I must have been a very strange child, by today’s norms, because I always enjoyed eating lentils or maybe I was a very fortunate child because my mom cooked yummy lentils.
Moong lentils don’t have an exciting ring to their name at all, being very mild tasting and considered good to feed only to toddlers, elderly and sick because they are easy to digest. But I believe no ingredient is exciting on its own, it’s the cooking method and presentation that makes it fun to eat.
Bhuni Moong Daal is a way to cook yellow moong lentils quite like we cook masala fried rice or pulao in Punjab. The lentils are briefly simmered with spices and caramelised onions till they soak up the flavours and get fluffy. It means the grains have to be separate as in pulao or biryani not mushy and soupy as in most daal based dishes.
Topped with fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes, this simple and quick to cook recipe transforms yellow moong lentils into a very yummy meal. Serve it with roti or paratha, with cumin spiced yogurt and pickles or mint chutney on the side.
*For those who are new to the world of lentils – yellow moong lentils are green split gram without skin.
*To make daal fluffy, keep an eye on water. If you have added too much and fear the lentils will go mushy, remove the lid and finish cooking the last 5 minutes on high heat.
2 cups yellow moong lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece ginger,finely chopped
2 black cardamom
6-7 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon or to taste red chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
Fresh coriander and green chillies for garnish
This Is What You Do:
Wash and rinse lentils to get rid of any dirt.
Heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Add onions, fry till golden brown.
Add ginger, garlic and all the spices with 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan for a couple of minutes to let spices release their flavour and aroma.
Add yellow moong lentils, salt and just enough water to cover the lentils, almost 2 cups.
Cover the pan and cook on medium low heat for 10-12 minutes or till all the liquid evaporates and the lentils are tender but not mushy.
Garnish with chopped coriander, green chillies and diced tomatoes.
Serve hot with roti and raita.