It is a myth that Indian food is fatty and not very healthy. Most Indians grow up eating a very healthy and satisfying diet of Legumes, Pulses and Vegetables laden with Proteins, Vitamins and essential Minerals which are so important for a healthy body.
I don’t remember eating any Multi-vitamin capsules when we were growing up. The food we ate provided us with sufficient nourishment.
When I first moved to Australia my diet changed and I fell terribly sick. The doctor I saw explained how the changes in my diet had affected my body and the loss of Fiber from my diet was making me sick. So when I set up my home and settled down I ensured that our diet consisted of the food that we ate regularly back home and my health improved considerably.
Dal (Pulses) and vegetables are a part of our daily food routine and a dal that is often cooked in my house is the “Green Moong dal (Green Gram)”. It is cooked in different ways depending on the region and culture. This amazing dal is full of Protein and helps in losing weight. It also has Vitamin A, B, C, E and minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. So I make it often to ensure we are eating right.
Green Gram is cooked in its whole form (Sabut Moong) or the unshelled ones which is what I cooked this time. Like everything I cook, it is ready under 30 minutes with minimal fuss and has a delicious soft and silky texture when done. The dry Mango powder gives it a nice kick and the Ghee just elevates the taste.
The best thing about this dal is that you can use any left overs to knead your Chapatti/Roti dough and make delicious Chapattis/Rotis that can be served with a dry Potato sabzi. This dal will be a good vegetarian option for your dinner/lunch parties as well, just serve it with a dollop of Butter and you will have your guests making all the right noises.
Recipe (Cooking time 30 minutes, Serves 6 – 8)
1 cup Moong Dal (I used the unshelled variety and used a Coffee Cup for measurement)
2 medium sized Tomatoes finely chopped
5- 6 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 ½ tsp Dry Mango powder (Aamchur)
1 Tbsp Ghee or Butter
1 tsp Asafoetida (Heeng powder)
4 – 5 Green Chilies Slit
Freshly chopped Coriander.
Salt to taste
Wash the dal under running water, now add 3 Coffee cups of water to the dal, Salt, Turmeric powder and chopped Tomatoes in a pressure cooker and cook for 9 – 10 whistles around 20 minutes.
Once the dal is cooked and you open the pressure cooker you will notice the Tomatoes have almost melted away and there is a slushy mixture in the cooker.
Heat Ghee in a pan add the cumin seeds, Garlic, Green chilies and Asafoetida and cook on a medium flame till the Garlic starts turning Brown (you can actually smell it). Add the Red chill powder and cook for a few seconds. Add this tempering to the dal. Bring the dal to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the Dry Mango powder and the Coriander before you serve.
Serve the Dal with some hot steamed Rice or Rotis.