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Moong Daal

Contributed by:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Housewife
Chennai

Moong Daal

Ingredients

Moong Daal - 1 cup
Shelled green peas - 1/2 cup (optional)
Water - 4 cups
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Sugar - 1 tsp or as per taste.
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Bay Leaves - 2
Green chillies - 2 or as desired (cut in two parts)
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
(make it fresh by grinding together 1" stick cinnamon, 2-3 green cardamoms and 2-3 cloves)
Ginger (peeled, washed and grated) - 1 tsp

For tadka (phoran):
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Kashmiri mirch powder - 1/4 tsp or as desired

Method of Preparation

1. Take dry moong daal in a kadai and roast till it gives out the aroma.
2. Transfer into a bowl and wash.
3. Add the water and let it soak for 15 minutes.
4. Transfer the soaked daal, alongwith water, into a pressure cooker.
5. Add peas, salt, turmeric, bay leaves, cumin powder, ginger, green chillies and
    garam masala powder.
6. Cook the daal till done i.e. for two whistles. Let the cooker cool by itself.
7. Open the pressure cooker, add sugar and mix the daal with a serving spoon. Do not do
    this too vigorously, otherwise you will not get the desired texture. The daal grains should
    still be visible, however, not very clearly.
8. For tadka/phoran, heat ghee in a big ladle till it melts.
9. Crackle cumin seeds in ghee. Add whole red chillies, fry and remove the ladle from heat.
10. Add Kashmiri mirch powder and immediately immerse the ladle in daal, cover
     and leave for 1 minute.
11. Mix daal with the ladle and switch on heat. Simmer the daal for 2-3 mins and remove
     from heat.
12. Serve with hot Maida Poori(Luchi) or Kachauri. It goes equally well with steamed rice
     and fried potato (aloo bhaja) as well.

Notes & Tips

1. Roasting of the daal should be done very carefully. It should be stirred continuously on medium heat till you get the aroma. I roast it till at least 30% of the grains become light pink. This, when boiled, gives the right texture.

2. This is a Bengali version of Moong Daal preparation. Usage of sugar is very common in Bengali cuisine. Addition of a little sugar, enhances the taste significantly.

3. Thickness of the daal can be varied, by altering the amount of water, as desired. Normally, the one eaten with rice is thin and that eaten with poori/kachauri is thick.

4. You can also add sauteed cauliflower and carrot pieces in this daal, when having with poori/kachauri.