she favored. She always requested for it. It’s funny how every time I make this now, I feel her right here with me telling me she loves it :). Alsooooo my mother-in-law (an excellent cook herself) complimented my daal, she said “delicious” and that is not a small achievement. 😀 Now I think of myself as daal royalty, haha.
Fro those who don’t know, Moong is a skinned and halved version of the whole Moong bean. They are flat, golden in color, have a mild taste and are easy to cook. Some people would tell you that split Moong daal is good for children, elderly people and convalescents as it is relatively easily digested. Bhunni daal is basically one where all the grains are separate unlike regular daal which is mashed together to a thick soupy consistency.
- 2 cups Moong daal
- 1/4 cup oil/ghee
- 1 tomato medium size, chopped
- 1 onion medium, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- Salt, to taste
- turmeric, pinch
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 green chilli
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
- 2 cups hot water + 2 tbsp
- Soak the Moong daal in room temperature water for about 15 minutes. Rinse and drain.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. Saute for a minute or so.
- Mix in the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add garlic, ginger and the green chili. Saute for a minute till fragrant. Make sure that it does not change color or get over brown.
- Turn the heat from medium to low.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of water so the spices wont get burned and add all the dry spices, salt, turmeric, coriander powder and the red chili flakes. Mix well.
- Now add the chopped tomato and turn the heat to high. We are going to cook the tomatoes till all the water is gone and you can see the oil leaving the sides of the pan. Tomatoes should not be over cooked or burned.
- Mix in the Moong daal and saute with the spices for almost about 3 minutes. Keep the heat on medium to high flame.
- Pour in 2 cups of hot water and mix everything. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes on high heat.
- This next step is a little technical. After 5 minutes turn the heat from medium to low.
- Now on low heat, cook for another 5 minutes and then check to see if all the water is gone. If yes, then turn the flame to its lowest reading and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Do not uncover for the next 5 minutes.
- Daal is ready. Take it out in a serving bowl and prepare the garnish.
Ingredients for garnish:
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
- Garam masala, one pinch
- 1 green chilli
- cilantro, chopped.
- Sprinkle all these on the daal..
Tips & serving options:
- When you are working on step 10 if the daal is still not cooked, you can add hot water at this stage and cook for another 5 minutes.
- If daal looks soft and mushy,do not worry. Use it as a filling to make Daal filled paratha.
- Serve daal with green chutney raita, pickled onions, achaar and/or fried green chillies.
Daal is a staple at most Desi tables and everyone has their own family versions. It is flavorful and nutritious and ideal for a quick dinner. It keeps really well in the refrigerator for two to three days too. This recipe is vegan and Gluten free and you can make it virtually fat free too if you omit the oil and cook it in a non stick pan.
Aa jao bachon “Moong ki daal” tayyar hai !!!!