The Bhaja Muger dal ( Dry roasted and cooked mung / moong lentils ) has been a request from an old reader of my blog ... Vaishnavi ... from a considerable long time back. I know I have been very late in posting this ... but then ... well ... here it is ... a very flavourful yet very simple dal that tastes awesome with plain steamed rice.
This dal tastes very different from what raw moong dal tastes when cooked. Try the tempering used here with raw moong dal once ... which is also wonderful in taste and flavour ... and you will know.
Just one mouthful of this dal with rice takes you to heaven ... and back ... for another mouthful.
I recommend cooking this in ghee. If cooking in oil, top it with a spoonful of ghee after it is done.
Bhaja Muger Dal
1 cup Moong / Mung dal
2 Green chillies - chopped
1 inch Ginger - chopped very finely
1/2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
A little Haldi / Turmeric powder
1 tsp Ghee / Clarified butter or 1 tsp Mustard oil
2 Tej pata / Bay leaves
Salt to taste
Water to cook ( around 3 cups )
How to :
Take a thick bottomed pan .. preferably cast iron kadahi / wok ... or a non stick utensil would do too ... but it has to be a heavy one.
Tip in the cupful of mung dal into it and put it on low flame.
Keep stirring continiously ... the dal will slowly get roasted and turn golden in colour and let out an aroma. Do not leave the place even for a moment .. it burns real quick.
As soon as the dal turns golden ... turn off heat and remove pan ... keep stirring for some more time till the pan / kadahi cools.
Wash the dal and keep aside.
Take a pressure cooker. Put in the dal, water, salt and haldi. Close and cook till 2 whistles on low heat.
Or you can soak the dal for around an hour and then run it in the MW oven at 60% for 10 minutes.
Heat ghee ( or mustard oil ) in another pan or kadahi.
Add the jeera. When it starts to splutter ( do not burn it ), add the tej patta and the ginger.
Stir a little and add the green chillies.
Add the dal and stir well.
Adjust salt and water to get desired consistency.
Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer for around 5 minutes.
Serve very hot with steamed rice.
Preferably with some vegetable fry on the side.
I had some Parwal / Potol / Pointed gourd ... so here's my crispy fried Parwal or muchmuche Potol bhaja.
Crispy Fried Parwal / Pointed Gourd
It is Parwal / Padwal / Potol / Pointed Gourd season.
Bengalis make a whole variety of dishes with this vegetable.
But I love it crispy fried ... like this. Crispy yet retaining the sweetness of the vegetable.
This way of coating with rice flour and frying the vegetables is more common in Odisha ... which is very different from the usual Bengali way of frying vegetables.
While I am used to this way due to our Oriya cook, DH fell in love with this kind of fries on our trip to Chilika ... and later many other places in Orissa that we have visited.
For a vegetarian, this is like manna from heaven ... if you are not into those heavy paneer masala, etc. types of food.
The crispiness comes from the rice flour. So this is known as Pithau bhaja in Odiya.
And since it is shallow fried, no too much of oil into you ... as opposed to the usual Bengali way of bhajas / fries that are most of the time deep fried.
You can fry other vegetables like the Karela / Bitter gourd, Potatoes, Onions, Cauliflower, etc. this way too.
And this is a great hit with kids too .. an easy way to get some veggies into them.
This is quick to make and tastes best when eaten hot. So prepare everything and fry just before serving a meal.
So here is the Potola pithau bhaja for you.
Parwal / Pointed gourd - peeled and cut into very thin slices
Rice flour - a few spoonfuls to to coat the slices well
Chopped green chillies ( optional )
Salt to taste
Oil to shallow fry
How to :
Toss everything except the oil together in a bowl.
Take a flat bottomed heavy or non stick pan and heat some oil ... spreading the oil all over properly.
Put in the sliced and coated parwal and spread them so that they do not stick to form a lump.
Fry till golden brown.
Here's another look of this simple yet very tasty and flavourful lunch.
Have a great weekend all!!
Do check out Sandeepa's and Mandira's versions of the Bhaja muger dal.