Not in a million years would I have imagined that I would start craving for moong dal fry! Maybe a bit of ageing and a stressful week both put together need comfort without much of the frills. Well, that was the start of this moong dal fry and then there were spring onions that are getting drenched in the rain. Together they made the best moong dal fry pairing well with some naan, kalonji pulao and laccha pyaaz salad (onion salad).
What is the difference between dal tadka and dal fry?
When you see both dal tadka and dal fry on the menu in a restaurant, often it confuses us. Here is the idea in the simplest form. To cook mashed dal, if you add tempered spices (tadka) and fresh herbs and stir it in without further cooking it, it is dal tadka. Dal fry on the other hand takes a bit more effort. Cook mash and set aside the dal. Prepare the tadka in another stock pot and add the basic buna masala to it and stir fry that for a couple of minutes. Now add the cooked dal to it and let it cook again. Once boiled, remove from heat. This is dal fry. Here the dal is essentially refried. Hope this makes it easier for you to understand the difference between the dal fry and dal tadka.
Ingredients for this moong dal fry
Moong dal- moong bean or green gram is a common ingredient across Indian cuisine. The whole green one or the split one is one type and then there is the split and skinned variety( dhuli moong or pasiparrippu). This creates the creamy yellow dal and is what is used in this recipe. Usually, a thick dal takes about 2 times water from the dry form and the tinner ones about 3 cups of water. Check the cooking methods below and choose based on your convenience.
Tadka- the basic tadka is the one that heightens the flavour of the otherwise bland dal. The oil of choice is ghee due to its high heat index. The crackling cumin seeds flavour this ghee along with a ref chilli or two based on how much heat you want.
Onion,spring onions and garlic scapes – now what grows in the garden reached the table. Depending on the availability chop up a bunch of spring onions and garlic scapes to use along with the onion in this recipe. Stir fry this in the ghee for a minute before the next addition.
Tomato- not a lot but a bit of tomato fried in the same ghee gives just a bit of sourness to the dal without overpowering it.
Spices- other than salt and turmeric the only addition to this dal is crushed or grated fresh ginger root. This is essential for that classic dal flavour. Add the grated ginger with the spring onions so the oil is flavoured.
Fresh herbs and lemon- the freshness of herbs and the lightness of the dal that lemon juice provides make these necessary ingredients. Usually, we add a lot of coriander leaves for the fragrance too. Don’t forget coriander is a good source of VitK and minerals.
Easy ways to cook moong dal
Moong dal is one of the easiest lentils to cook in the beans and lentil collection that is used in Indian recipes. The skinned and split dal cooks easily in most mediums. Here are three methods I cook these easily
Instant pot- to get a mashable dal, easy and add the dal to the instant pot cooking vessel. Add 2 times the water and pressure cook at a manual setting of 20 minutes. If you like the dal to be cooked but some to still hold its shape, saute the dal
A pressure cooker– is pretty much on the same lines as an instant pot. The pressure cooker needs manual timing. The key points to remember are not to overload the pressure cooker as the dal will bubble up while cooking. For a mashable dal, it takes 20 minutes or 4 to 5 whistles (the Indian pressure cooker releases steam at regular intervals).
Stove top– for a beginner or with no equipment the stovetop version is the easiest. For this method, soak the dal for 15 minutes before you start the cooking process. This makes the dal cook faster.
Slow cooker the moong dal develops a creamy texture when cooked in the slow cooker.
Here is the recipe card to make this dhuli moong dal fry recipe. Do rate the recipe and leave a comment when you try this recipe. You can also us the pin button to save this recipe to your board.
Dhuli moong dal fry
- instant pot
To cook the moong dal
- 3 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Moong dal pasiparippu, split green gram
For the dal fry
- 1 tsp cooking oil use ghee if preffered. I have used sunflower oil.
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp red onion chopped
- 2 tbsp spring onions ( optional)
- 1 tbsp garlic scapes green garlic
- 2-3 tbsp tomato chopped
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp fennel seed powder
- 1 tsp coriander leaves chopped
- Wash and soak the moong dal in water for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the moong dal under pressure manual setting for 15 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Now open and mash the cooked dal and set it aside till needed.
- In a seperate sauce pot or cooking pan, add the oil and set it at medium heat.
- As the oil heats up add the cumin seeds.
- When the cumin sizzles, add the chopped onions, garlic scapes and spring onions.
- Saute them well till onion is translucent and add the tomatoes and the spices.
- Now add the cooked dal and mix well.
- Adjust the salt and let this come to a bubble.
- Simmer the dal with occasional stirring for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the coriander leaves and lemon juice.
- Serve the dal hot with naan or rotis.
Making a meal with moong dal fry
Moong dal fry makes a delicious comfort meal with just a couple of other items. In this thali, we have some plain naan and cut vegetables to add as a salad. You can pair this dal with other flatbreads like phulkas and rotis too. The dal tastes fabulous with some steamed rice, lettuce stirfry or beans stirfry and gooseberry pickle.
Other recipes with moong dal
Moong dal is a versatile ingredient in Indian dishes. Either cooked or soaked the bean lends itself well to a lot of dishes. Here are a few we have made with this bean.
As we are edging towards the halfway mark, I realise this A -Z recipe challenge has enabled me to bring forth a collection of core Indian recipes more than usual. Most of these are home-style recipes and easy to prepare. If you have questions regarding the ingredients, where to get them, and how to store and use them, feel free to reach out either in the comments or by email.
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