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Moong dal tadka is a popular main dish in India. Moong dal means split and skinned green gram, and tadka means tempering. Thus, the name of this dish means tempered green gram curry.
We are preparing it in the Punjabi style, meaning that this is the way it is prepared in the North Indian state of Punjab.
Popularly called dal tadka, this dish can also be prepared with urad dal (split and skinned black gram) or with a mixture of both green and black dals. However, it is more common to use moong dal for this dish. Serve it with roti, naan, or rice.
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Serves 3 to 4 people
- 3/4 cup moong dal (split and skinned green gram)
- 1 liter water
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 3 to 4 granules or 1/4 teaspoon heeng (asafoetida) or its powder
- 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons desi ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons hara dhania (cilantro), chopped
- Put the dal in a pressure cooker and wash it until the water runs clear. Keep it on full heat and add the water, salt, haldi, heeng, and ginger paste. Put on the lid, and at the first whistle, turn off the heat.
- Open the cooker when the pressure subsides. Check to make sure the dal is soft.
- Keep the dal on medium heat and prepare the tadka on another burner. Remember to stir the dal from time to time while you are making the tadka. Reduce heat to low when the dal starts to thicken.
- Keep a pot on high heat and heat the desi ghee. Add jeera and chopped onions. Saute for a minute or so and add the kasuri methi. Saute until the onions are light brown.
- Add the garlic paste and stir a few times. Now add the garam masala, coriander powder, and red chilli powder. Stir until the spices are roasted or change a shade in color. Add the tomato puree and stir for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Add the cilantro to the dal when it starts to thicken, and give it a good stir.
- When the tadka is ready, pour it into the dal and give it a good mix. Cook the dal until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve.
© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly