A healthy, hearty moong dal preparation that goes great with rice, roti or paratha. In this recipe chilke wali moong dal is cooked with onions, tomatoes and simple spices to make a delicious and comforting lentil curry.
Moong dal is one of the easiest lentils to digest. It comes in three varieties — whole (sabut moong dal, whole green gram); split but not skinned (chilka moong dal or split green gram) and skinned (moong dal, green gram). Skinned moong dal is actually yellow in colour but still called green because of its original skin :-). I use it often in simple khichdi recipe.
Chilka moong dal is one of my favourite. It is a homely dal recipe with no frills really. So while I would make dal makhani or mixed dal for a dinner gathering, chilka moong dal with plain rice is the one that I will find comfort in when it is just me and Sikander.
Recently my best friend was visiting from London and chilke wali moong dal happens to be her favourite too. Since she has been living in a hostel for the last 1 year, home cooked comfort food was all that she wanted. I made a simple meal of split moong dal, rice and a sweet potato and french beans vegetable fry. But she elevated the simple meal by plating it so beautifully 🙂 Thank you Neha!
With summers blessing us with long days, we had our meal right outside on the balcony. Isn’t it lovely when food and friends come together! 🙂
- 1 cup chilka moong dal (split green moong)
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- ½ inch ginger , chopped
- 1 green chili , chopped
- 1 onion , chopped
- 1 tomato , chopped
- 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp ghee , clarified butter/use oil for vegan preparation
- Juice of 1 lime
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Wash the moong dal under running water in a fine sieve. Soak for about 30 mins to an hour in warm water.
Heat 2 tbsp ghee (use oil for vegan dal recipe) in a pressure cooker. When the ghee is hot, add asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies. Sauté for about a minute to flavour the ghee/oil with garlic.
Add onions, salt and turmeric. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, till the onions start to soften. Stir often so that the onions don’t stick to the pot.
Drain the dal and add the tomatoes, coriander powder and the drained dal to the pressure cooker. Mix well. Top with 3 cups of water. Close and pressure cook the dal for 3-4 whistles on medium heat (about 15 minutes).
Remove from heat and open the pressure cooker only after all the steam has escaped on its own.
Remove into a serving bowl, add lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with plain rice, pulao, roti, paratha or any other flat bread.
In India we cook most of our dals in a pressure cooker. It is more energy and time efficient. But moong dal chilka can easily be cooked in a regular stock pot. It will just take a little longer to soften.
Lentils are one of the most important vegetarian protein sources and in Indian cuisine almost a staple in every meal. There are just so many different dishes that can be made with lentils from mains o salads to snacks and even desserts. Whole lentils with their skin like sabut moong dal and sabut urad dal also pack in a lot of fibre. But they need to be soaked for at least 6-8 hours to ensure proper cooking. Split lentils are split but not skinned so they retain the nutrition of whole lentils, plus are a lot quicker to cook.
What is your favourite lentil preparation? Did you try making moong dal chilka? You totally should.. it is healthy, hearty, homely and super quick. Send me a picture, leave a comment or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Would love to start a conversation, share recipes, cooking experiences and food stories from India and around the world.