Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Moongi daal (Mung beans)

Moongi daal (Mung beans) shown on the left, are used all over the world in different ways, I cook them in combination with some Moth daal (pronounced mort in Hindi, shown on right).  You can just cook either on their own but this combo is yummy!
Moongi is one of the most easily of digested beans too, good if you need an energy boost.

You can buy these lentils in any English supermarket, they are normally labelled Mung beans, the Moth is available in some English supermarkets but mainly in indian shops.

You can cook this as a vegan or vegetarian dish I shall give both variations so you can choose.  Moongi daal makes a great main with vegetable pillau rice or plain rice or roti or serve it with side dishes, it is another daal  that marries well with other dishes.

You can also decide to make this dish Sathvick just remove the garlic and onions, it takes on a whole new flavour complex.

Ingredients for serving 4-6

  • I cup of Moongi daal, washed.  Wash the daal well in a sieve, most daal sold in english supermarkets are quite clean so don't need sifting and repeated washing. You can soak the daal the night before this will speed up cooking but it is not absolutely necessary for this lentil, if you do this just add a little less water on cooking.
  • A couple of handfuls of Moth daal, prepare as Moongi, they can be soaked together.
Tarka - We cook the daal and tarka separately and then combine them.
  • 3tbsp Light olive oil or (Ghee-clarified butter if you are making this vegetarian)
  • 1/2 Chopped onion
  • 1" fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped/ grated
  • 1 -2 fresh green chilli's chopped (the more you put in the hotter it gets)  Optional
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cumin/ Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Oragano seeds/ Ajowan seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Hand full of fresh chopped coriander


  1. Add your washed daal to a thick based pan, and top up with 2" or 5cm boiling water from kettle (this just speeds up the cooking). Cover and set it going at a medium heat so the lentils will boil and cook but not boil over.  It takes about 20mins for them to be cooked, but taste nicer the more you cook them longer.  This daal tends to be quite thirsty, so if you see it is cooking dry just top it up with more water, if you accidently add too much it is not a problem, just leave it to simmer without a lid on. While these are cooking we can cook our Tarka.
  2. In a second pan add your oil/ghee, set the pan at a slow heat this is the secret to good tasting Indian cooking, this recipe is very similar to other daal recipes given.  Add your cumin seeds and ajowan seeds, when they begin to crackle add your onion.
  3. Cook the onion till it is light brown and then add your ginger and chilli, stirring frequently.
  4. Continue to cook this till the ginger is brown too, if the ginger starts to stick to the pan just add a couple of tea spoons of water and stir until it comes free.
  5. Once the mix is caramel coloured, add your dry spices and salt and tomatoes, you have now made your tarka.
  6. Continue to cook this for a few more minutes until it is bubbling together nicely and the tomatoes have started breaking down, then add the tarka to your daal pot!  Add a little of the daal liquor to your tarka pan to make sure you get all the yummy spices and oil off and add back to the daal pot.
  7. If the beans are cooked they will be split in the middle and the lentils inside will be soft and mashy between your fingers.  If not just continue to cook them till they are.  I like to cook my daal for a good 20mins once I have added the tarka, you can cook it for longer on a slow heat the flavours just develop further. Taste it and add more salt if you like more.
  8. Last stage is to add your coriander and serve with rice or roti and enjoy! 

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